Sunday, December 20, 2020, State Farm Stadium, Glendale, Arizona, 4:05 p.m. ET
Eagles at Cardinals Betting Preview: Eagles (+6.5/-110), Cardinals (-6.5/-110)
The Eagles (4-8-1) remain in the NFC East race due to the entire division’s ineptitude but they can’t afford another setback with the Washington Football Team (6-7) in the midst of a four-game winning streak. Philadelphia halted a four-game slide last weekend with a solid 24-21 win over the New Orleans Saints as quarterback Jalen Hurts fared well in his first career start ahead of benched Carson Wentz. Hurts passed for 167 yards and rushed for 106 to join Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson as the only quarterback to rush for 100 or more yards in his first career start.
Hurts completed 17 of 30 passes and threw a touchdown against New Orleans but his ability to stretch the field will be scrutinized as his only completion of 20 or more yards was a short toss in which receiver Jalen Reagor gained 36 of the 39 yards after the catch. Running back Miles Sanders racked up a season-high 136 yards from scrimmage (115 rushing, 21 receiving) against the Saints and he also rushed for two touchdowns for the second time this season. Defensive end Brandon Graham has a team-leading seven sacks while linebacker Alex Singleton (team-high 87 tackles) has reached double digits in tackles in four of the past five games.
Protecting the ball better is necessary for the Eagles, who have a minus-10 turnover ratio due to 23 giveaways and 13 takeaways. The offensive line will be using its 13th different combination of the season as Matt Pryor will start at right tackle in place of Jack Driscoll, who suffered a season-ending knee injury versus New Orleans, while the status of cornerback Darius Slay (concussion) won’t be known until later in the week.
The Cardinals (7-6) snapped a three-game slide with a defense-fueled 26-7 win over the New York Giants last weekend and now hold the edge for the final NFC wild-card spot. Arizona racked up eight sacks against New York with linebacker Haason Reddick having a game for the ages with a franchise-record five sacks in addition to forcing a career-best three fumbles. Reddick is suddenly sixth in the NFL with 10 sacks but he and his teammates may find it harder to corral the quarterback this time due to Hurts’ stellar mobility.
Safety Budda Baker (100 tackles, two interceptions) is always a force in the back end and he has reached the century mark in stops for the third straight season. Quarterback Kyler Murray has passed for 3,231 yards and 23 touchdowns against 10 interceptions but has exceeded 300 yards just twice all season. Murray’s partnership with wideout DeAndre Hopkins is certainly blossoming as Hopkins ranks third in the NFL with 94 receptions and fifth with 1,155 receiving yards.
Kicker Zane Gonzalez (back) sat out practice but if he misses a second straight game, Mike Nugent (4-for-4 on field goals against the Giants) rates as a strong fill-in. Dre Kirkpatrick (hamstring) is tied for the team lead of three interceptions with fellow cornerback Patrick Peterson and his status will be determined later in the week.
Eagles at Cardinals Betting Pick for Week 15
Arizona awoke from its recent slumber last week and controls its playoff fate as long as it doesn’t stumble. The huge defensive effort by Reddick energized the club and there should be a carryover effect against the Eagles.
Hurts engineered a solid victory over New Orleans but often that second NFL start is harder than the first. When you consider Philadelphia has been sliding downhill most of the season, he can play freely without pressure as he attempts to prove he’s a better 2021 option than turnover-prone Wentz (15 interceptions, four lost fumbles this season).
Eagles at Cardinals Betting Pick:
Cardinals 31, Eagles 23
Eagles at Cardinals Best Bet for Week 15
Two quarterbacks who finished their careers at Oklahoma and can make plays with their legs should draw extra motivation at the sight of the other. Hopkins (six 100-yard outings) will be tough for the Eagles to stop, particularly if Slay can’t play.
Eagles at Cardinals Best Bet: OVER 49.5 total points (-105)