Foles throws 3 TDs in Eagles' win over Cardinals
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Nick Foles continued his impressive streak of starting the season without an interception, throwing for 237 yards and three touchdowns on 21-of-34 passing as the Philadelphia Eagles held on for a 24-21 win over the Arizona Cardinals at Lincoln Financial Field.
Foles' run of perfection was put in jeopardy, however, when he tossed up a pass late in the fourth quarter that was intercepted by Patrick Peterson. However, the turnover was negated because of a defensive holding penalty on Tyrann Mathieu.
The Cardinals (7-5) took over at their own 10-yard line with just over two minutes to play but only managed to get five yards, with Carson Palmer's fourth-down pass to Michael Floyd falling incomplete.
The Eagles (7-5) took over on downs at the 15 with 1:51 to play. Arizona had two timeouts and forced Philadelphia into a 3rd-and-4 situation in which Foles was sacked by Matt Shaughnessy, but the linebacker was called for holding on the play and Philadelphia ran out the remaining clock for its fourth consecutive win.
Rookie Zach Ertz hauled in five passes for 68 yards and two touchdowns, while fellow tight end Brent Celek had four catches for 29 yards and a score for the Eagles, who snapped a three-game losing streak against Arizona that included a defeat in the 2008 NFC Championship.
"Fortunately we had our number called this week," said Ertz of he and Celek. "Brent played a heck of a game, not only in the passing game but in the blocking game as well."
Ertz became the first Eagles tight end to record two touchdowns in a game since Chad Lewis in 2001.
Palmer was 24-of-41 passing for 302 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions in the setback. Michael Floyd had five catches for 99 yards and a touchdown and Larry Fitzgerald added five grabs for 72 yards with a touchdown for Arizona.
"We lost this football game with self-inflicted wounds," said Arizona head coach Bruce Arians. "We didn't create any turnovers and we obviously turned it over and gave them the early start. We played good enough to play close but not good enough to win."
Philadelphia deferred to the second half after winning the coin toss, but would get the ball rather quickly. On the game's third play, Trent Cole recorded his fourth sack of the season and knocked the ball loose just as Palmer was about to throw. Bennie Logan recovered the fumble and the Eagles started their first drive at the Arizona 25.
On 3rd-and-7 from the 22, Foles connected with Celek across the middle, with the tight end carrying a few Cardinals down to the 6-yard line. Foles then faked a handoff to LeSean McCoy on the following play, rolled out to his right and lofted a pass to Ertz in the corner of the end zone for the touchdown.
The next scoring drive didn't come until midway through the second quarter when Fitzgerald caught a pass across the middle on 3rd-and-20, bounced off multiple defenders, and raced down the near sideline for a 43-yard score to tie the game.
Philadelphia then drove down to the Cardinals' 14-yard line, but settled for a 32-yard field goal from Alex Henery.
The Eagles ended the half with a 9-play, 78-yard drive that spanned only 2:07 and ended with a 1-yard touchdown from Foles to Celek for a 17-7 lead. The march started with a 25-yard reception from DeSean Jackson that moved the Eagles to near midfield.
Later in the series, McCoy rushed for five yards on 4th-and-2 to the Cardinals' 29 and Arizona's Jerraud Powers was flagged for pass interference on the following play, putting the ball at the 1-yard line to set up the score.
"When you win the turnover battle in this league, it's huge," said Philadelphia head coach Chip Kelly. "We're not turning it over offensively and we're creating them on defense."
Foles opened the second half with another touchdown strike to Ertz. On the 13th play of the set, Foles went deep across the middle and found the rookie tight end up the seam for a 24-yard score that gave the Eagles a 24-7 lead.
The Cardinals answered with a touchdown drive of their own, with Palmer hitting a wide-open Floyd for a 23-yard score.
The Eagles looked to have put the game away early in the fourth quarter when Jackson returned a punt 54 yards for a touchdown, but the play was nullified due to a holding penalty on Kurt Coleman.
Arizona trimmed the deficit to a field goal late with 4:45 left on a 3-yard touchdown catch from Jim Dray. The touchdown followed a 34-yard grab from Floyd and a defensive pass interference penalty on Roc Carmichael that placed the ball at the 1-yard line.
After Rashard Mendenhall was stuffed for a loss of two on first down, Dray leaked out to the far sideline and waltzed into the end zone after making the catch.
Arizona had a four-game winning streak entering the game. The last time the Cards had five-game winning streak was 1977 ... Fitzgerald had a streak of three straight 100-yard receiving games against Philadelphia halted ... Foles needs two more touchdown passes without an interception to break Peyton Manning's NFL record of 20 touchdowns to start a season without throwing a pick ... Each defense recorded five sacks ... McCoy rushed for 79 yards on 19 carries, while Mendenhall had 18 rushes for 76 yards ... Philadelphia hosts Detroit next Sunday and Arizona will head home to entertain St. Louis.
12/01 19:59:51 ET