With the Cardinals and Eagles entering Week Eight with two losses between them, their matchup had the makings of a playoff preview.
Let’s hope that’s the case. Eagles wide receiver Jordan Matthews couldn’t get his feet down in time on the final play of the game, allowing the Cardinals to go home with a 24-20 win that came after a seesaw second half that saw the lead change hands multiple times.
The last change came when Carson Palmer dropped an absolutely perfect pass into John Brown’s hands on a third-and-five with just over a minute left to play in the game. Brown was behind the Eagles defense at the time and sprinted 75 yards for a game-winning touchdown that stood up after the Cardinals foiled two throws into the end zone before Matthews almost stole the game.
It’s fitting that the biggest play of the game was a pass because there were a ton of them. Palmer and Nick Foles combined to throw the ball 104 times during the game and Foles set an Eagles record with 36 completions in his 62 attempts. Neither team was able to sack the opposing quarterback, which meant that both quarterbacks had time to turn a penalty-filled first half into a fairly thrilling second half.
Palmer hit Larry Fitzgerald for an 80-yard touchdown, although that mostly came thanks to Fitzgerald’s work after the catch, while Foles found Jeremy Maclin for a 54-yard touchdown that gave the Eagles a 14-10 lead in the third quarter. The pass to Brown was the prettiest of them all, although the Eagles did their best to top it before the end of the game.
The win leaves the Cardinals with a 6-1 record and a firm hold on first place in the NFC West. They’ll have another potential playoff preview in Dallas next week and the Eagles will surely be hoping for the same Cardinals result against their divisional rivals.
When the Eagles look back at the loss, they will likely focus on three turnovers that helped the Cardinals at points when it looked like the Eagles were going to take control of the game. Some may also point to the third-and-one play near the goal line in the fourth quarter that saw the Eagles hand the ball to LeSean McCoy out of the shotgun. McCoy was stopped short of the line of scrimmage and the Eagles had to settle for a field goal that made the score 20-17.
That wasn’t going to be enough to keep the Eagles in the lead, however, and those turnovers and missing the chance to get in the end zone will be on a few minds during the long flight home.