Eagles, Vick beaten up 27-6 by Cardinals

Associated Press  |  Last updated September 23, 2012
Michael Vick was knocked into Arizona's bench on his first play and flattened in the pocket later in the series. His day never got any better. Harassed all game by Arizona's attacking defense, Vick was sacked five times and had one of his two fumbles returned for a 93-yard touchdown in the Philadelphia Eagles' 27-6 loss to the Cardinals on Sunday. ''I wish I had all the answers right now,'' Vick said. ''The only thing I can tell you is we didn't play our best, Nowhere near what we have potential to do.'' Philadelphia (2-1) became the first NFL team to open a season with two one-point wins. The Eagles didn't give themselves a chance to rally for another victory, picked apart by the quarterback they cast away and hounded by Arizona's attacking defense. The NFL's best offense the first two games, the Eagles had three turnovers, running their season total to 12, and labored all day against the scrappy Cardinals, unable to keep them off Vick. ''They played better than we did, clearly better,'' Eagles coach Andy Reid said. ''They coached better, they played better and that is my responsibility. I didn't have my football team ready to play and they did.'' They certainly did. Led by former Philadelphia castoff Kevin Kolb, the Cardinals ran over the Eagles for their best start in 38 years. Kolb was sharp in his first start against his former team, throwing for 222 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 17-of-24 passing. He led the Cardinals to a 24-0 halftime lead, in part, by reconnecting with Larry Fitzgerald, who had one catch against New England last week. The guest conductor for the Phoenix Symphony on Thursday, Fitzgerald kept the high notes going by catching nine passes for 114 yards and a touchdown while becoming the youngest player in NFL history to reach 700 receptions. Arizona's defense also battered the man who pushed Kolb out of Philly. Backing up a big road win against the Patriots, the Cardinals (3-0) are off to their best start since 1974, more than a dozen years before the team moved to the desert. They've also won seven straight home games, the second-longest streak in franchise history, and have won 10 of 12 dating to the end of last season. ''I'm going to enjoy it, don't get me wrong, but the biggest thing is being 3-0,'' Kolb said. ''Being 3-0 with the teams that we've played and the fashion that we've won, it's been exciting.'' Kolb, who missed last year's win over the Eagles with a foot injury, made the most of his opportunity with starter John Skelton still nursing a sprained right ankle, carving up Philadelphia's secondary with crisp passes. He helped set up Jay Feely's 16th straight field goal, from 47 yards, on Arizona's opening drive, then threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Michael Floyd. In the second quarter, Kolb threw a 37-yard touchdown pass to Fitzgerald that put the Cardinals up 17-0. He also helped Fitzgerald reach a big milestone in the quarter, hitting him on a 4-yard pass to reach 700 receptions in 29 years and 23 days and eclipse Dallas tight end Jason Witten, who became the youngest last week at 30 years and 133 days. ''He looked good today, he really did a good job,'' Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said of Kolb. ''He looked more and more comfortable.'' Vick, on the other hand, spent most of his day being chased or knocked down. The Cardinals hit him hard twice on Philadelphia's first series and linebacker Sam Acho caused him to fumble with a hit early in the second quarter to end a drive into Arizona's end of the field. Vick finally got the Eagles going late in the first half, only to have it end in disaster. Forced to throw it away on two plays from Arizona's 1-yard line, he was blindsided by Kerry Rhodes on third down and fumbled. Sanders scooped it up and raced up the sideline, picking up a couple of blockers along the way to a 93-yard fumble return for a touchdown that put Arizona up 24-0 at halftime. Vick had 217 yards on 17-of-37 passing after entering the game second in the NFL with 688 yards. ''I wish I could tell you,'' Vick said of his team's early struggles. ''I just know that we overall we have to play better. That starts with me. We have to go back to the drawing board and figure it out.'' NOTES: Arizona has at least two sacks in nine straight games, the longest current streak in the NFL. ... Philadelphia played without receiver Jeremy Maclin (hip) and left tackle King Dunlap (hamstring). ... LaSean McCoy was Philadelphia's leading rusher with 70 yards on 13 carries. ... Arizona also won seven straight home games from 2007-08 and set the franchise record with nine straight in 1925. --- Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL
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