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October 09, 2022

Three pivotal plays in the Eagles' win over the Cardinals

Eagles NFL

It was a game where Eagles fans were assuredly on edge right until that final field goal, but the Eagles escaped Arizona, where they hadn't won in 21 years, with a 20-17 W. The offensive scheme left much to be desired. Player execution was poor on both sides of the ball. Nevertheless, the Eagles flew West, won a road game that probably shouldn't have won and remain undefeated at 5-0. 

It was a messy affair, but, as I always do, here are the three most pivotal plays that swung things in the Eagles' favor. Spoiler alert: they all came with under two minutes remaining:

Eagles ball, 4th and goal, Arizona 5, 1:45 remaining in the fourth quarter, Eagles 17, Cardinals 17

Show me an Eagles fan who said they had all the confidence in the world in Cameron Dicker nailing that 23-yard field goal and I'll show you a liar. Dicker was signed off the street this week to fill in for the injured Jake Elliott. The former Texas Longhorn, in his first ever NFL game, made both of his extra-point attempts and both of his field goals. 

It was the 23-yard attempt, shorter than an extra point, that gave the Eagles the go-ahead score:

It wasn't long ago before Elliott himself was signed in after a kicker injury, came in as a complete unknown and won a game for the Eagles that felt like a loss right up until the end. Elliott will not be Wally Pipp, but credit where credit is due. Big Kick Dick came through. 

Cardinals ball, 2nd and 10, Philadelphia 34, 0:36 remaining in the fourth quarter, Eagles 20, Cardinals 17

On the heels of Double XP Weekend in "Call of Duty," Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray shot himself in the foot with lackluster situational awareness. Murray dropped back to pass here, but took off running. He had a clear first down in sight, but chose to slide instead of guaranteeing a new set of downs as the Cards attempted to answer that Eagles field goal make. Given where he started to slide, Murray was short of the sticks:

Murray thought he had a first down, but, in reality, it was 3rd and 1. 

Our own Jimmy Kempski was on the scene in Arizona and noted that a scoreboard error may have caused an ensuing blunder from Murray and the Cardinals:

On 3rd and 1, not 1st and 10, Murray spiked the ball to stop the clock with 22 seconds remaining. Bold move, pal! It left Arizona with no choice but to kick a 43-yard field goal instead of setting themselves up with an easier kicker or even scoring a touchdown outright. 

I'd call this "The Scoreboard Game" for Cardinals fans, but with the way Eagles fans completely overtook State Farm Stadium, I'm not sure there are that many to begin with!

Cardinals ball, 4th and 1, Philadelphia 25, 0:22 remaining in the fourth quarter, Eagles 20, Cardinals 17

The most exciting missed field goal for Eagles fans since "The Double Doink" itself:

A missed 43-yard kick? That's a recipe for a huge Eagles road win:

The Cardinals signed Matt Ammendola to replace their own injured kicker this week. Props to the Eagles front office for bringing in Dicker rather than this fella. 

The Eagles did not play up to their standard, something that Jalen Hurts has harped on often this year even as the Eagles' record remains unblemished. Great teams, however, find ways to win ugly and in situations when the spin of the universe is going against them. 

5-0 and it's Dallas Week? Gear up, Philly. 

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