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Three Big Things: Eagles Week

A look at the top storylines for Sunday's game


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Sooner Shootout

For the third time, former Oklahoma quarterbacks Jalen Hurts and Kyler Murray will meet in the NFL. It's the rubber match between the two, with Hurts most recently leading the Eagles to a 20-17 victory last season. In 2020, Murray got the best of the Eagles with a 33-26 win. Competing against other signal-callers from his alma mater, Murray boasts a 4-1 record during his NFL career. Ahead of this meeting, Hurts described Murray as a "special player." Last weekend against the Bears, Murray, 26, surpassed 15,000 yards passing in his career (15,153). In NFL history, only Bills QB Josh Allen has reached 15,000 passing yards and 2,000 rushing yards at a younger age, and that's with Murray missing half the season.

Cornerback In The Spotlight

After releasing Marco Wilson earlier in the week, coach Jonathan Gannon said that he feels confident in the players he has in the cornerbacks room. That said, the Cardinals have tried a handful of different cornerback rotations in hopes of finding consistent starters. Antonio Hamilton is the sole veteran among a group that consists mostly of rookies. They'll be faced with the massive challenge of stopping A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith, one of the best wide receiver duos in the NFL. In the last two games, the Cardinals limited D.J. Moore to just 18 yards last weekend and Deebo Samuel had 48 total yards in Week 15 (although he scored two touchdowns.) The Cardinals' inexperience has hurt them, but there's no shortage of rookies trying to make the most of their opportunities. Kei'Trel Clark leads the rookie defensive backs with seven starts. Starling Thomas and Garrett Williams both have started five games and Divaad Wilson started once after being elevated from the practice squad. One thing that is in the Cardinals' favor ahead of Sunday's game is the public frustration from both Brown and Smith, who feel like the Eagles offense hasn't played to its potential.

Stopping The Brotherly Shove

The Eagles' Brotherly Shove/QB sneak has been unstoppable over the past two seasons. Many have tried to duplicate it, but few can execute it like the Eagles. Fortunately for the Cardinals, there's familiarity with Gannon and defensive coordinator Nick Rallis, both of whom coached in Philadelphia last season when the Shove rose to prominence. It's critical that the Cardinals force the Eagles to play from third and long because if Philadelphia gets within two yards, the Shove is the likely play call. Rallis wouldn't tell the media how they plan on stopping the play, but "you've got to have a plan where all 11 guys are executing their job at a high level to combat them."