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Eagles-Cardinals final score: Horsecollar flag on Philadelphia's final drive should not have been picked up

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NFL officials blew a significant penalty call during the Philadelphia Eagles last drive in their 24-20 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

Norm Hall

The Philadelphia Eagles lost to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday by a score of 24-20. The Eagles missed a number of opportunities and made too many errors. Philadelphia received no help from the NFL officials, either, who called 11 penalties on the Eagles for a loss of 103 yards. The Cardinals were also penalized a number of times, however. Arizona was flagged 10 times for 95 yards.

It turns out that the officials missed a crucial 11th penalty on Arizona late in the game during the Eagles final drive. Philadelphia wide receiver Riley Cooper was tackled from behind at the Philadelphia 42-yard line after making a 22-yard catch from Nick Foles. It looked like Cooper was illegally brought down via a horse-collar tackle, and an official threw a flag for one. The flag was picked up, however, and the official explicitly explained that there was no flag for a horse-collar tackle on the play.

But according to former Vice President of Officiating in the National Football League Mike Pereira, there should have been a flag. It's actually fairly obvious:

Here's a freeze-frame view below.

As you can see, Cromartie's hand was clearly inside Cooper's collar. If the flag had been thrown, the Eagles would have had the ball at the Arizona 43-yard line with 1:17 and two timeouts instead of the Philadelphia 42-yard line. That penalty may have helped the Eagles, who eventually ended up at the Arizona 16-yard line on the final play, get in closer position for a game-winning touchdown.

The Eagles really only have themselves to blame for putting themselves in a position where the game could be decided by a bad officiating decision. Moving forward, however, it sure wouldn't hurt to see the officials correct obvious mistakes such as the one made here.