With Bradford hurt, Eagles hope Sanchez can bail them out
PHILADELPHIA — November is turning into Sanchize time in Philadelphia.
For the second year in a row, the Eagles are turning to Mark Sanchez near the midpoint of the season.
Sanchez couldn't rally Philadelphia to a comeback win over Miami on Sunday, but will likely get another chance this week when the Eagles (4-5) host Tampa Bay (4-5).
Sanchez came in when Sam Bradford injured his left shoulder and suffered a concussion in the second half of a 20-19 loss to the Dolphins.
Coach Chip Kelly had no update on Bradford's status Monday.
"I feel very confident in Mark Sanchez," Kelly said.
Sanchez replaced Nick Foles in Philadelphia's eighth game last season, led them to a win at Houston and went 4-4 as a starter the rest of the way. The Eagles finished 10-6 and missed the playoffs after a 9-3 start.
Sanchez set a franchise record with a 64.1 completion rate, but also committed too many turnovers. He threw a crucial interception against Miami from the 9 after driving the Eagles into position to go ahead on a field goal with just over four minutes left in the game.
Miles Austin was the intended receiver and he didn't appear to make a play for the ball, but Kelly made it clear Sanchez shouldn't have thrown that pass on second down.
"We were hoping he would just take a peek," Kelly said. "It looked to me like Brent (Celek) was open underneath, just dump it down, play the next snap and get a positive yardage."
Sanchez blamed it on miscommunication.
"I thought he was going to do one thing and he was thinking another," Sanchez said. "So I put the ball (there) expecting, trying to anticipate where he was going and it didn't pan out very well."
Sanchez finished 14 of 23 for 156 yards in his first action this season. He showed more mobility than Bradford and scrambled away to avoid the rush better.
"Sanchez graded out well," Kelly said. "Obviously the interception was a big down for him, but he made some plays."
Sanchez has never been a running quarterback or anything close to former Eagles Michael Vick, Donovan McNabb and Randall Cunningham, but he's more of a threat to keep the ball on a zone-read play than Bradford.
Still, Kelly's game plan doesn't change no matter who starts.
"I don't think the offense is much different," Kelly said.
NOT-SO SPECIAL TEAMS: The Eagles allowed their second blocked punt of the season and it was a turning point for the Dolphins, leading to a 12-yard touchdown drive that helped them erase a 16-3 first-quarter deficit. Kicker Caleb Sturgis missed a 32-yard field goal in the first half that turned out to be a huge difference in the game.
Kelly blamed the snaps on both the punt and the missed field goal. Longtime long snapper Jon Dorenbos has been one of the best in league for years.
"We need to clean some things up," Kelly said.
MORE INJURIES: Kelly also had no update on RB Ryan Mathews, who also has a concussion.