After the first half of Sunday night's game against the Cardinals, Sam Bradford looked to be on the verge of another dominant performance. He was 15-of-20 for 148 yards with no sacks, no fumbles, no interceptions. The Eagles were down by only seven and they had a quarterback who was going toe-to-toe with one of the NFL's best this season in Carson Palmer.
Unfortunately for Bradford and for the Eagles, four turnovers later meant the team was down by 23 points as the game came to a close and any hopes of building on their winning streak were over. Bradford finished the night with a pick-six, an additional interception and a sack-fumble next to his name on the stat sheet.
Even with those turnovers, the quarterback came away with a 91.6 passer rating, 361 yards and two touchdowns, but those were not enough to help his team earn the win.
"I think we did some really good things," the signal-caller said after the 40-17 loss. "That was a really good defense we played tonight. I think they're top five in the league in total defense. We made some plays. It's not like they shut us down all night.
"We just had too many self-inflicted wounds to really do anything. To not get points before halftime is frustrating, and then in the second half, the fumble I had, I think that's going to be a really big play, if not a touchdown, and that's a turnover. Then we turned it over the next possession. When you're playing a really good offense and a really good team like they are, you just can't afford to do those things."
Although he made mistakes, Bradford did a lot of positive things in the game. The quarterback kept the team moving, spread the ball around to eight different receivers and was able to throw the deep ball, connecting with Jordan Matthews for a 78-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.
All of those came after the quarterback's left shoulder, the same on that kept him out of two-plus games earlier this season, took a shot early in the first quarter. He left the game for one play before returning, but he was the first to admit it wasn't exactly a hit he'd hoped would come his way.
"I think with any injury, you take a hit on it and it's not fully recovered, it's vulnerable," said Bradford, who was under duress the entire night.
Now with a game in six days, the Eagles will have to heal and refocus quickly as they have what will be their biggest game of the season. When Washington comes to town on Saturday, Philadelphia knows what is at stake.
A win means its playoffs hopes are still alive. A loss means the final game of the 2015 season will be just that.
"I think everyone is a little bit frustrated after the way we played tonight," Bradford said. "Obviously, we thought that we were taking steps in the right direction and really kept ourselves in the game up until, I don't know midway through the third, fourth quarter. Then we just kind of collapsed. But, like you said, the good news is we've got to have a short memory. We've got to learn from this one and get ready for Saturday because it's coming quick and the next two games are really important."
The Sunday Night Football showdown against the Cardinals kicked off with the Eagles sporting their #BackInBlack uniforms. View the full gallery here...