Philadelphia ended up falling just short of a win, losing 24-20 to the Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium on Sunday afternoon. It's the first time Chip Kelly has lost after holding a lead following three quarters, previously 11-0 in such situations.
The Eagles fall to 5-2 while the lesser-heralded Cardinals improve to 6-1, and maintain a stronghold atop the NFC West.
For Philadelphia, it was a day of blown opportunities and critical mistakes in big situations. Much like the loss to the 49ers, it's all a matter of what could've been, what should've been, but ultimately what wasn't.
Both teams found themselves under siege by penalty after penalty, particularly earlier in the game. Overall, the teams combined for 21 accepted penalties for a whopping 198 yards. Philadelphia took the slight brunt of the marked-off yardage, getting tagged with 11 penalties for 103 yards.
Walt Anderson's crew, as noted by Chris Myers and Ronde Barber, is a flag-happy group, notably calling hands-to-the-face penalty with some frequency. Jason Peters was the recipient of a pair of illegal hands penalties in the first half.
In all, Philadelphia accumulated nine penalties in the first 30 minutes, and only two the rest of the way. Still, those nine penalties go a ways in explaining why Philadelphia would score just seven points before halftime, though they weren't the only culprit.
GETTING HIS MACK ON
Overshadowed by the costly loss and copious amounts of mistakes was Jeremy Maclin having himself a career day. The lead Eagles wideout hauled in 12 passes for a career high 187 yards and two touchdowns. The 187 tops his performance against the Falcons in 2011, where Maclin racked up 171 yards with a pair of scores.
Maclin's first touchdown opening the scoring for the game, a 21-yard first-quarter strike from Nick Foles, beating the defenders to the corner of the end zone. The second score came on a deep bomb from Foles, going for 54 yards near the close of the third quarter.
Maclin ends up with 632 receiving yards and six touchdowns after seven games, putting him on pace for 1445 yards and 14 touchdowns for the season. The latter would pass Mike Quick's franchise record of 1409 set in 1983, while 14 scored would tie Terrell Owen's mark set in 2004.
As has been the recent trend with the Eagles, mistakes had to ruin what was a promising performance. In all, Philadelphia committed three turnovers, kicked off by Josh Huff's fumble seven yards short of the goal line, squandering a chance to give Philadelphia a second quarter lead.
Minutes later, with another chance to take the lead, Foles unleashed an interception to Antonio Cromartie at the goal line. The pick didn't turn into points, but Foles second pick, again to Cromartie, in the fourth quarter led to a game-tying field goal from Chandler Catanzaro.
After a Cody Parkey short field goal gave Philadelphia a 20-17 lead under the two-minute warning, the dam burst: Carson Palmer unleashed a 75-yard touchdown throw to John Brown, after Nate Allen and Cary Williams slipped in coverage, to take the lead. Earlier in the half, Larry Fitzgerald took in an 80-yard touchdown throw on a quick slant, burning the entire defense.
With 1:21 remaining and two timeouts (one burned after Nolan Carroll went down with injury), Foles had to lead the offense 80 yards to take the lead. Riley Cooper helped start the drive with promise, hauling in a 22-yard pass with a horse-collar nearly tacked on, but ultimately ignored (the defender did indeed have his hand inside Cooper's jersey).
Philadelphia was faced with a fourth-and-2 from Arizona's 38 with one timeout left, and Foles picked up the down with a risky three-yard run. That burned the final timeout with 18 ticks to go. Another five seconds were chewed up after Maclin caught a 19-yard out-route, getting the Eagles to the 16.
From there, Philadelphia failed on three throws. The first was thrown away by Foles, the second knocked away from Zach Ertz, and the third nearly hauled in by Jordan Matthews, who would have drifted out of bounds anyway had he not been shoved out.
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