The game on Sunday between the Arizona Cardinals and Philadelphia Eagles was supposed to clarify the NFC's playoff picture, and the wild card remains just as complex. Both teams currently sit at 7-5, just outside of playoff positions due to division standing.
Long-standing NFL coach Bruce Arians made waves this week when he took a backhanded shot at Chip Kelly's offense, calling it "a great college offense." The comment wasn't lost on Bleeding Green Nation, who relished in the opportunity to point out Arians' assertion when his normally stout defense allowed quarterback Nick Foles to dominate them:
Kelly wouldn't take issue to these comments, though. Especially after a 24-21 Eagles win over the Cardinals on Sunday. The Eagles' "college offense" played well overall in the team's victory, especially when the opponent's tough defense is accounted for. In their last four wins, Arizona's highly-rated defense was allowing a mere 15.5 points per game. The Eagles put up 24. The Cards defense was allowing 260 yards per game (206 passing, 54 rushing). The Eagles gained 307 yards (202 passing, 105 rushing).
The Cardinals are reeling following the loss, and it will take a series of fortunate evens for the team to find its way into the playoffs. There were a few questionable calls in the game, but Revenge of the Birds isn't pointing fingers -- instead focusing on the defensive breakdown that allowed the Eagles to have success on Sunday:
Arizona's defense had previously allowed the Rams' Jared Cook 7 catches for 141 yards and 2 TDs. San Francisco's Vernon Davis 8/ 180/2. Jimmy Graham of the Saints 9/134/2. Also allowed touchdowns to Seattle's Zach Wilson, Indy's Coby Fleener and Jacksonville's Danny Noble. The Cardinals continued that bad trend with 3 TDs to Zach Ertz and Brent Celek. Foles had only 3 TDs to TEs all season. Philadelphia Eagles hadn't thrown 3 TDs to a tight end in a game since 1989 when Keith Jackson hauled in a trio.
There are only a few games left in the season for Philadelphia to catch Dallas and Arizona try to find a back door into the playoffs in the NFC West. It will be fascinating to see it play out.