Fitzgerald makes the biggest play

Posted: November 14, 2011

Here is a look at some of the best and worst in Sunday's Eagles-Cardinals game that deserve special mention and our award: the Inky.

Inky for player of the game. Larry Fitzgerald showed what a 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.

Inky for 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 for 15 for 166 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Vick was 4 for 11, 41 yards and a game-ending interception.

Inky for best performance in a losing cause. Akeem Jordan had three special-teams tackles, helping limit dangerous return man Patrick Peterson.

Inky for 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 8 yards.

Inky for least impactful 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 have as many wins in Philly as the Eagles do.

Inky for worst matchup. When Fitzgerald scored his first touchdown, he somehow was matched up with 5-foot-10 linebacker Brian Rolle in coverage. Even an offensive line coach could tell you that's a mismatch.

Inky for 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. Goodbye. See you on the golf course when the playoffs start.

Inky for 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 offside (he was surprised by the call, saying it was a "new one"), giving the Cardinals new life. On the next play, Skelton completed a 10-yard pass, and Arizona went on to score and tie the game.

Inky for 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.

Inky for 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 the call was reversed.


Contact staff writer Jonathan Tamari at 215-854-5214, jtamari@phillynews.com,

or @JonathanTamari on Twitter.

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