- Mike Sando, NFL Insider
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2012 Eagles Defense: Third Down
They had problems against Arizona's Kevin Kolb during a 27-6 Cardinals victory Sunday.
The chart shows how well Kolb fared on third down in particular. Kolb had completed 5 of 10 third-down attempts previously this season, all against New England in Week 2. He completed all seven against the Eagles.
One trend continued for Kolb and the Cardinals. They continued to strike with shorter passes. None of the seven third-down passes against the Eagles traveled longer than 11 yards past the line of scrimmage, according to ESPN Stats & Information. The average distance was 6.3.
Kolb's passes on all downs have traveled an average of 6.1 yards past the line of scrimmage. That ranks 31st out of 32 qualifying quarterbacks. Christian Ponder is at 5.6 and the league average is 8.2. But the one pass Kolb has thrown traveling more than 30 yards past the line of scrimmage was a good one. It found Larry Fitzgerald for a 37-yard touchdown Sunday.
The shorter passing average suggests Arizona's formula has been to minimize the risk for turnovers while relying on its defense to control games. A little good fortune has helped, too. The one pass Philadelphia nearly picked off Sunday wound up in Michael Floyd's hands for a touchdown on third-and-5 from the Eagles' 8-yard line.
The Philadelphia Eagles entered Week 3 having largely contained quarterbacks Joe Flacco and Brandon Weeden over their first two games. 2012 Eagles Defense: Third Down Stat Wks.