Three more turnovers. Two-for-12 on third down. One catch for 8 yards by Travis Fulgham, who everybody was ready to send to Canton a few weeks ago. A 38-year-old left tackle who is going to be going to Canton, but needs to call it a career right here, right now. And yet, for at least another week, the Eagles are still in first place in the godawful NFC East.
Let’s get to the grades for Sunday’s 22-17 loss to the Browns:
The Eagles ran the ball very effectively in the first half, averaging 5.1 yards per carry. But that success was spoiled by Miles Sanders’ costly fumble inside the Cleveland 5-yard line on their first possession. If the Eagles score there, maybe things turn out differently. Sanders, who had 63 yards on 11 carries in the first half, had 3 yards on five carries in the second half.
Carson Wentz had two more interceptions, including one that gift-wrapped the Browns’ first touchdown. Even with left guard Isaac Seumalo back, even with the Browns missing Myles Garrett, the pass protection was poor much of the day. Wentz was sacked five times and left tackle Jason Peters had his lunch eaten by Olivier Vernon.
The Eagles held Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt to 38 yards on 21 carries for three quarters. Chubb finally broke a 54-yarder early in the fourth quarter that set up a 5-yard Hunt TD run that gave the Browns a 19-10 lead. The Browns averaged just 3.4 yards on 40 carries.
The Eagles held Baker Mayfield without a touchdown and got consistent pressure on him. But they again failed to register an interception. Fletcher Cox did have a third-quarter strip sack that the Eagles converted into their first touchdown. Avonte Maddox and Jalen Mills both gave up 40-plus-yard receptions.
Derek Barnett blocked a fourth-quarter field goal attempt by Cody Parkey. Jake Elliott made his only three-point attempt, a 43-yarder that got the Eagles within 2 with 11 1/2 minutes left in the game. The Eagles gave up a 30-yard kickoff return, but held Donovan Peoples-Jones to 5.5 yards on four punt returns.
Carson Wentz is a mess right now. Much of it is his fault. But there’s plenty of blame to go around. Even with the return of Isaac Seumalo Sunday, his offensive line couldn’t protect him, and his timing with his young receivers is non-existent. The defense did a good job on Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt for three quarters, but that dam was eventually going to burst if the Eagles’ offense couldn’t put pressure on the Browns. The Eagles, who were 0-for-9 on third down last week, were 2-for-12 Sunday.