- Associated Press - Monday, December 21, 2015

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A lopsided loss hurt the Philadelphia Eagles’ pride more than it damaged their playoff hopes.

David Johnson ran for 187 yards and three touchdowns, Carson Palmer threw a touchdown pass and the Arizona Cardinals beat the Eagles 40-17 on Sunday night to clinch the NFC West title.

But the Eagles (6-8) would still win the NFC East title if they beat Washington (7-7) at home Saturday and the Giants (6-8) on the road Jan. 3.

Kirk Cousins led the Redskins to a 23-20 comeback victory over the Eagles in Week 3.

“I know myself and I know my teammates and the Redskins got something coming to them,” Eagles linebacker Mychal Kendricks said.

Whether they win the division or not, the Eagles are not even close to Arizona’s level. The Cardinals (12-2) outclassed Philadelphia in every way on their way to their eighth straight win.

“Everybody is frustrated after the way we played,” quarterback Sam Bradford said. “We thought we were taking a step in the right direction. Good news is we have to have a short memory. The next two games are important.”

Johnson, a rookie filling in for injured backs Chris Johnson and Andre Ellington, had a pair of 1-yard TD runs and a 47-yarder.

“The biggest disappointment is we didn’t tackle,” coach Chip Kelly said.

Bradford threw for 361 yards and two TDs, including a 78-yard score to Jordan Matthews.

Deone Bucannon returned Bradford’s interception 39 yards for a touchdown to give Arizona a 37-10 lead early in the fourth quarter, sending fans to the exits.

Tyrann Mathieu intercepted Bradford’s pass late in the fourth quarter and limped off the field. There was no immediate word on his injury.

The Eagles had fumbles end consecutive drives in the third quarter. Bradford lost the ball on a sack by Markus Golden at Arizona’s 44 and Ryan Mathews turned it over at midfield.

“We made plays, but we just had too many self-inflicted wounds,” Bradford said.

Johnson broke several tackles on his long run to give the Cardinals a 17-10 lead in the second quarter. He appeared stopped for a short gain, but came out of a pile and sprinted down the right sideline while fighting off defenders.

The Eagles were driving for the tying score, but went for fourth-and-1 at the Cardinals 8 and Mathews was stopped for no gain. DeMarco Murray is 14 for 14 on third and fourth downs of 2 yards or less, but he didn’t get a carry until the third quarter.

“We had a 230-pound back in there and we thought we can pound it for a yard,” Kelly said.

After forcing Arizona’s first punt, the Eagles quickly drove 53 yards to tie it at 10-10 in the second quarter. Mathews started the drive with a 20-yard run on the first play and Bradford connected with Zach Ertz over the middle for a 22-yard TD pass.

The Cardinals easily moved the ball on their opening drive and Johnson ran in from the 1 for a 7-0 lead. Palmer would’ve had a 78-yard TD pass on the first play from scrimmage but Brown dropped a deep throw in stride.

Bradford went down for one play and Mark Sanchez came in for a handoff. Fans stood up, yelled and motioned for Bradford to get up while he was laying on the field. The Eagles lost two games by a total of 90-31 when Sanchez started two games last month.

Notes: Matthews had eight catches for a career-best 159 yards. … Murray had two carries for 3 yards. … Eagles lost starting CBs Eric Rowe (concussion) and Byron Maxwell (shoulder).

___

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

___

Follow Rob Maaddi on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AP_RobMaaddi

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide