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Philadelphia Eagles top Cards, keep pace in NFC East

Coach Chip Kelly's offense isn't the only reason why the Philadelphia Eagles are surging. The Eagles' defense came up huge once again in the team's 24-21 victory over the Arizona Cardinals at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday.

Here's what else we learned in the game:

  1. Eagles defensive coordinator Billy Davis deserves a lot of credit. He confused Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer with a number of creative blitzes Sunday. The Eagles sacked Palmer five times, including two apiece by linebackers Brandon Graham and Trent Cole. Philly had 11 passes defensed. When the Cardinals had a chance to win late, they couldn't pick up a first down.
  1. With all that said, Palmer had a terrible day overall. The numbers don't look that bad, but he made a lot of bad throws.
  1. It was a strange game for quarterback Nick Foles and the Eagles' offense. Philadelphia had just five first downs in its first four drives. Sitting on a 24-7 lead, the Eagles put up just 30 yards combined in their last four drives. Foles was bailed out after making an awful decision on a late interception that was overturned by a penalty.

Foles was sensational in between those stretches in his toughest matchup of the year. He did plenty right, always willing to pull the trigger on deep throws. But this isn't a sustaining offense, and the Eagles struggle to maintain leads.

  1. Despite the loss, the Cardinals' offense continues to look more dangerous by the week. Wide receiver Michael Floyd (99 yards) made a number of ridiculous plays again. Running back Rashard Mendenhall has looked like a new man the past two weeks.
  1. Eagles rookie tight end Zach Ertz was a big factor with twotouchdowns on five catches for 68 yards. The Eagles need another receiver to emerge, and Ertz could fit the bill.
  1. Could two NFC East teams make the playoffs? It's unlikely, but the Eagles, at 7-5, would now have a potential tiebreak over the Cardinals if they tied for a wild-card spot.

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