In one of the most anticipated games on Sunday, the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Arizona Cardinals 24-21. The score really indicates how the close the game truly was.
The Arizona Cardinals were without their starting rookie running back Andre Ellington as he is dealing with a knee injury. Starting in his place was Rashard Mendenhall. Mendenhall was a factor on the ground as he had 76 rushing yards on 18 carries. But where the Cardinals made their hay was in the passing game but it would also bite them in the foot.
To begin the game, the Cardinals got the ball first and quarterback Carson Palmer would get the ball stripped from him causing the Philadelphia Eagles to have great field position. Then Nick Foles and the Eagles would cash in as he would find rookie tight end Zach Ertz for a six yard touchdown and Philadelphia would be 7-0 in the first quarter.
Palmer would continue to shoot himself in the foot as he threw an interception in the first quarter but it did not lead to any points for the Philadelphia. If you watch the Arizona Cardinals, you know you are destined to see Carson Palmer throw an interception.
He would get his act together as in the second quarter he found Larry Fitzgerald for a 43 yard touchdown pass on a third down and 20. The Cardinals defense on the other hand, continued to give up points in the first half as the Eagles would score 10 unanswered to lead 17-7 to end the half.
In the second half, the Arizona Cardinals became a whole different team as it started with the defense. The Cardinals defense played phenomenally stopping the run as Eagles running back Lesean McCoy would only be held to 79 rushing yards. The defensive line would also cause havoc as they had five sacks on the day, forcing the Eagles to punt numerous times. Linebacker Karlos Dansby had two of those five sacks.
The only touchdown the defense would allow was a Nick Foles 24 yard touchdown pass to Zach Ertz, his second of the game. With the Eagles leading 24-7 in the third quarter, the offensive line for Arizona stepped up and gave Carson Palmer some time to throw. When Palmer got time to throw he found Michael Floyd for a 23 yard touchdown pass against busted coverage.
In the fourth quarter, the Cardinals defense would continue to put pressure on the Eagles and stopped them numerous of the times. The Eagles had many chances to blow the game out but a huge defensive pass interference on Jerraud Powers kept the Eagles alive.
With the Cardinals down 24-14, Carson Palmer would drive down the field and find tight end Jim Dray for a touchdown and the lead was down to 24-21 but that is where it would stay. The Cardinals on their last drive of the game could not convert on fourth down and the Eagles went into the victory formation.
The Arizona Cardinals are now 7-5 on the season and 2-4 on the road. If you are a playoff team you need to win on the road, the Cards will have two more chances to do that. Next week, the Cardinals take on the St. Louis Rams at home in a NFC West division match-up.
Next week’s game versus the Rams is a must win for Arizona if they have any playoff aspirations.