The performance of Eagles quarterback Mark Sanchez mirrored his team's during Sunday's 24-14 loss to the visiting Seattle Seahawks. Sanchez isn't expected to carry the offense, but on this day he wasn't able to provide any extra lift.
Coach Chip Kelly said afterward the Eagles went into the game thinking they could run against the NFL's statistical top defense. Instead the Eagles managed just 2.6 yards per carry.
While the run failed, the pass didn't do much better. Sanchez completed 10 of 20 passes for 96 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. His 76.2 passer rating was the lowest in his six games as an Eagle.
"He [Sanchez] was under some pressure today, literally," Kelly said. "Not blitz pressure but four-man pressure we hadn't gotten."
Sanchez only ran once for 7 yards. As the game wore on, the heat increased from the Seahawks pass rush. Sanchez was sacked three times, and Seattle also had three quarterback hits.
"He was under pressure and didn't have a chance to throw the ball," said Seattle cornerback Byron Maxwell, who had two of the Seahawks' four pass deflections.
That said, there were plays on which Sanchez failed to capitalize.
"I think he missed a couple of throws too, and he will be the first one to tell you that," Kelly said.
"They really played well in their zones, really well in their man [coverage]," Sanchez said. "They took away a lot of opportunities, and then when the opportunities presented themselves, I missed a couple of balls downfield and they made us pay."
Sanchez's performance paled in comparison to the quarterback on the other sideline, who carried his offense. Russell Wilson, whom Kelly called the offensive difference in the game, completed 22 of 37 passes for 263 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions, and a 99.3 passer rating. He also ran 10 times for 48 yards and went untouched on a 26-yard touchdown run that tied the score at 7 early in the second quarter.
While it may not be fair to compare a Super Bowl winning performer like Wilson with Sanchez, it showed the impact a big-play quarterback can have.
Kelly lauded Sanchez on his touchdown passes of 1 yard to Jeremy Maclin and 35 yards to Zach Ertz, who beat linebacker K.J. Wright deep.
"He hit a nice ball to Ertz, caught him on the sideline, did a good job on the motion on the goal line when no one adjusted with Mac," Kelly said.
Trailing by 24-14, the Eagles took over on their 30-yard line with 9 minutes and 7 seconds left, but stepping up in the pocket, Sanchez underthrew Riley Cooper deep, and the ball was intercepted by Tharold Simon.
"I was kind of flushing forward, and I didn't get everything that I wanted on the ball," Sanchez said. "It was just a bad throw."
And part of a bad day, one that Sanchez said leaves the Eagles needing to get "this bad taste out of our mouth."
In a battle of elite NFC teams, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson got the better of the Eagles' Mark Sanchez. Here are the numbers:
Comp.-Att. Pct. Yds. TD-INT Rtg.
Sanchez 10-20 50.0 96 2-1 76.2
Rushing: 1 carry for 7 yards
Wilson 22-37 59.5 263 2-0 99.3
Rushing: 10 carries for 48 yards, 1 TD