Cardinals mistakes help Eagles to first half lead

AP

The Eagles don’t have much margin for error if they want to have any chance to make the playoffs this season, although they aren’t really playing like it.

Philly was very sloppy offensively during the first half, but they went into the locker room with a 14-7 lead thanks to Michael Vick’s feet, Jay Feely’s foot and a timely play by Asante Samuel. Samuel picked off a John Skelton pass and returned it 20 yards for the first points of the game in the second quarter and then two Vick runs totaled 30 yards to put the Eagles close enough for LeSean McCoy to plunge in from a yard out just before halftime. That’s a franchise record ninth-straight game with a touchdown for McCoy.

Vick’s arm has been problematic and he almost threw away that scoring chance with an interception in the end zone, but a holding penalty on Richard Marshall allowed the Eagles to retain possesion. Vick also threw seven straight incompletions at one point, including two straight three-and-outs that didn’t see McCoy get a carry. That’s not the kind of offensive balance that the Eagles want to have, especially when DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin are out of the game.

Skelton struggled for much of the half, but did put together enough plays to get the Cardinals in position to score three times. He converted one of those by throwing a touchdown pass to Larry Fitzgerald, but Feely has missed a pair of field goals to leave the Cardinals with just seven points to show for their efforts. Adding the pick-six and the nullified end zone interception gives you a lot of self-inflicted wounds for Arizona, ones that could prove to be just enough for the Eagles to wind up with a win they desperately need.

UPDATE: Maclin returned from his shoulder injury.