NFL Week 5 Picks: Expert Late Slate Predictions for Eagles vs Cardinals, Cowboys vs Rams
Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images. Pictured: Jalen Hurts.
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This may be the last time we can buy the undefeated (and favored-in-every-remaining-game) Eagles at a reasonable price before the hype gets completely out of control.
When the Eagles are on offense, Arizona does not have the perimeter corners to handle A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith.
Marco Wilson’s 45.0 PFF coverage grade ranks 96th of 110 qualified corners, and Trayvon Mullen (39.0) would be even lower if he had enough snaps to qualify. The Cardinals are also ranked 29th in DVOA versus tight ends, meaning they will have trouble containing Dallas Goedert, who ran a route on a season-high 100% of dropbacks last week (per PFF).
Even with J.J. Watt and Zach Allen playing well on the defensive line, it will be tough for them to generate pressure with a four-man rush against a Philadelphia offensive line that ranks first in PFF pass-blocking grade (81.0). Arizona will have to continue to rely heavily on the blitz, which won’t work as well against Jalen Hurts.
The Cardinals allowed an average of 232.6 passing yards and 1.0 TDs per game to Derek Carr, Matthew Stafford and Baker Mayfield, but got burned for 360 yards and five TDs by the more mobile Patrick Mahomes in Week 1.
On offense, the Cardinals continue to miss DeAndre Hopkins. Here are some splits for Arizona in 10 games with Hopkins compared to 11 games without since the start of last season:
- Points per game: 30.2 with; 19.2 without
- Point differential: +11.2 with; -4.2 without
- Yards per pass attempt: 8.1 with; 6.1 without
Even with Marquise "Hollywood" Brown balling out, Murray entered Week 5 averaging just 5.7 yards per attempt, which is second to last among 32 qualified QBs ahead of only Mitch Trubisky (5.6).
Brown has spent 75% of his snaps lined up out wide, so he will see a lot of Philadelphia’s excellent perimeter corner tandem of Darius Slay (17th in PFF coverage grade) and James Bradberry (18th). As a whole, the Eagles' defense leads the NFL in fewest net yards per pass attempt allowed at 4.3.
This is also a letdown spot for the Cardinals after recording a road win over the Panthers in Carolina. That continued a trend under Kliff Kingsbury that has seen Arizona compile a 19-6-2 (76%) ATS record on the road, covering by 7.2 points per game.
At home, however, Arizona is just 7-119 (35%) ATS with an average cover margin of -5.5.
Akers is running just 9.0 routes per game this season and is being targeted on just 8.3% of those routes. He’s caught zero passes in three of four games and has seen one or fewer targets in three of four games as well.
With Malcolm Brown signed to the active roster, the Rams have yet another option on passing downs. The Cowboys are allowing 5.25 targets per game to RBs, which is tied for ninth-fewest in the league.