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Cardinals conquer road woes in Philadelphia

Well, that was unexpected.

It had been well over a calendar year, 427 days in fact, since the Arizona
Cardinals won a game away from University of Phoenix Stadium.

But a string of 11 straight road losses came to an end on Sunday with a 21-
17 win over the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field.

John Skelton, making his 2nd straight start at quarterback for the injured
Kevin Kolb, threw three touchdown passes, including a 5-yard scoring
strike to Early Doucet with 1:53 remaining in the game to lift the Cardinals
to the victory.

The Eagles last-ditch attempt to answer that score ended when A.J
Jefferson picked off a Michael Vick pass on 3rd down and 20 with just :33
remaining.

With the win, the Cardinals improve their record to 3-6 and notch back-to-
back wins for the first time since beating Detroit and St. Louis in weeks 15
and 16 back in 2009.

And “The Dream Team”, err, I mean the Eagles fall to 3-6 and has dropped
two straight.

The Player of the Game – Two words. Larry Fitzgerald. One of
the big story lines heading into this game was Fitz vs. the Eagles’
secondary. No contest. Fitzgerald caught 7 balls for 146 yards and two
touchdowns, and made an unbelievable over-the-shoulder catch at the
Philadelphia one-yard line to set up Arizona’ go-ahead score.

A little closer to a QB controversy -I’ll give John Skelton this
much.
He wins football games. Skelton did throw two crippling interceptions on
Sunday, one that was returned for a touchdown by Asante Samuel in the
2nd quarter, and the other was a horrible throw that was picked off by
Nnamdi Asomugha deep in Cardinals’ territory that led to a 4th quarter
field goal that put Philly up 17-14.

But Skelton obviously did some nice things too, including directing three
touchdown drives, all that were at least 84 yards in length. And he’s done
a great job of targeting Fitzgerald more than Kolb had been. In Kolb’s last
two starts prior to his injury, Fitz had 15 balls thrown his way. In the last
two weeks, Skelton has thrown 25 to Fitzgerald.

And when there was a chance to win a game by making a play, Skelton got
it done–an area where Kolb has failed four times this season.

Of course, Kolb still has that contract, so there’s no way there will be a
quarterback controversy with this team. When Kolb’s ready to go, the job is
his.

And how about that defense? – The Cardinals defense did a nice
job against two of the league’s most dynamic offensive talents on Sunday.
Michael Vick was average at best, throwing for 128 yards and 2 picks. And
even though Vick ran for 79 yards, that yardage wasn’t a big factor in the
ball game.

LeSean McCoy had 81 yards, but was held 22 yards under his season
average. I’d call that a victory.