Mark Sanchez is still Mark Sanchez. He looked good for flashes after replacing Sam Bradford in the third quarter, but then he threw a killer interception in the end zone. Sanchez overthrew veteran Miles Austin and was intercepted by Miami safety Reshad Jones.
The Eagles have to hope that Bradford doesn’t miss much time. He injured his shoulder and sustained a concussion on the same play, forcing him out of the game in the 20-19 loss to the Miami Dolphins.
That’s a lot to deal with when preparing for two games in four days -- Tampa Bay next Sunday and Detroit on Thanksgiving.
As he did under similar circumstances last season, Sanchez finished the game at quarterback. Last year in Houston, Nick Foles was knocked out of the game with a broken collarbone. Sanchez led the team to a 31-21 victory in that game and a 4-4 record the rest of the way.
This time, Sanchez had a touchdown pass to tight end Zach Ertz negated by a penalty. After building a 16-3 lead in the first quarter, the Eagles found themselves trailing 20-19 with 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter. Sanchez threw an interception in the end zone as Miami pulled off the upset.
Number of safeties: The Dolphins had given up safeties in each of their previous two games. Apparently they have a knack for it.
That seemed to be the case as Miami running back Damien Williams took a kickoff out of the end zone. Williams slipped and landed at the 1-yard line. He was touched down, and Miami’s offense took the field.
On first down, a false start moved the Dolphins a couple of feet closer to their goal line. On the next try, quarterback Ryan Tannehill dropped back to pass.
Eagles safety Walter Thurmond blitzed from Tannehill’s blind side. Thurmond was unblocked and hit Tannehill in the back at full speed. Tannehill lost the football, which landed out of bounds behind the end zone for a safety.
The safety was the Eagles’ first since Dec. 22, 2013, when they had one against the Chicago Bears.
What were they thinking? The Eagles got the ball back at their own 19-yard line with 16 seconds left in the first half. It seemed like a good time to take a knee and get to the locker room.
Instead, Bradford dropped back to pass. C.J. Mosley, a 315-pound defensive tackle, rushed Bradford up the middle. Mosley hit Bradford hard as the quarterback threw a pass that was intercepted. The interception was negated by a roughing-the-passer penalty on Mosley, but Bradford still absorbed the hit.
Ouch: Bradford went down with a concussion and a shoulder injury on the sack by linebacker Chris McCain. On the same drive, running back Ryan Mathews left the game and was evaluated for a concussion. Wide receiver Jordan Matthews had the wind knocked out of him on a big hit by Jamar Taylor.
One reason to get excited: The Eagles’ defense played very well. Thurmond’s sack led to a safety that gave the Eagles a total of nine points -- two for the safety itself and seven for the touchdown the Eagles scored after getting the ball back at midfield.
During the week, Eagles linebacker Connor Barwin had said the team gave up “too many points” in last week’s overtime victory in Dallas. The Eagles allowed 27 to the Cowboys. So allowing 20 was an improvement and should have given the Eagles every chance to win. They scored 16 points in the first quarter, then were held to just three points the rest of the game.
One reason to be concerned: Although the Eagles haven’t gotten the special-teams touchdowns they generated last season, coach Chip Kelly said he was happy with the way the units have performed.
On Sunday, though, the Eagles had their second punt of the season blocked. Miami linebacker Zach Vigil ran past Eagles safety Chris Maragos. Vigil blocked Donnie Jones' punt and knocked Jones down for good measure.
Two plays later, Tannehill threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Lamar Miller. The Eagles’ 16-3 lead was down to 16-13. A big special-teams play -- the Eagles’ best friend in 2014 -- had given their opponent a boost.
Fantasy watch: In the first half of the season, tight end Brent Celek caught seven passes for 71 yards. Celek has been more of a blocker than a receiver in Kelly’s offense.
Against Miami, Celek caught a short pass from Bradford on the Eagles’ first offensive play. Celek took it 60 yards to the Miami 4-yard line. In the first half, Celek caught three passes for 120 yards.
That was Celek’s highest yardage total in a game since Kelly became head coach. Celek caught eight passes for 157 yards in a game in 2012, his last season in Andy Reid’s offense. Last season, Celek caught five passes for 116 yards in a game against Carolina.
What’s next: The Eagles host another team from Florida next Sunday at the Linc. The Buccaneers, led by rookie quarterback Jameis Winston, come to Philadelphia. After that, the Eagles get a short week before playing in Detroit on Thanksgiving Day.