The Philadelphia Eagles are keeping pace with the Dallas Cowboys at the top of the NFC East with a fourth consecutive win after yet another impressive performance from the undisputed starting quarterback, Nick Foles, leading his team to a 24-21 win over the Arizona Cardinals.
As much as the Cardinals have been a pleasant surprise this season with a strong defense, it’s impossible to do much with Carson Palmer facing so much pressure even against the weakest of defenses in the NFL, not to mention struggling to complete plays on deep throws. The Cardinals might be 7-5 just like the Eagles, but pose a small threat to anyone who might run into them in the postseason, if they make it that far.
Foles and Zach Ertz had a great time against a team that allows more yards than anyone on passes to tight ends, with Brian Celek also joining the action. Foles finished with 237 passing yards and three touchdowns; all three of them were caught by the two, and they combined for nine receptions and 97 yards. Foles didn’t forget about DeSean Jackson, targetting him six times. Jackson caught three passes for 36 yards, making it to 1000 yards for a third season, tied for most in franchise history with Mike Quick and Harold Carmichael.
Defense was also something we’re not used to seeing from the Eagles, but they were able to limit the Cardinals to only 21 points, intercepting Carson Palmer twice, although that isn’t such a rarity this season for anyone facing Arizona. Palmer threw both of his interceptions on throws for over 40 yards, completing only one pass on four such attempts. He is ranked 29th in the NFL on throws for such distances this season.
Palmer was also the culprit in the third turnover by the Cardinals in the loss, getting sacked and stripped of the ball by Trent Cole, only the second fumble-off-a-sack the Eagles have managed all season. They were one of only two teams with just one sack-fumble all season, tied with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, entering the game.
The Cardinals sent five or more pass rushers on 70% of Foles’ first-half dropbacks, with Foles going 10-of-14 for 138 yards and 2 touchdowns against such pressure. They were more selective sending added rushers in the second half, which helped slow him down, blitzing him on 47% of his dropbacks, sacking him three times and allowing him to complete only 20% of his passes.
Chip Kelly – Big thing for Nick is his experience. He’s getting better and better and making good decisions. We trust him because he’s a good decision-maker. You’re starting to see him grow.