Cleveland blanks Super Bowl-winning Philadelphia
Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles threw two interceptions and Philadelphia’s starting offense struggled again while waiting for quarterback Carson Wentz to return as the Eagles were beaten 5-0 on Thursday night by the Cleveland Browns.
Foles was hoping to bounce back from a rough outing against New England last week, when he also injured his right shoulder. His overall statistics were better (13 of 17 for 127 yards) against the Browns (2-1), but he made two poor decisions while throwing the first-half picks, was stripped for a fumble and sacked for a safety.
Foles emerged as an unlikely star last year when he replaced an injured Wentz and led the Eagles (0-3) to their first Super Bowl title. However, he’s only starting now as Wentz recovers from knee surgery. Wentz recently began working in 11-on-11 drills, but he’s not been cleared for contact and there’s no clear timetable when he’ll play.
The Eagles need him. They committed four turnovers, allowed seven sacks and missed a field goal.
Cleveland had a familiar quarterback scare.
Starter Tyrod Taylor injured his left hand in the first quarter, and the sight of him heading to the sideline sent a shiver through fans in FirstEnergy Stadium. Rookie Baker Mayfield replaced him for two series before Taylor returned. Cleveland’s starter finished 11 of 16 for 65 yards.
Mayfield, the No. 1 overall pick, played the entire second half and went 8 of 12 for 76 yards and an interception.
With Foles behind center, the Eagles’ first-team offense, which was missing wide receivers Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor and running backs Jay Ajayi and Darren Sproles, hasn’t scored a point in three exhibitions.
Foles floated a long pass that safety Briean Boddy-Calhoun easily intercepted . Then, with a chance to finally score, Foles forced a throw into a crowd near the goal line and was picked by linebacker Jamie Collins.
The Browns were driving for a score when Taylor got hurt.
On fourth-and-goal and from Philadelphia’s 1, Taylor rolled left and fired an incompletion into the end zone before falling out of bounds on his left side without contact. He immediately grabbed his left hand and jogged to the sideline to be examined.
The Browns intend for Taylor to start this season while Mayfield develops, with the only thing that might alter the plan being an injury — something Cleveland knows all too well while cycling through 28 starting QBs since 1999.