GLENDALE, AZ (CBS) — His face tense, Chip Kelly was in curt-answer mode. The Eagles’ coach didn’t want to hear anything from anyone, especially how he should have tried to sneak Nick Foles late in the fourth quarter of the Eagles’ game against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.
Kelly was quick with a reminder of trying to sneak Foles … “I tried that against Dallas last year and got it shoved up our tail, so I wasn’t going to run that again.”
You had a feeling it was destined to happen, though. That someway skirting so close to the edge would end abruptly. Horribly.
Carson Palmer’s arcing rainbow fell right into John Brown’s waiting arms, leaving Cary Williams and Nate Allen in his wake. So after a game full of constant mistakes, more red zone indecision at the goal line, the Eagles fell to the Arizona Cardinals, 24-20, at University of Phoenix Stadium, after Palmer’s 75-yard TD strike with 1:21 left to play.
The Cardinals moved to 6-1 overall, while the Eagles fell to 5-2.
In between all the flying flags and stops and starts, it was actually a pretty good game between the Eagles and Arizona.
The Eagles took a 20-17 lead on Cody Parkey’s 20-yard field goal with 1:56 left. But Arizona answered, when Palmer spotted Brown, racing behind Williams and Allen, on a third-and-five at the Arizona 25.
What haunted the Eagles again was their inability to punch the ball into the end zone sitting a yard away from the goal line. As in their loss to San Francisco, the Eagles squandered a chance to score a touchdown, and Kelly had some explaining to do about going 0-for-3 in red-zone efficiency—or inefficiency, in the Eagles’ case.
With 2:36 left, Foles took a shot gun snap with third-and-inches for a first down at the Arizona 1-yard line, instead of taking the snap under center and possibly running a quarterback sneak. Instead, Foles handed the ball to LeSean McCoy, who was stuffed for no gain, forcing the Parkey field goal.
“We ran the same play as we would from under [the center], it had nothing to do with being in the shotgun,” Kelly said. “We got penetration and the back got hit, so if we ran underneath the center or the shotgun, it wouldn’t have made any difference.
“I thought about [going for it on fourth down] with the two-minute warning. Our defense at that point was playing really, really well. I told them I had confidence in them and I told them I was kicking the field goal, because I had confidence in our defense.”
The Eagles had one last gasp, but with :01 left, Foles’ pass to Jordan Matthews resulted in the rookie stepping out of bounds.
Foles completed an Eagles-franchise record 36 passes of 62 thrown, for 411 yards and two touchdowns, but also threw two interceptions. The Eagles amassed 521 yards of total offense, to Arizona’s 400.
The game saw a combined total of 21 penalties for 198 yards, with the Eagles nailed for 11 penalties for 103 yards, nine coming in the first half for 88 yards.
Jeremy Maclin had a career game, with a game-high 12 receptions for a career-best 187 yards, two touchdowns and one Gatorade shower.
But ultimately, the Eagles inability to stomp out the big play, an 80-yard TD from Palmer to Larry Fitzgerald and the Palmer-to-Brown 75-yard hookup, and Kelly’s play calling near the goal line has to come under major scrutiny.
“As a team, we had too many penalties and we can’t turn the ball over, we turned the ball over twice in the red zone,” Kelly said. “I felt like we could throw the ball on them, and I thought we did. I’m concerned anytime when we’re not successful, so it has nothing to do with the sheer amount of anything. When we’re not doing things, whether it’s one of whether it’s 20, we’re concerned when we’re not getting the looks that we’re supposed to get.”
WR Jeremy Maclin set a career-high with 187 yards on 12 receptions, while adding two touchdowns … His 12 catches were his second-highest output and tied for the fourth-most ever by an Eagle … Maclin has six multi-touchdown games in his career. He has reached the end zone in five of seven games this year and seven of his last nine dating back to 2012 … With 32 career touchdown receptions, Maclin is tied with DeSean Jackson and Ben Hawkins for eighth in Eagles history … Maclin has 297 career receptions, he moved into a tie with Jason Avant for 11th on the team’s all-time list. He also moved into 10th on the Eagles all-time receiving yards list with 4,085 … His 12 career 100-yard games are tied with Terrell Owens for 10th in franchise history … Maclin has six 50-plus yard touchdowns in his career, including two this year … QB Nick Foles set an Eagles record with 36 completions, while racking up 411 yards and two touchdowns, marking his third 400-yard game and the second-highest total of his career … Foles is tied with Michael Vick, Randall Cunningham and Sonny Jurgensen for the most 400-yard games ever by an Eagles … Foles has eclipsed the 300-yard mark four times this season and eight times in his career … The last Eagles quarterback with four 300-yard games in a season was Donovan McNabb in 2006 … K Cody Parkey went 2-2 on field goal attempts, including a 54 yarder, the longest of his career and tied for the third-longest in Eagles history … It was the longest by an Eagles kicker since David Akers hit a 57 yarder on 9/14/03 vs. NE … Parkey has played in just seven games in his career, but has already connected on three 50-plus yarders, becoming just the sixth Eagle to do so in his career … The last Eagle with three in the same season was Paul McFadden in 1984 … The Eagles have allowed just two sacks in the last six games, which is their best six-game stretch since sacks became an official stat in 1982 … Jordan Matthews has had at least four receptions in each of the last five games … The Eagles amassed a season-high 27 first downs and 521 total net yards … The 7:05 drive was the longest of the season by Philadelphia … S Nate Allen forced and recovered a fumble, extending the Eagles streak to 20 consecutive contests with at least one takeaway, their longest since 1995.
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