Eagles Blow Lead In 4th Again, 21-17
John Skelton threw a 5-yard TD pass to Early Doucet with 1:53 left and the Cardinals rallied for a 21-17 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.
Michael Vick had another so-so performance and the Eagles (3-6) blew a fourth-quarter lead for the fifth time this season.
Starting for the injured Kevin Kolb, Skelton threw three touchdown passes to lead the Cardinals (3-6) to their second straight win. He threw a tying TD pass to Larry Fitzgerald in the fourth quarter of a 19-13 overtime win against St. Louis last week that snapped a six-game losing streak.
“I’ll have to look at the film,” Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “Kolb has done a good job for us this season. They’ve both had some games get squirrelly on them, but we haven’t won on the East Coast in forever, so I’m just going to enjoy this right now.”
Fitzgerald had two TD catches and made a sensational, over-the-shoulder diving catch to set up the go-ahead score in the fourth. He supported both QBs.
“I don’t like to compare,” he said. “That’s not fair. Both of them, we feel we can win with and that’s a good problem to have.”
The Eagles, on the other hand, can’t win with anybody. The defending NFC East champions were expected to be Super Bowl contenders after a slew of big-name acquisitions in the offseason. Instead, they’ve struggled miserably and have lost seven of their past eight home games.
“We’ve all got to do better,” coach Andy Reid said. Alex Henery kicked a 36-yard field goal with 5:06 remaining after Nnamdi Asomugha’s interception put the Eagles up 17-14.
But the Cardinals answered. Skelton completed a 30-yard pass to LaRod Stephens-Howling on fourth-and-2 from the Cardinals 32 to keep the winning drive going. On third-and-10 from the Eagles 38, Fitzgerald made an incredible catch to the 1.
Beanie Wells was stopped for no gain and lost 4 yards on the next run. But Skelton hit Doucet coming out of the backfield for a go-ahead TD to cap an 87-yard drive and give the Cardinals a 21-17 lead.
“It was a team win,” Skelton said. “I put us down with a pick-six and late pick, but the defense bailed me out.”
Vick’s desperation deep pass on third-and-20 was intercepted by A.J. Jefferson to seal Arizona’s win.
Asante Samuel returned an interception 20 yards for a touchdown and LeSean McCoy had a 1-yard TD run to give the Eagles a 14-7 lead. Vick was 16 of 34 for 128 yards and two interceptions. He’s hardly resembled the guy who was an MVP candidate and Pro Bowl starter last season.
“We were never able to get in a rhythm,” Vick said. “I never got comfortable. You have to find a way to get it done. I didn’t do it.”
Skelton completed 21 of 40 for 315 yards, three TDs and two picks.
Cardinals kicker Jay Feely missed two field goals in the first quarter, hooking a 35-yard attempt wide left and a 43-yarder wide right.
The Eagles played without three starters, including two-time Pro Bowl wideout DeSean Jackson. He was inactive after missing a team meeting Saturday morning, two people familiar with the situation said.
Helped by a crucial penalty, the Cardinals tied it at 14 on Skelton’s 7-yard TD pass to Fitzgerald in the fourth quarter. An offside call on Asomugha allowed Arizona to extend the drive after an incomplete pass on third-and-10.
A few plays later, Fitzgerald caught a pass that was tipped by Joselio Hanson and scampered into the end zone for his franchise-record 70th career TD. Roy Green had 69 TDs for the Cardinals from 1979-90.
Vick made another poor pass that was intercepted by Richard Marshall at the Eagles 44 on the following series. But Reid challenged after seeing several replays on the stadium’s video board and the play was overturned because the ball hit the ground.
The Eagles went ahead 14-7 late in the second quarter after a holding penalty on Marshall negated Adrian Wilson’s interception in the end zone. Vick scrambled 14 yards to the Cardinals 3 one play after his pass into triple coverage was picked.
A play later, McCoy scored for the ninth straight game, setting a team record.
Samuel stepped in front of a ball intended for Fitzgerald and zigzagged untouched into the end zone for his ninth career TD return, including four in the playoffs. Samuel’s last TD came against Minnesota in the first round of the 2008 playoffs.
Vick’s short pass was intercepted by defensive end Calais Campbell at the Cardinals 17 in the third quarter. Vick has been intercepted 10 times this season. He threw just six in 2010 when he was the AP Comeback Player of the Year.
Kolb was the Eagles’ starting QB last year, but lost his job to Vick after sustaining a concussion in Week 1. He was traded for cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a draft pick in July. Kolb got a five-year, $63 million contract, with $21 million guaranteed.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)