When the Arizona Cardinals lost 24-21 to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, the score clearly said who won. However, a look at the stat sheet tells a different story. The Cardinals should have won that game, based on the numbers.
Arizona had 24 first downs compared to Philly's 23. They outgained the Eagles 350-307. They did better on third down (33 percent to 31 percent). Both teams gave up five sacks.
The defense gave up only 79 yards to LeSean McCoy. Overall, they allowed 105 yards, but only 3.1 yards per carry. Rashard Mendenhall matched McCoy yard for yard. Mendy had 17 carries for 78 yards, while McCoy had 79 on 18 carries.
But looking a little further, you will see why they lost.
The main thing? The turnover battle.
Carson Palmer was stripped on a sack in their first possession. The second possession was an interception on a throw that would have been a touchdown had Palmer gotten enough on it. He was intercepted in the second half.
The defense did not force any turnovers. Correction...a questionable penalty on Tyrann Mathieu nullified a Patrick Peterson interception, which would have been the first of Nick Foles. It would have given them a chance to tie or take the lead with good field position.
Essentially, the issues that the team had in the first half of the season popped back up. The offense turned the ball over. Rob Housler dropped passes. The offensive line could not keep the pocket clean.
Defensively, they could not cover the tight end. Brent Celek and Zach Ertz combined for nine catches, 97 yards and all three Philly touchdowns.
In the end, Arizona dug themselves a hole that they couldn't quite get out of -- they were down 24-7. The fact that they were in a position to perhaps win it at the end is a testament to how good this team is.
In the end, they didn't make enough plays to make up for their mistakes. The result is that their season may end up the same way.
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