Eagles Up-Down Drill
Chip Kelly The coach's fourth-down decision wasn't a bad one. He knew the Eagles needed to get points against the Cardinals. But the play was questionable. He chose Ryan Mathews over Darren Sproles and DeMarco Murray - running backs who had more success in short yardage this season - and ran him wide.
The coach's fourth-down decision wasn't a bad one. He knew the Eagles needed to get points against the Cardinals. But the play was questionable. He chose Ryan Mathews over Darren Sproles and DeMarco Murray - running backs who had more success in short yardage this season - and ran him wide.
The defensive coordinator made a questionable late substitution on the goal line in the first quarter. Davis sent in his nickel personnel and the Cardinals predictably ran the ball against the smaller defense. David Johnson waltzed into the end zone for an easy 1-yard run.
You can't pin this loss on the quarterback. He was excellent into the third quarter. But an early fourth-quarter pick-six was the nail in the Eagles' coffin and Bradford's second turnover of the game.
He continued to dominate. Cox walked former Eagles center A.Q. Shipley back into Carson Palmer for a second-quarter sack, giving him 71/2 this season. He also recorded another tackle for loss in the first half and had two quarterback hits.
Ertz is getting hot at the right time. The Eagles tight end caught his second touchdown pass in three games in the first quarter. Ertz ran a post and Bradford delivered a 22-yard strike into the end zone.
He has been quiet of late. A back injury seemed to be partly to blame. But Matthews had a strong first half, particularly on the Eagles' first touchdown drive. Matthews caught three passes for 53 yards and made a stellar diving catch on third and long. He also caught a 78-yard TD pass early in the fourth quarter.
He didn't get a single rushing opportunity in the first half. Kelly might regret not giving Murray at least one chance, particularly on fourth and 1. Murray had been 15 of 15 on third-down rushing chances.
He hasn't been the same running back since returning from a concussion. His third fumble on the season was a dagger. The Cardinals scored on the ensuing drive.
It's tough to criticize the left tackle. He's been a huge difference maker in the Eagles' late-season rebound. But Cardinals defensive end Markus Golden got around Peters and sacked Bradford from the blind side for a forced fumble.
He got beat early and was carried almost 20 yards by Cardinals tight end Darren Fells on one catch. Maxwell was in and out with a shoulder injury and was eventually shut down for the night.
He has been one of the Eagles' better special-teams players since his return. But he struggled, as expected, jumping in for the injured Eric Rowe at cornerback. Watkins had a terrible tackle attempt - he went for the strip - on David Johnson's 47-yard touchdown bolt.
He wasn't much better filling in for the injured Byron Maxwell. Biggers had trouble making stops in the open field. John Brown caught a pass short of the goal line in the third. Biggers had the Cards receiver square, but he whiffed and Brown strolled into the end zone.
For a middle linebacker, Alonso gets lost for long stretches when he's on the field. He was late to Johnson on his second touchdown run and tried to tackle high. It was a feeble attempt.