Kurt Warner (Nick Laham/Getty)
Arizona got the short end of the wishbone on Thanksgiving night. Historically, the Cardinals have the Eagles number, but they changed it in time for turkey day. Arizona will go on to face the St. Louis Rams in week 14. The division race could be secured on Sunday, if the 49ers lose to the Bills as the Seattle Seahawks fell to the Dallas Cowboys. Here is what didn’t work in Thursday's 48-20 loss.
The Cardinals and the Eagles had different objectives heading into the match. The Cardinals wanted to wrap up the division, which has been a couple weeks in the making. The Eagles needed to grab a win to bounce back from some less than stellar play and stay in the playoff hunt.
Arizona will likely grasp the NFC West title soon, but Thursday’s loss could be a forecast of the Cardinals' future struggle to make something happen in the post season.
Here is what didn’t work on Thursday…
--The Eagles embarrassed the Cardinals and it started early. Brian Westbrook earned both a receiving touchdown as well as a rushing touchdown in just 12 minutes of play. Philadelphia took an early 14-0 lead. In a “you’ve got to be kidding” moment, Westbrook scored his third touchdown of the game with less than nine minutes to go in the second quarter, 21-0. Westbrook wasn’t finished. He tallied his fourth touchdown of the game, the most touchdowns by an Eagles player in a single game in franchise history.
--To add insult to injury, Kurt Warner was intercepted twice on his first two possessions. The first interception was a tipped pass after he received a hit. Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald didn’t’ stand a chance. The second pick came off a pass that was just too high. Seven years have passed since the last time Warner had two picks in the first quarter.
Warner finished with three touchdown passes and three interceptions.
--The little running game that the Cardinals were working with was terminated by the Eagles. Arizona was kept to 25 rushing yards and zero first downs by rushing.
--The Eagles were stingy with the football on Thursday night. Philadelphia dominated possession. The Eagles’ success was partly to do with turnovers, but mainly because of Donovan McNabb. He earned a 126.3 quarterback rating through the first 30 minutes. If McNabb was looking to climb out of a slump, he jetted out of it instead.
--The Arizona Cardinals need to get out the toilet paper and practice soft hands. Jerhame
Urban saw the ball do a swan dive between his hands as did Anquan Boldin, twice. Boldin would later go on to fumble the football after a solid reception.
Larry Fitzgerald put the Cardinals back in the game with his second consecutive touchdown, but Boldin’s turnover swung the momentum game back in the Eagles’ favor. It was a lonely day for Warner without his playmaker.
--With the ball back in the Eagles hands, rookie DeSean Jackson hauled in a 5-yard touchdown reception, 41-20.
--The Eagles weren’t finished as Jason Avant got in the action as well, for the final score of 48-20.
--Arizona will have to save room for seconds of humble pie as the Eagles picked up an easy interception by Brian Dawkins off of Warner with less than five minutes to go in the game.
--The Cardinals defensive front lost bad to the Eagles O-line. Philadelphia won at the point of attack. The Cardinals big guys up front on the other side of the ball didn’t fare much better. Warner took many hits.