Browns smother Eagles, off to best start in 26 years
Sione Takitaki returned an interception for a touchdown and Olivier Vernon had three sacks and a safety to lift the host Cleveland Browns to a 22-17 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.
Nick Chubb rushed for 114 yards and Kareem Hunt scored from 5 yards out for the Browns (7-3), who are off to their best 10-game start since going 8-2 in 1994. Cleveland’s victory over Philadelphia snapped a five-game losing streak in the series.
Carson Wentz threw for 235 yards with two touchdowns and a pair of interceptions for the Eagles (3-6-1), who had 315 total yards and three turnovers en route to losing their second consecutive contest.
Entering the game with an NFL-high 12 interceptions, Wentz added to that total early in the second quarter following a hit by cornerback Denzel Ward. The ball fluttered into the air and into the hands of Takitaki, who scampered 50 yards for a touchdown to open the scoring. Takitaki’s interception was the first of his career.
Philadelphia benefited from a sterling defensive play of its own early in the third quarter, with Fletcher Cox stripping the ball from Baker Mayfield. The Eagles converted on the next play, with Wentz finding unmarked tight end Richard Rodgers for a 19-yard touchdown.
Former Eagles kicker Cody Parkey drilled a 46-yard field goal on the next possession to give Cleveland a 10-7 lead. Vernon tacked on two more points late in the third quarter after bulling his way past nine-time Pro Bowl offensive tackle Jason Peters and tackling Wentz in the end zone.
Jake Elliott trimmed the deficit to 12-10 with a 43-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter, however Chubb’s 54-yard scamper on the next possession set up Hunt’s 5-yard touchdown.
Wentz found tight end Dallas Goedert for a 4-yard touchdown with 30 seconds left, however Cleveland recovered the onside kick to effectively seal the win.
Hunt appeared to open the scoring in the first quarter, however officials ruled that his elbow was down on turf before he crossed the goal line on a fourth-down play. That sequence came on the heels of Browns safety Karl Joseph recovering Miles Sanders’ fumble at Cleveland’s 4-yard line.
Cleveland played without star defensive end Myles Garrett, who was placed on the reserve/COVID list on Friday. Garrett entered Sunday’s game with an NFL-best 9.5 sacks.
–Field Level Media