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Three Big Things: #PHIvsAZ

A look at the biggest storylines for Sunday's game


The three biggest things to watch for Sunday when the Cardinals play the Eagles at State Farm Stadium:

Pressure Until It Hurts

The Cardinals are coming off an eight-sack game against a quarterback not nearly as mobile as the one they will see Sunday. Jalen Hurts can move, and like Tua Tagovailoa did a few weeks ago, the Cardinals can be hurt by that kind of QB. At the same time, Hurts was not great throwing the ball in his starting debut, and the Eagles' offensive line remains one of the worst in the league. Philly will be starting its 13th different O-line combination in 14 games Sunday. Can Haason Reddick, Markus Golden and company threaten him enough to keep him off balance – while at the same time, not letting him escape the pocket and do damage that way? It similar to the dilemma defenses face with Kyler Murray every week. Hurts had 11 designed runs last week (zone-reads and otherwise) so Philly has no problem letting him carry the ball either – especially after seven of his 18 carries (which included three kneeldowns) got the Eagles first downs.

A Block Here, An Opportunity There

The Eagles, crushed with injuries and underperformance, haven't had a lot to be excited about this season, but their defensive line remains elite. The Eagles are second in the NFL with 43 sacks, and they have kept Philly in some games they otherwise might not have been. But the Eagles also can struggle against a running quarterback like Murray. Secondary injuries have also undercut what the Eagles can do in pass defense. The Cardinals should be able to find holes when throwing the ball – assuming they can keep Kyler upright (and his ability to Houdini his way out of trouble won't hurt.) If the Eagles are without top cornerback Darius Slay, who is dealing with a concussion, that also could open things up for DeAndre Hopkins.

Chase-in Drake

When the Cardinals have had offensive success – whether it was the stretch run last season, or this season – they have run the ball. They get to 150 yards on the ground with remarkable ease, actually. That doesn't mean they should run all the time, but it is a crucial part of the game. And while much has been made about Murray's ground exploits, this is also about Kenyan Drake and maybe Chase Edmonds. Edmonds is battling an ankle issue, and as dynamic has he has been in the offense albeit with limited touches, his potential absence would loom large. Drake has to take care of the ball – he was lucky the Cards held on to possession after two quick fumbles last week – but when you look up, he's had a quietly solid season (848 yards, 4.2-yards per carry average, 9 TDs) and remains the main ballcarrier for a team that, again, does better when it finds its way on the ground.

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