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Grade the Philadelphia Eagles' loss to the Arizona Cardinals


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First, the good news - the Philadelphia Eagles didn't need this game. Thanks to the NFC East's general awfulness, the Eagles can still clinch the division by beating Washington and the New York Giants in their final two games. Now, the bad news - the Eagles didn't give their fans much reason for confidence.

The Eagles were thoroughly outclassed by the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday night. The offense, led by rookie running back David Johnson, ran all over an Eagles defense that was barely able to offer any resistance. The Eagles will need to shake off this performance and get ready for perhaps the two most important games of the Chip Kelly era.

Overall grade: D

There's not a ton to say about this one. The Eagles just got beaten by a better team. The Cardinals are 12-2 for a reason. The Arizona offense amassed 493 total yards, and while Sam Bradford threw for 350 yards, the offense was only able to pick up 74 yards on the ground. Injuries on the defensive side of the ball didn't help things, but it's hard to imagine Byron Maxwell and Eric Rowe being difference makers in this one. It's best not to overcomplicate this one. The Eagles just got whipped by a good squad.

Offense: D

Things started off promisingly for the offense. The Eagles kept pace with the Cardinals, and trailed 17-10 going into halftime while receiving the ball at the half. But the offense was never able to generate any momentum, and had only two drives of more than five plays in the second half.

Granted, it wasn't all bad. Zach Ertz had a nice performance, and Sam Bradford hit Jordan Matthews on a beauty of a 73-yard touchdown. But those moments were--again, stop me if you've heard this before--too few and far between to get the win.

Defense: F

The rush defense gave up 230 yards on 39 carries. The pass defense gave up 274 yards through the air. The Cardinals basically did whatever they wanted for four quarters. Rookie running back David Johnson shattered his career rushing high water mark by picking up 187 yards and three touchdowns on 29 carries.

The pass defense didn't fare any better. Carson Palmer moved the offense up and down the field, and racked up 274 yards on 20-of-32 passing. To add injury to insult, the Eagles were also without their starting corners for much of the game. Byron Maxwell was unable to stay on the field with a nagging shoulder injury, and rookie Eric Rowe was diagnosed with a concussion. Outside of that, there simply isn't much else to say - the defense was just plain bad.

Special teams: C

Another ho-hum performance. Donnie Jones had some nice punts, Caleb Sturgis hit his field goals, and the returners did their jobs. Then again, the Cardinals' offense was so potent that Darren Sproles only returned two punts the entire game.