Eagles dominated by Cardinals, fall to 2nd in NFC East

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The Eagles had gone the previous two weeks playing strong football. They were smarter and smarter and started to show confidence as a football team.

Week 15 featured shades of the three-game losing streak that ultimately has them in the position they will be on Saturday night.

A 40-17 loss to the Arizona Cardinals is going to force the Eagles into must-win mode for the remainder of the season, as the Eagles dropped to 6-8 and second place in the NFC East on Sunday night at Lincoln Financial Field.

  1 2 3 4 Total
Cardinals 7 10 13 10 40
Eagles 3 7 0 7 17

The Cardinals made things look relatively easy on their first drive to open the game. An eight-play, 78-yard drive was capped with David Johnson's one-yard touchdown run.

The Eagles were moving the chains on their first offensive drive before stalling out in the redzone. They would settle for a 36-yard field goal by Caleb Sturgis.

Arizona charged down the field again on their next drive before the Eagles put together a stop in the redzone. The 13-play drive ended with a 28-yard field goal by Chandler Catanzaro.

The Eagles would tie the game early in the second as Sam Bradford connected with Zach Ertz on a 22-yard touchdown pass.

The Eagles forced the Cardinals to back-to-back punts defensively — once before the touchdown and on the ensuing possession — but stalled out from there.

Arizona would get a late touchdown before the half. David Johnson continued his excellent day, powering through poor tackling attempts from the Eagles defense for a 47-yard touchdown run.

The Eagles worked their way into the redzone on the next drive, getting to the Cardinals 8-yard line before facing 4th and inches. The Eagles handed off to Ryan Mathews, who was tackled short of the first down, giving the Cardinals the ball on downs.

The Cardinals closed the half by running seven plays for 43 yards before time expired.

The Eagles started the second half with the ball and ran four plays before punting. The Cardinals would move 87 yards on eight plays to score another touchdown, as David Johnson's third on the ground came from one yard out. Catanzaro missed the extra point, putting the deficit at 13.

The Eagles started moving the ball again, running 10 plays for 55 yards to get to midfield. The 11th play of the drive, Markus Golden came through the line unblocked and sacked Bradford, knocking the ball loose and was recovered by Frostee Rucker.

The turnover did not hurt the Eagles, as the Cardinals gained just one yard on the next three plays and were forced to punt. Like the previous drive, the Eagles were starting to move, going from their own 16 to their own 44 in three plays. But again, on the fourth play, a four-yard gain for Mathews ended with a fumble that was recovered by D.J. Swearinger

Arizona scored five plays later as Carson Palmer connected with John Brown for a 16-yard touchdown.

On the first play of the fourth quarter, with the Eagles down 20, Bradford threw an interception to Deone Bucannon that was returned 39 yards for a touchdown.

The Eagles would get a touchdown on the very next play, as Bradford connected with Jordan Matthews for a 78-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 20, but that was as close as the game would get.

Arizona's final drive was nine plays for 49 yards and took 5:13 off the clock. It ended with a 38-yard field goal for Catanzaro to cap the scoring.

With the win, the Cardinals clinched the NFC West.

Passing Summary:

Eagles

  • Sam Bradford: 28/41, 361 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT, 91.6 RTG

Cardinals

  • Carson Palmer: 20/32, 274 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT, 100.3 RTG
  • Drew Stanton: 0/1, 0 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT, 39.6 RTG

Top-Performing Receivers:

Eagles

  • Jordan Matthews: 8 rec, 159 yards, TD
  • Zach Ertz: 8 rec, 78 yards, TD
  • Josh Huff: 4 rec, 52 yards

Cardinals

  • Michael Floyd: 5 rec, 70 yards
  • Darren Fells: 3 rec, 54 yards
  • Larry Fitzgerald: 3 rec, 43 yards

Top-Performing Rushers:

Eagles

  • Ryan Mathews: 11 car, 58 yards
  • Darren Sproles: 6 car, 9 yards
  • Sam Bradford: 1 car, 4 yards

Cardinals

  • David Johnson: 29 car, 187 yards, 3 TD
  • Kerwynn Williams: 6 car, 34 yards
  • Stepfan Taylor: 2 car, 11 yards

Breakdown:

First Downs: Eagles – 19, Cardinals – 28
3rd Down Efficiency: Eagles 6-for-12, Cardinals 8-for-14
4th Down Efficiency: Eagles 0-for-2, Cardinals 0-for-0
Total Plays: Eagles – 63, Cardinals – 73
Total Yards: Eagles – 424 yards, Cardinals - 495 yards
Passing Yards: Eagles – 361 yards, Cardinals - 274 yards
Rushing Yards: Eagles – 74 yards, Cardinals – 232 yards
Redzone: Eagles – 0-for-0, Cardinals 0-for-0
Penalties: Eagles – 5 penalties, 38 yards; Cardinals – 1 penalties, 10 yards
Turnovers: Eagles – 4, Cardinals – 0
Time Of Possession: Eagles – 22:32, Cardinals – 37:28


What's Next:

  • Saturday, December 26, 2015: vs. Washington Redskins, 8:25 p.m.
    • Lincoln Financial Field; TV: NFL Network; Radio: 94 WIP

Kevin Durso is managing editor for Eagledelphia. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.

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