Four Downs: Turnovers Lead To Eagles’ Loss
The Eagles lost to the Cardinals, 40-17, at the Linc to fall to 6-8. Here’s what we saw.
MOST TELLING STAT: 14
That’s how many points the Cardinals scored off of turnovers, while the Eagles had zero takeaways. Philadelphia fumbled twice and Sam Bradford threw a pick-six on three consecutive drives. Before the Eagles’ first giveaway, they trailed by 13 points and had the ball on Arizona’s 38-yard line.
However, Jason Peters was beaten in pass protection and allowed the strip-sack. Ryan Mathews then lost the ball on the Eagles’ next series near midfield, while Bradford’s interception happened on Philadelphia’s third play of the following drive.
It’s technically not a giveaway, but the Eagles did turn the ball over on downs with less than a minute left in the first half. Facing fourth-and-1 on Arizona’s 8-yard line while down by seven points, Mathews was stuffed at the line of scrimmage.
DID YOU NOTICE?
The Eagles did an abysmal job of tackling, which is a big reason Arizona ran the ball 39 times for 230 yards. The Cardinals averaged 5.9 yards per carry and scored three touchdowns on the ground. On Arizona’s 47-yard touchdown run, the Eagles appeared to miss five tackles.
However, when Arizona scored on their other two touchdown runs, the Eagles weren’t in their jumbo personnel they often use in goal line situations. On the first, they appeared to be in nickel, meaning an extra defensive back was in the game. On the other, they didn’t insert extra defensive linemen and linebackers.
Through the first three quarters, Bradford played one of his best games of the season, before throwing two interceptions in the final 15 minutes. He ended the day completing 28 of his 41 passes for 361 yards, two touchdowns and two turnovers. He averaged 8.8 yards per pass attempt and recorded a 91.6 passer rating.
Bradford’s first interception appeared to be a bad throw, but it’s possible there was a miscommunication between he and Mathews. On his second interception, however, he clearly threw a poor pass.
Overall, Bradford did a good job of sticking in the pocket to deliver big throws before taking a hit. He did so twice on third down completions, as well as on his 78-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Matthews.
Despite losing tonight, the Eagles are still in control of their own destiny. If they beat Washington and New York to close out the season, they will win the division at 8-8 with a 4-2 NFC East record.
However, if they lose at home to Washington on Saturday, they will be eliminated from the playoffs regardless of Week 17 results. If Philadelphia beats Washington and loses to New York, they would still win the division if New York loses to Minnesota next week and Washington loses to Dallas in Week 17.
According to the NFL’s website, head-to-head results is the first tiebreaker within a division. The second tiebreaker is division record while the third tiebreaker is the teams’ records against common opponents.