|National Football League|
Eagles face Cardinals looking to go 4-1
PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Eagles will look to strengthen their position in the NFC with a matchup against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday afternoon at Lincoln Financial Field.
The Eagles improved to 3-1 after a 26-24 road victory over the Los Angeles Chargers last week and the Cardinals evened their record at 2-2 after an 18-15 overtime win over the San Francisco 49ers.
Philadelphia did an admirable job of establishing the run against the Chargers with LeGarrette Blount carrying 16 times for 136 yards.
The Eagles were able to control the clock in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter on their way to a two-point win.
"Every week you try to go in and you try to establish your running game," Eagles coach Doug Pederson told reporters. "That's the first thing you have to do. If you can do that, it will open up a little play-action pass, it will open up shots down the field. And that's kind of where you want to start.
"And then for us these last couple of weeks our running game is just -- it's been a combination of great game planning by (offensive line) coach (Jeff) Stoutland, the desire and the will and the want to by the offensive line.
"With tight ends and quarterback Carson (Wentz) being a part of that. And then just execution on game day. And it's just all combinations of that."
Wentz has been consistent through four games with 1,058 yards passing, six touchdowns, two interceptions and a quarterback rating of 90.5
On the defensive side, the Eagles have scuffled in the second half but have done enough to win. It looks as if defensive tackle Fletcher Cox (calf) will be out for a second straight game, though a decision hasn't been made yet. Safety Rodney McLeod, however, is listed as questionable with a sore hamstring for Sunday's game.
Rookie kicker Jake Elliott continued his strong play one week after kicking a franchise-record 61-yard field goal to defeat the New York Giants. Elliott, who connected on a 53-yarder against the Chargers, has made six field goals in a row.
The banged-up Cardinals will be missing left tackle D.J. Humphries, who injured a knee in the first quarter of the season opener.
"He reinjured (his knee)," Cardinals coach Bruce Arians told reporters during his Monday press conference. "There's another slight little tear when we were in pads last week."
The Cardinals are also without outside linebacker Markus Golden for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee.
Veteran wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who has a touchdown reception in each of the last two games, is still playing at a high level at age 34. Fitzgerald's 19-yard touchdown catch in overtime gave the Cardinals a three-point win over the 49ers.
"He's the best I've ever seen and I've seen some really good ones," Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer told ESPN.com
After the overtime win, Fitzgerald wasn't concerned with statistics or records.
"There's games that you have opportunities and things are going to come your way and you're going to make some plays," Fitzgerald told ESPN.com. "I've played over 200 games now and there's always going to be highs and lows.
"When I was younger, I would get hot about not being involved and things like that, but now, it just doesn't really matter to me, honestly. Ten catches, two catches ... wins. I mean, I just want to win."
Fitzgerald has the full attention of the Eagles.
"I know coach Arians has said he's playing at a level that he has not seen him play before," Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz told reporters. "They have had their struggles here and there. But I think he's really playing good football and we have our work cut out for us.
"Again, it can't just be about Larry Fitzgerald and it can't be about one player. If you make it that way you're going to be susceptible to other things and we've got to do a better job of not being susceptible to other things."
Palmer has thrown for 1,282 yards with five touchdowns and five interceptions while under heavy pressure most of the time. Their offensive line has allowed 17 sacks this season.
Updated October 4, 2017