Eagles lose Bradford to injury and lose game to Dolphins
PHILADELPHIA — Mark Sanchez made the one mistake he couldn't afford.
Sanchez threw an interception in the end zone after Sam Bradford was injured and the Philadelphia Eagles lost to the Miami Dolphins 20-19 on Sunday.
Sanchez drove the Eagles to the Dolphins 8 with a chance to take a lead on a field goal, but his pass to Miles Austin was picked off by Reshad Jones with just over four minutes left. He got another chance in the final minute, but his pass to Jordan Matthews on fourth-and-10 only went for six yards.
"It's my job to go in and it should be seamless," Sanchez said. "You have to be ready to go every week. When you have a chance, you have to make the most of it."
Sanchez has been here before. He replaced Nick Foles midway through last season, led the Eagles to a win in relief and then went 4-4 as a starter.
But Sanchez has a tendency to turn the ball over at the wrong time and it happened again on second down from the Dolphins 9.
"He had other options," coach Chip Kelly said of the interception.
Despite the loss, the Eagles (4-5) are still in the mix in a mediocre NFC East.
It's uncertain how long Bradford will be out. Kelly had no update on his status.
Bradford injured his left shoulder and sustained a concussion on a hard hit by Chris McCain in the third quarter. X-rays on his shoulder were negative.
Bradford was 19 of 25 for 236 yards and one TD before he left.
Ryan Tannehill threw a go-ahead 4-yard touchdown pass to Jarvis Landry on Miami's first drive after Bradford got hurt. Tannehill connected with Rishard Matthews for 43 yards to the Eagles 8. He then tossed a TD pass to Landry on a ball that was deflected and sailed high in the air.
Caleb Sturgis made a 37-yard field goal to get Philadelphia within 20-19, but he didn't get a chance to try another to beat his former team. Sturgis missed from 32 yards in the first half.
"We didn't do a good job putting ourselves in situations where we can be successful," Kelly said.
The Eagles started fast for change.
Bradford led them on touchdown drives on their first two possessions with a safety sandwiched in between, giving Philadelphia more points (16) in the first quarter against the Dolphins than it had in the first quarter of their first eight games combined (10).
Bradford hit Brent Celek for a 60-yard gain on the first play from scrimmage and scrambled away from defenders to toss a 2-yard TD pass to Josh Huff for the team's first TD on the opening drive this season.
After a major blunder by returner Damien Williams on the kickoff — he tried to bring it out from deep in the end zone, fumbled, picked it up at the 1 and went down — Walter Thurmond sacked Tannehill on a blitz and he fumbled out of the end zone for a safety.
Ryan Mathews ran in from the 1 on Philadelphia's next possession to make it 16-3.
But the Eagles' next drive ended when Sturgis missed from 32 and Miami (4-5) scored 10 straight points to get within 16-13.
First, they drove to the Eagles 5 but settled for a 22-yard field goal. Jay Ajayi had runs of 20 and 24 yards on the drive.
Notes: Mathews also sustained a concussion in the third quarter. ... Celek had four catches for 134 yards. ... DeMarco Murray ran for 61 yards on 22 carries and caught six passes for 58 yards. ... Sanchez finished 14 of 23 for 156 yards.