GLENDALE, Ariz. - Let's be clear here: The Eagles lost Sunday because of three turnovers, and Nick Foles was primarily responsible for 67 percent of them.
It has become a recurring theme, but this time it cost the Eagles in their 24-20 loss to the Cardinals.
Josh Huff shared some of the blame for his fumble at the 7-yard line. Nate Allen made a costly mistake when he let John Brown get behind him on a deep post for the winning touchdown. And Chip Kelly's pass-heavy play-calling placed far too much on Foles' shoulders when he has yet to prove that he can handle such a load.
Foles threw an astounding 62 times on 88 offensive plays, and if you compute the numbers based on his 3 percent interception rate coming into the game, he was mathematically going to toss two interceptions.
So, Foles was Foles, circa 2014. He now has 12 turnovers in seven games this season (nine interceptions and three fumbles), triple the number (two interceptions and two fumbles) he had in 10 games last season.
"I told you all at the beginning of the season that those games last year don't really help me this year," Foles said. ". . . Yes, I made mistakes, but I will continue to work to correct them. We can't have turnovers."
The Eagles also can't have Foles dropping back to throw 63 times (he scrambled once) if they want to cut down on their turnovers. He already has attempted 299 passes in seven starts this season. Last year, he had 287 attempts in 10 starts.
The struggles in the running game after the offensive line's injuries certainly forced Kelly to call more passes. And the way opposing defenses have crowded the box to slow down running back LeSean McCoy has also played a part in the pass-run disparity (a 62-38 ratio this season).
But the running game finally hit its stride against the New York Giants in the previous game, and while the Eagles were without Darren Sproles, McCoy and Chris Polk averaged a respectable 4 yards a carry (24 rushes for 96 yards) against the Cardinals.
"No, I didn't expect that," McCoy said of the lopsided play-calling. "But every week is different. Like I said, the week before that we pounded it."
And the Eagles beat the Giants by 27 points, despite Foles' two interceptions, one of which likely took at least three points off the board. His first interception on Sunday probably cost the Eagles another field goal or more.
He dropped back to throw on first down from the Arizona 25 in the second quarter. There was pressure, and Foles moved to his left and threw off his back foot to a covered Huff in the end zone. Antonio Cromartie picked him off.
"It had nothing to do with the fundamentals of throwing the football," Kelly said when asked whether Foles needlessly threw off his back foot. "The pocket collapsed. It's first down in the red zone, don't throw the ball."
The second interception came in the fourth quarter with the Eagles up, 17-14. It was third and 11, and Foles went to receiver Riley Cooper over the middle. He was late, and Cromartie had his second pick. The defense held, and Arizona settled for a field goal.
"Cooper was running a dig [route]. [Foles] just missed him from behind," Kelly said. "I thought Cooper was open, but the ball wasn't where it was supposed to be."
There were plenty of strong throws and correct decisions by Foles. His 54-yard touchdown toss to Jeremy Maclin was perfectly placed. He completed 36 of his 62 attempts (58 percent) for 411 yards and two touchdowns.
He drove the Eagles to the 16-yard line with 13 seconds left. But he couldn't connect on three tosses and was late to receiver Jordan Matthews when he was open in the end zone on the final play of the game.
Kelly said he couldn't assess Foles' performance without watching a replay of the game, but he was clearly not happy with the turnovers.
"We talk about it all time - you can't turn the ball over and be a successful football team," he said. "We've got to clean that up."
Asked whether Foles was getting the message, Kelly cut off a questioner.
"He's not trying to throw interceptions," the coach said.
But was Kelly seeing a pattern?
"No, I'm not seeing a pattern," he said.
It has been a combination of factors - Foles' decision-making and his mechanical breakdowns. The offensive-line protection has sometimes broken down, although Foles wasn't sacked for the fourth game this season. His receivers haven't always gotten open. And sometimes you just have to credit an opposing defense.
But Kelly isn't doing Foles any favors with his uneven play-calling, particularly against the Cardinals. It was isolated, but there needs to be more balance. Kelly has said that over the course of a season, offensive success would be predicated on balance.
"No, I don't want a balance between run and pass. I want to move the football and win the football game," he said Sunday. "I don't want to look at that and say, 'We had a pass and we had a run, so let's balance this thing up.' We felt like we could throw the ball on them, and I thought we did."
The Eagles did enough to win, despite a 72-28 pass-run ratio, but you can't disregard the three turnovers - in particular Foles' two interceptions - and the role 62 passes played.
The Good With the Bad
Eagles quarterback Nick Foles set a franchise record with 36 completions, and his 411 yards marked his third career 400-yard game, tying him with Michael Vick, Randall Cunningham, and Sonny Jurgensen for second in team history.
Foles also threw two touchdown passes to Jeremy Maclin, including a 54-yard bomb on a perfectly thrown ball that gave the Eagles a 17-14 lead late in the third quarter.
Foles threw two unforced interceptions, both by Antonio Cromartie:
With the score 7-7 midway through the second quarter and the Eagles driving, he underthrew Josh Huff in the end zone. Cromartie stepped in front for the pick.
With the Eagles leading, 17-14, early in the fourth quarter, Foles badly missed Riley Cooper on a slant. Cromartie returned that one to the Eagles 40, and Arizona tied the game with a field goal nine plays later.