Five Big-Picture Takeaways from Eagles Week 15 Loss vs Cardinals

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Dec 20, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly meets Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians after the game at Lincoln Financial Field. Cardinals won 40-17.Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey G. Pittenger-USA TODAY Sports

It didn’t mean the official end of their season, but the Eagles 40-17 loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday night did take the last remaining bit of flexibility out of the final two games of the season. The Eagles must beat the Washington Redskins and New York Giants in weeks 16 and 17 to make the playoffs. While neither of the team’s NFC East division foes boast the same type of quality roster that the Cardinals do, seeing the Eagles stumble into the most important two-game stretch of 2015 certainly takes the wind out of their sails.

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The odds certainly were not stacked in the Eagles favor going into a primetime showdown with the now 12-2 Cardinals. Arizona had won seven straight coming into Sunday night, had a couple of extra days rest as a result of playing a Thursday night game, and sports one of the best rosters / coaching staffs in the league. That being said, very few people figured the Eagles to get blown out at home the way they did. One could make a case that the 23-point margin was somewhat hollow given the team’s barrage of turnovers in the second half, but there was no question who the better team was on Sunday night.

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So for the second straight season, the Eagles will head into a Saturday night matchup with the Redskins needing a win to keep their playoff hopes alive. In 2014, the Eagles were coming off a Sunday night home loss to the Cowboys which put their season on the brink. The difference this season is that the Redskins, not the Cowboys are the team that the Eagles are trying to topple from the division lead. Having a week 16 matchup at home against Washington gives them an added element of control. It has become essentially impossible to pick the Eagles against any opponent during this season, given their inconsistencies. Saturday night will be no different.

Here is some of what stood out to me about Sunday night’s game in the context of the remainder of the season and future of the Eagles.