EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Carson Wentz was sacked by no one — and everyone.
On a pivotal third-and-1 midway through the second quarter of the Eagles 27-17 loss to the Giants, Wentz stumbled out of the gate after he seemingly got stepped on by backup left guard Sua Opeta. The official stats didn’t give the sack to any individual Giants player, but instead gave it to the “team.”
“I’m not fully sure what happened on that one,” Wentz said of the sack on the Giants' 41. “I know I got stepped on trying to get outta there. Obviously that’s not an ideal situation, to be in third-and-1 in plus-territory and to come up short the way we did.”
Between self-sacks, dropped snaps, and 11 penalties, the Eagles piled up unforced errors en route to a confounding loss to the 3-7 New York Giants on Sunday.
“We’ve gotta stop shooting ourselves in the foot," Eagles coach Doug Pederson said after the game. “That’s the bottom line. All three phases had a hand in this loss today with the penalties. [It’s] not good enough.”
The Eagles committed 11 penalties for 74 yards, including an encroachment penalty by Malik Jackson on a third-and-8 that the helped the Giants sustain a scoring drive early in the game.
Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham said Pederson addressed the penalties during his postgame talk with the team.
“Those little things added up on us,” Graham said. “The penalties, pre-snap, offense and defense, and of course we just can’t have those things, and that’s what coach talked about.”
The much-anticipated offense with Lane Johnson, Miles Sanders, and Alshon Jeffery all returning from injury, was also subjected to several mental miscues to go along with Opeta’s “sack.” Both Jalen Reagor and Travis Fulgham committed false-start penalties and Jason Kelce struggled at times with low snaps, contributing to three fumbles, one by Jalen Hurts and two by Carson Wentz.
Partly due to miscues on returns and a special teams penalty, the Eagles offense was consistently starting from poor field position. The Eagles had six of its 10 drives start inside their 20-yard line. Four started from the 11-yard line or worse. The Eagles' best starting position was their own 25, which happened three times on kickoff returns.
“We didn’t help ourselves, I know that,” Wentz said. “Being backed up a lot for a handful of those drives, it’s a field position game. Any time you got two teams like that going back and forth, field position is crucial. Offensively, I don’t think we moved the ball enough to help our defense out, collectively as a team, in all three phases, we just got beat and we have to be better next time.”
Graham said the defense’s inability to force a turnover was also a major factor in the team’s inability to flip the field. Giants quarterback Daniel Jones didn’t commit a turnover for just the third time in his two-year career.
“Field position was not as good as we would like it,” Graham said. “We didn’t get a turnover or nothing to flip the field. It was just tough, because we just never had really good field position with them to stop them, to help us on defense.”