Eagles stay undefeated, hang on to beat Cardinals 20-17
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — The Philadelphia Eagles are still the NFL’s only undefeated team, winning their fifth game in a row thanks to a whole lot of grit and a bit of good fortune.
Jalen Hurts ran for a pair of 1-yard touchdowns and the Eagles held on for a 20-17 victory over Arizona on Sunday after Matt Ammendola’s late field-goal attempt for the Cardinals sailed wide right.
“Every win isn’t easy,” Hurts said. “Personally, I have mixed emotions about the game itself, but we found a way.”
The Eagles improved to 5-0 for the first time since 2004, when they won their first seven games and finished 13-3.
The Cardinals never led, but looked as if they would push the game into overtime until Ammendola missed the 43-yarder. The kick looked good for a split second but then veered hard to the right and outside the uprights. Ammendola was elevated to the active roster because of a hip injury to starter Matt Prater.
“It honestly felt good,” Ammendola said. “Everything felt good off my foot. It’s just something that I’ve got to work on. I’ll have to go back to watch it and look at the film.”
Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray sild just short of a first down on a second-down run during the final drive, then spiked the ball on third down to force Ammendola’s attempt with 22 seconds left. Coach Kliff Kingsbury said he believed Murray had gained a first down on the run, but once he realized it was third down, he still decided spiking the ball was the best option.
The Cardinals had no timeouts and Kingsbury said there were too many things that could have gone wrong if they had tried to run another play.
“The risk reward wasn’t good enough at that point,” Kingsbury said.
Philadelphia scored the go-ahead field goal on a grinding 17-play, 70-yard drive that lasted nearly eight minutes. Hurts extended the drive twice with 1-yard runs up the middle on third down, getting a great push from his offensive line for enough room to dive forward.
“That offensive line is full of warriors,” Eagles coach Nick Sirianni said.
Cameron Dicker — who was playing in place of the injured Jake Elliott — easily made the 23-yard field goal with 1:42 remaining. Philadelphia’s defense kept Arizona’s offense out of the end zone on the final drive and then ran off the field celebrating when Ammendola’s kick missed.
Hurts completed 26 of 36 passes for 239 yards. He also ran for 61 yards and kept the Eagles’ offense in good position, switching a few plays at the line of scrimmage. The biggest audible came on the final drive, when he switched plays and hit tight end Dallas Goedert on 3rd-and-12 for a 16-yard gain.
Arizona (2-3) has lost all three home games this season and eight straight over two seasons — its longest home skid since an eight-game streak from 1956-58 when the franchise was in Chicago.
“We’ve got a lot of season left,” Murray said. “We’ve got a great team, great locker room. I am confident in everybody in that locker room. We’ve got to get it together. Right now, we’re not playing complimentary football.”
The Eagles held Murray mostly in check, limiting him to just 28 of 42 passing for 250 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
The Eagles had their 14-0 lead sliced to 14-10 by halftime on Matt Ammendola’s 20-yard field goal as time expired in the second quarter. The Cardinals kept the drive alive with a fake punt, snapping the ball directly to Williams, who ran seven yards for the first down.
Hurts pushed the pile for a 1-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter. The quarterback was 5 of 7 for 56 yards during the 64-yard drive as the Eagles methodically moved downfield.
He scored his second touchdown in the second quarter on another 1-yard run for a 14-0 advantage.
The Cardinals eventually fought back, with Marquise Brown shaking off several would-be tacklers on a 25-yard touchdown that cut the deficit to 14-7.
The Cardinals have not scored in the first quarter this season, fighting from behind in all five games. They also have lost all three home games, while winning both games on the road.
Arizona’s had a tough home schedule this season, facing the Chiefs, Rams and Eagles.
The Eagles have a fan in Phillies star Bryce Harper, who helped his baseball team eliminate the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL wild-card round on Saturday.
During the celebration, Harper said he was looking forward to seeing the Eagles beat the “other Cardinals.”
Eagles: Philadelphia’s inactives included K Jake Elliott (ankle) and left tackle Jordan Mailata (shoulder). ... LG Landon Dickerson (leg) left the game in the first quarter.
Cardinals: Arizona played without starting center Rodney Hudson (knee). ... RB James Conner (ribs) left the game just before halftime. Two of the team’s backup RBs Darrel Williams (knee) and Jonathan Ward (hamstring) also left the game in the second half.
Eagles: Host the Cowboys next Sunday.
Cardinals: Travel to face the Seahawks next Sunday.
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