5 things to know after Eagles beat Cardinals 24-21
Nick Foles has already reached a point where mistakes are rare
and strong performances are expected.
Not bad for someone with 12 career starts.
Foles threw three touchdown passes and the defense stiffened
late to help the Philadelphia Eagles hold on for a 24-21 victory
over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.
The Eagles (7-5) won their fourth straight game to remain tied
with Dallas for first place in the NFC East. They’re 5-1 when Foles
Foles, the NFC’s Player of the Month in November, set a team
record for most passes without an interception (233), breaking
Michael Vick’s mark of 224 set in 2010. He also moved within one TD
pass of tying Peyton Manning’s record of 20 TD passes and zero
interceptions to start a season.
Foles’ last throw Sunday was intercepted by Patrick Peterson at
the Philadelphia 43 late in the fourth quarter, but the play was
negated by a holding penalty on Tyrann Mathieu.
That poor decision was more surprising than any of Foles’ TD
”I need to be smart with the football and maybe just take a
sack right there,” Foles said.
Carson Palmer threw for 302 yards and three TD passes, but also
had two interceptions and lost a fumble as the Cardinals (7-5) had
their four-game winning streak snapped.
Zach Ertz had two TD catches, LeSean McCoy ran for 79 yards and
the Eagles continued their worst-to-first push. They were 4-12 last
season in Andy Reid’s last year as coach.
The Cardinals took over at their 10 with 2:08 left. But Palmer
misfired on third-and-5, and Bradley Fletcher knocked down a pass
to Michael Floyd on fourth down.
Five things we learned in Philadelphia’s win over Arizona:
EAGLES LBs ADJUST WELL: Trent Cole and Brandon Graham got off to
slow starts after switching from defensive end to linebacker.
They’re starting to get comfortable in Bill Davis’ 3-4 system and
getting results. Both players had two sacks apiece and
Philadelphia’s LBs had five against Palmer.
”It’s a lot of different, but I told myself in the beginning of
the year that I’m just going to make it work regardless,” said
Cole, who has five sacks in the last four games after getting zero
in first eight.
CARSON THE GUNSLINGER: Palmer sure puts the ball up for grabs.
He threw two more interceptions and could’ve had a couple more
picked. Palmer has 19 interceptions this season, which is second to
Geno Smith’s 20.
”The first one I didn’t see. The second one wasn’t a good
throw,” Palmer said.
PUNTING EDGE: Philadelphia’s Donnie Jones had seven punts inside
the 20, one short of tying the NFL single-game record. Jones nailed
one punt 69 yards and consistently pinned the Cardinals deep in
their territory. Jones, in his first season with the Eagles,
entered the game seventh in the league with a net average of 40.9
yards per punt. He strengthened his case for a third trip to the
Pro Bowl with his effort against Arizona.
”I changed up last year and went to a rugby-style punt,” Jones
said. ”You can hit those really hard and they don’t travel as
CARDS MISSED ELLINGTON: :Losing rookie running back Andre
Ellington, who injured his left knee late in Thursday’s practice,
was a significant blow to Arizona’s offense. Ellington has 688
yards from scrimmage and averages 6 yards per carry.
”He’s just very unique and you have certain things built in for
him, especially against this team we had things we really liked,”
ERTZ, CELEK EQUAL MISMATCHES: Foles took advantage of tight ends
Zach Ertz and Brett Celek being faster than Arizona’s safeties.
Yeremiah Bell and Tyrann Mathieu are stronger against the run than
they are in pass coverage. Ertz and Celek combined for 10 catches
for 97 yards and three TDs.
”We thought we’d be used a little more because of the way they
play their defense,” Ertz said. ”They put a lot of safeties on us
in man coverage and we think against any safety we can get
NOTES: Cardinals are 0-8 when seeking their fifth win in row
since 1977. … Eagles S Earl Wolff missed his second straight game
with a knee injury. … Nate Allen’s INT was his first since the
last game of the 2011 season. … Eagles LB Najee Goode left the
game with a hamstring injury.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org
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