If there was a silver lining to Mark Sanchez's four turnovers against the Packers, it was that they didn't affect the outcome of the game.
The Eagles were already trailing, 30-6, early in the third quarter Sunday when Sanchez and LeSean McCoy botched a handoff that resulted in a fumble. The remaining time theoretically was enough to pull off a comeback, but only if Aaron Rodgers and Bradley Fletcher exchanged teams and positions.
The Packers had the Eagles' number and there was nothing Sanchez or Nick Foles or Joe Montana - OK, maybe Montana - could have done to quarterback a victory.
But the turnovers were a downer not only for obvious reasons, but because Sanchez had built enough momentum from his first two games to suggest that a history of unforced errors with the New York Jets was behind him.
"I thought he battled through it," said Eagles offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, offering a positive take on Sanchez's performance. But the real test to see if he can bounce back won't come until Sunday when the Eagles host the Titans.
If Sanchez - and the team overall, for that matter - can put the debacle in Green Bay behind him and put a clean outing on the field against Tennessee, it should be enough for the Eagles to maintain confidence in the quarterback as they push to the playoffs.
"Look, we took one on the chin last week and that's the way it goes," Sanchez said Tuesday. "Sometimes you get beat up. These guys are ready to come back strong."
The turnovers, as Sanchez said of his two interceptions, were "very fixable mistakes." The second fumble occurred when center Jason Kelce fired a snap through Sanchez's hands and the quarterback tried to scoop the football up rather than fall on it.
Both Kelce, who is known to be hot with his snaps, and Sanchez said that the exchange needed to improve. Kelce, who has been loose with his snaps since returning from sports hernia surgery, was wearing a bandage on his right hand after the game. Eagles coach Chip Kelly said the turnover wasn't "all on Mark."
"I know he's got a lot going on up front," Sanchez said of Kelce, "so it's my job to handle the snap."
Sanchez's first interception occurred two possessions after the first fumble. Before the snap, the Packers overloaded the left side of the line with a safety. Sanchez said he sensed a blitz. He tossed a quick hitter toward tight end Brent Celek on the right, but he didn't see outside linebacker Julius Peppers drop into a zone out of a two-point stance.
"I thought they were coming with something," Sanchez said. "They kind of fooled me there. Sometimes that happens. I thought the ball was going to be a little bit further outside. He made a good play."
Peppers jumped the route for the interception and raced 52 yards the other way for the score. Kelly said that Peppers doesn't typically drop back in that situation.
"The middle linebacker was pushed to the inside, so we were supposed to throw the hot route to the tight end, and then [Peppers] is in the picture," Kelly said.
Sanchez drove the Eagles 80 yards in 10 plays on the next series and capped the drive with a screen pass that receiver Jordan Matthews took 10 yards for a touchdown. He completed 6 of 8 passes for 68 yards on the drive, but the two misses would have also likely produced scores.
Riley Cooper got separation on a deep post, but Sanchez overthrew his receiver. Two plays later, running back Darren Sproles beat a Packers defender to the corner on a wheel route and had nothing but green space in front had Sanchez taken a little off his throw.
"On the one drive that we did score . . . those are two throws that come to mind that were just off," Shurmur said. "Nonetheless, he saw it, and got the ball out to the right guy. We eventually scored on that drive, so it wasn't an issue."
But it could become an issue in tighter games. Sanchez's second interception looked worse on the television broadcast than on the coaches' film. Peppers got pressure off the edge and Sanchez threw toward a single-covered Jeremy Maclin off his back foot.
Maclin came back for the ball, but he slipped as he and cornerback Tramon Williams jostled. Kelly exonerated his quarterback - "I think when he released the ball, it was in the right situation to release the ball" - but Sanchez said it was "reckless."
The Eagles were down 33 points in the fourth quarter at the time. Sanchez was obviously trying to make something happen, which is why it is difficult to evaluate his four turnovers in a vacuum. In three games since replacing Nick Foles, he has six total turnovers. Foles had 13 in seven games and a quarter.
There have been many fathers to the Eagles' NFL-leading 25 turnovers, but the quarterbacks have been the most responsible. And giveaways, more than anything, have kept the offense from capitalizing on an average of 406.8 yards per game, ranked fourth in the league.
"Shoot, we're right there," Sanchez said. "A couple of plays here or there, we're so close to really breaking things open. We've shown flashes of it."
The light has to stay on from here on out.