Nick Foles added another impressive game to his 2013 resume Sunday, and despite a second-half surge by the visiting Cardinals, Foles and the Eagles withstood Arizona’s comeback attempt to secure a 24-21 win.
Capturing their fourth straight victory under first-year coach Chip Kelly, the Eagles came out firing on all cylinders, carrying momentum from before their Bye Week into the matchup with Arizona. Veteran quarterback Carson Palmer helped keep Arizona alive late in the contest, but it was Foles, making his sixth start of the year, who again came out on top for Philadelphia, which is now tied with Dallas atop the NFC East and very much alive in the playoff picture.
Playing in his second season, Foles threw three touchdowns against a Cards defense ranked eighth in the NFL, boosting his astounding season TD-interception ratio to 19:0. Practically flawless in all but one of his starts for an injured Michael Vick, the former third-round draft pick set a team record for most passes without an interception and solidified his standing as the starting signal-caller, a position he was given for the rest of the year prior to Sunday’s matchup. On the year, Foles has posted a 125.2 passer rating through nine games.
Without the Eagles defense, Foles’ performance might not have been enough to top Arizona, however. Philadelphia’s offense stalled in the second half after taking a 17-7 lead through two quarters, and while the team’s defense surrendered several deep throws by Palmer (including TDs to Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, and Jim Dray), the unit also stepped up to protect the Eagles’ lead. Cornerback Cary Williams and free safety Nate Allen both had interceptions, outside linebacker Trent Cole boosted his standing in the franchise record books with two sacks and a forced fumble, and corner Bradley Fletcher deflected a fourth-down pass on Arizona’s final drive to seal the win.
Rookie tight end Zach Ertz had his most productive game of the year for the Eagles, hauling in two of Foles’ touchdowns, while his mentor, starting TE Brent Celek, had the other. Running back LeSean McCoy also chipped in offensively, catching five passes out of the backfield and rushing for 79 yards against a typically stingy Arizona “D.” Wide receivers Riley Cooper and DeSean Jackson each had three catches, with the latter eclipsing the 1,000-yard mark for the season. A 32-yard field goal by Alex Henery in the second quarter helped Philadelphia extend its lead.
Now 7-5 and tied with the Cowboys in the division, the Eagles will stay at home next Sunday for a third straight matchup at Lincoln Financial Field, this time in a showdown with the Lions (7-5).