Each week we present the Inkys, our summary of the best, worst and odds and ends from Sunday's game:
Player of the game: Larry Fitzgerald showed what a true superstar does, making tough catches even when the Eagles put multiple defenders on him, including a game-changing, lunging 37-yard grab on third-and-10 to set up the winning score. He was the difference.
Worst performance by a franchise quarterback: There are many ways to measure how Mike Vick, $100 million man, was outdone by John Skelton, a fifth round pick from Fordham in his second season and making his sixth career start. But let’s just look at the fourth quarter: Skelton went 9-15 for 166 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Vick: 4-11, 41 yards and a game-ending interception.
Best performance in a losing cause: Akeem Jordan had three special teams tackles, helping limit dangerous return man Patrick Peterson.
Worst supporting cast: When a star is out, the rest of the team just steps up, right? Well, Steve Smith, making roughly four times as much money this year as DeSean Jackson, had five catches for 47 yards and on one critical third down seemed to simply fall down short of the sticks. Jason Avant, Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin combined for three catches and eight yards.
Least significant homecomings: Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb didn’t get on the field due to turf toe, and linebacker Stewart Bradley played but didn’t make the stat sheet. Still, the two ex-Eagles now have as many wins in Philly as the Eagles do.
Worst matchup: When Fitzgerald scored his first touchdown, he somehow had five-foot-10 linebacker Brian Rolle in coverage. Even an offensive line coach could tell you that’s a mismatch.
Most appropriate celebration: After the Cardinals picked off a Vick pass to seal the game, Eagles fans headed en masse toward the exits. Peterson came off the field and waved. Good bye. See you on the golf course when the playoffs start.
Worst penalty: The Eagles were up by seven with just over 11 minutes to play, when Skelton threw an incomplete pass that should have ended another Cardinals drive. But Nnamdi Asomugha had lined up offsides (he was surprised by the call, saying it was a “new one”), giving the Cardinals new life. Next play Skelton completes a 10 yard pass and Arizona goes on to score and tie the game.
Worst pass: The Eagles practice the play all the time: roll out Vick, and release Brent Celek deep on the backside of the play. On Sunday, Celek was even more open against the Cardinals than he is against the Eagles scout team, and Vick missed a sure touchdown by a mile. The Eagles punted.
Best performance by a video board: After Vick appeared to throw an interception in the fourth quarter, the Eagles giant video screen posted a freeze frame of cornerback Richard Marshall dropping the ball. Andy Reid promptly challenged and reversed the call.