On Sunday, they'll tangle with the best defense they've faced since that five-turnover fiasco against the Chiefs, when the 7-4 Cardinals visit the Linc.
Arizona's defense, led by its dynamic defensive line duo of Calais Campbell and Darnell Dockett, is ranked eighth in both points and yards allowed. The Cardinals are second against the run, fourth in yards allowed per pass attempt and fourth in takeaways.
"There's a lot more besides them, and those two are really, really good," Eagles coach Chip Kelly said in response to a question about Campbell and Dockett. "They've got a lot of experience, a lot of guys that have played a lot of years on the defensive side of the ball.
"It's a formidable defense, and they're playing really, really well right now."
Yes they are. The Cardinals have held their last four opponents to fewer than 300 yards. They've given up more than 14 points only three times in the last eight games. They're 6-2 in those eight games.
"They're 7-4 and they're probably even better than their record indicates the way they've been playing," center Jason Kelce said. "They're a very good team [with] a very good defense. This is as tough a challenge as we've seen to this point in the season. We're excited."
On paper, the Eagles' offensive line is one of the best in the league. Sometimes it has played like it this season, sometimes it hasn't. Lately, in three straight wins over the Raiders, Packers and Redskins, it has.
But the Eagles will need to play even better than that Sunday against the Cardinals. As Kelly pointed out, Arizona's defense is thick with talent. And they run a lot of games up front - stunts, twists, blitzes, a seemingly infinite array of fronts - all aimed at confusing the hell out of opposing offensive lines and quarterbacks.
"A lot of the stuff they do is to try and confuse the offensive line, confuse the backs, confuse the quarterback," Kelce said. "I'll probably put in a few extra film hours this week just making sure I'm as prepared as possible. Me being the guy in charge of offensive-line calls, I have to be prepared."
So does the rest of the offensive line.
"First and foremost, they run a great defensive scheme," left guard Evan Mathis said. "They have some really exotic looks that do a good job of generating pressure on the opponents. Then, when you have the type of athletes they have doing those kinds of things, it presents even more of a challenge. Campbell and Dockett, ever since they've been in the league have been really, really solid defensive tackles, and often times can make game-changing plays."
The 6-8, 282-pound Campbell and the 6-4, 293-pound Dockett line up all over the place in a variety of fronts. At some point Sunday, all five of the Eagles' offensive linemen will get an opportunity to block them, or at least try to. Dockett, a three-time Pro Bowler, and Campbell, have combined for 10 sacks, 28 pressures and 20 hits on the quarterback. They're also the main reason for the impressive career resurgence of 35-year-old defensive end John Abraham, who has a team-high seven sacks as a pass-rush specialist.
"If you put it on paper, you would see Dockett playing over the right side of the offensive line more often, and Campbell playing over the left side more often," Mathis said. "But there are some instances where they switch. They do a lot of stuff. It's going to be really important that we communicate on offense."
The Eagles haven't seen a lot of exotic things from opposing defenses this season. One of the big pluses of running an uptempo offense is that it tends to limit what a defense can do against you because its primary focus is just getting lined up and making sure everybody is covered.
"A lot of teams have shown it on film," Kelce said, referring to stunts, twists and and other pass-rushing gimmicks. "But most teams don't get into it against us. The reason for that is we've got a little bit higher tempo and it's harder to get that stuff situated and set up when you're getting a fast pace.
"I think that's another reason why we've seen so much man coverage this year. It's very easy to line up in man coverage. Cover 1 [single high safety], you just line up with who you got. It's very straight forward."
The Raiders used a third-down package that featured smaller players in an attempt to make it more difficult for the Eagles to figure out who was coming after the quarterback. As evidenced by Foles' seven touchdown passes against them, that strategy didn't work out so well.
The Packers tried to use some stunts against them. Foles threw three TD passes and had only six incompletions in 18 attempts.
"We haven't seen too much of it, or as much as other teams have seen," Kelce said. "Now, Arizona does so much of it that they'll probably get to at least some of it. That's why you have to be prepared every week. Understand personnel, situations and all of that stuff."
Said Mathis: "The thought process is usually when you do tempo, it will not eliminate, but limits some of the exotic looks you get [from a defense]. But you can't go into the game expecting that it will do that.
"If you're going tempo and they're still doing all of their blitzes and stunts, you can't say to yourself, 'I thought they weren't going to do it because we were going tempo.' You prepare for what you see on tape. And that is them doing a lot of stuff."
The Cardinals, under their new defensive coordinator, Todd Bowles, blitz early and often. They have blitzed on 49 percent of their opponents' dropbacks this season. Their two inside linebackers - Daryl Washington and Karlos Dansby - might just be the best inside blitzing tandem in the league.
But mainly because of the uptempo offense, teams have blitzed less frequently against the Eagles than against other teams.
In their first 11 games, defenses have sent extra rushers after the Eagles' quarterbacks on only 28.2 percent of their dropbacks. The Packers blitzed Foles only 21.7 percent of the time. A week later against the Giants, they blitzed Eli Manning on 37.5 percent of his dropbacks.
The Raiders blitzed Foles on only eight of 31 dropbacks (25.8 percent). In their last three games, they've blitzed on 52 percent of their opponents' pass plays.
"Percentagewise, it just depends on what [the Cardinals] actually choose to do going against us," Kelly said. "Some teams have blitzed a lot before, and then in our game have chosen not to. It'll be interesting to see how the game plays itself out."
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