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12/01/2013 5:34 PM EST
Foles tosses 3 TDs to lead Eagles over Cardinals
PHILADELPHIA 24, ARIZONA 21
By ROB MAADDI
AP Pro Football Writer
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- With Nick Foles leading the way, the
Philadelphia Eagles have charged into the playoff picture.
Foles threw three touchdown passes and a tough defense at the
end helped the Eagles hold on for a 24-21 victory over the
Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.
The Eagles (7-5) won their fourth straight game to remain tied
with Dallas for first place in the NFC East. They're 5-1 when
"Big thing for Nick is his experience," coach Chip Kelly said.
"He's getting better and better and making good decisions. We
trust him because he's a good decision-maker. You're starting to
see him grow."
Carson Palmer threw for 302 yards and three TD passes, but also
had two interceptions and lost a fumble as the Cardinals (7-5)
had their four-game winning streak snapped.
Foles picked up where he left off in November, when he was the
NFC's Player of the Month and tied an NFL record with seven TDs
in a game. The second-year pro finished 21 of 34 for 237 yards
against a defense that came in ranked eighth in the league.
Making just his 12th career start, Foles set a team record for
most passes without an interception (233), breaking Michael
Vick's mark of 224 set in 2010. He also moved within one TD pass
of tying Peyton Manning's record of 20 TD passes and zero
interceptions to start a season.
But Foles got away with one against Arizona. He was intercepted
by Patrick Peterson at the Philadelphia 43 late in the fourth
only to have the play negated by a holding penalty on Tyrann
"It wasn't a smart decision. It was a mistake," Foles said. "I
was happy there was a penalty. I was off-balance and threw
across the middle. That's a no-no."
Zach Ertz had two TD catches, LeSean McCoy ran for 79 yards and
the Eagles continued their worst-to-first push. They were 4-12
last season in Andy Reid's last year as coach.
The Cardinals took over at their 10 with 2:08 left. But Palmer
misfired on third-and-5, and Bradley Fletcher knocked down a
pass to Michael Floyd on fourth down.
"We had a chance to win it, multiple opportunities to make
plays," Palmer said. "You can't come into a place like this and
play against a good team in front of a crowd like this and not
win that battle."
In a game featuring two defensive coordinators going against
former teams, Bill Davis' unit outplayed Todd Bowles' group.
The Eagles have held opponents to 21 points or fewer in eight
straight games after giving up an average of 27.5 points per
game the first four weeks.
Trent Cole and Brandon Graham each had two sacks for the Eagles,
who put Palmer down five times.
"I have a lot of different responsibilities, getting used to
that," said Cole, who along with Graham was switched from
defensive end to linebacker in Davis' 3-4 system. "Hard work
pays off. Keep your head straight, work hard, stay humble,
you'll get it done."
Down 24-7 after Foles threw a 24-yard TD pass to Ertz on the
first series in the third quarter, the Cardinals rallied. Palmer
tossed a 23-yard TD pass to Floyd to cut it to 24-14 on the next
A holding penalty on Kurt Coleman negated DeSean Jackson's
54-yard punt return for a score early in the fourth.
Palmer then threw a 3-yard TD pass to Jim Dray to get the
Cardinals within a field goal at 24-21 with 4:45 left.
"We learned a lot of lessons today, what playoff atmosphere is
on the road and how to overcome it, how to handle it when bad
things happen," Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said.
Foles drove the Eagles 78 yards late in the second quarter,
tossing a 1-yard TD pass to Brent Celek to make it 17-7 before
halftime. A 28-yard pass interference penalty on Jerraud Powers
put the ball at the 1.
Palmer connected with Larry Fitzgerald on a 43-yard TD pass to
tie it at 7 midway through the second quarter.
Fitzgerald made the catch over the middle on a third-and-20
pass, two defenders collided into each other and the seven-time
Pro Bowl receiver ran untouched into the end zone.
On the third play from scrimmage, Cole sacked Palmer and forced
a fumble that was recovered by Bennie Logan at the Cardinals 25.
Foles then tossed a 6-yard TD pass to Ertz for a 7-0 lead.
NOTES: RB Andre Ellington, Arizona's leading rusher, didn't play
because of an injured left knee. ... Cardinals are 0-8 when
seeking their fifth win in row since 1977. ... Eagles S Earl
Wolff missed his second straight game with a knee injury. ...
Allen's INT was his first since the last game of the 2011
season. ... Eagles LB Najee Goode left the game with a hamstring
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org
Follow Rob Maaddi on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AP-RobMaaddi
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