The Cleveland Browns defense did more than enough to shut down the anemic Philadelphia Eagles offense in a convincing victory to advance to 7-3 on the season, the franchise's best start since winning eight of their first 10 games in 1994. Sione Takitaki had a 50-yard interception return for a touchdown and Olivier Vernon recorded a safety as Cleveland's defense gave the Browns nine points in the convincing 22-17 victory.
Nick Chubb finished with another 100-yard rushing game and Kareem Hunt scored a rushing touchdown despite not having any positive rushing yards until the fourth quarter. The Browns entered the contest averaging 209.8 rushing yards a game with Chubb in the lineup -- but still finished with 138 even though they averaged 3.5 yards per carry. On a rainy and windy afternoon, the Browns continued to keep the ball on the ground and wear down the Eagles defense, which paid off in the fourth quarter with 10 points in the final frame. Baker Mayfield was efficient has he finished 12 of 22 for 204 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions, although he did record a lost fumble. Cleveland keeps pace for the final AFC playoff spot as the Browns advance to 7-3 on the year.
The Eagles offense struggled once again in the loss, finishing 2 of 12 on third down and committing two first-half turnovers (three overall). Carson Wentz continued his season-long slump as he finished 21 of 35 for 235 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions -- and has a league-leading 14 interceptions on the year. Wentz was also sacked four times. Even at 3-6-1, the Eagles will still sit in first place of the NFC East with the loss as all the other teams in the division have seven losses.
Why the Browns won
The Browns continued the tried-and-true formula of running the football and wearing down the Eagles defense, which they could execute thanks to the defense recording nine points of their own in taking a 12-7 lead in the second half. Sione Takitaki had a 50-yard interception return for a touchdown to give the Browns a 7-0 lead -- one they wouldn't relinquish. Olivier Vernon also sacked Wentz in the end zone for a safety to put Cleveland up 12-7. That was more than enough for the Browns to stick to the run, highlighted by a 54-yard run from Nick Chubb and an impressive 5-yard touchdown run by Kareem Hunt on the Browns' second touchdown drive to put them up 19-10 with 9:13 to play -- which ended up sealing the victory. Having the lead throughout the contest allowed the Browns to stick to their game plan and rely on Chubb and Hunt to protect it. The Browns also won their first game where they gave up more than eight points.
Why the Eagles lost
Turnovers in the first half led to the Eagles demise. Wentz's league-leading 13th interception of the season put the Eagles in another first half hole, as Takitaki's 50-yard interception return was another major mistake in a season full of them. Richard Rodgers missed a block on the play, but the Eagles quarterback had Jalen Reagor wide open and hesitated to throw him the ball before he was hit -- which led to the pick. Philadelphia also had a chance to take the lead on its opening possession, but Miles Sanders fumbled at the Browns' 4-yard line to take away points on the board. The Eagles finished with three turnovers on the day, continuing to rank among the league leaders in giveaways (have a league-leading 23 heading into the Week 11 4 p.m. games) -- which isn't including the safety in the third quarter.
Wentz's interception to Takitaki was his first non-completed pass in the box score -- and it was a crucial one. The Eagles quarterback admitted Takitaki made a good play, but it was aided by a missed block from Richard Rodgers that allowed Wentz to be hit when he attempted to throw the ball to Miles Sanders. Wentz also had Jalen Reagor open on the play and looked in his direction, but didn't throw the ball.
The result gave the Browns a 7-0 lead, one they wouldn't relinquish. Just a poor play from the Eagles offense.
Play of the game
Nick Chubb does this to defenders every week, but he welcomed Joe Ostman to the NFL on this 54-yard run. Ostman, playing in his first NFL game, was destroyed by Chubb as he tried to tackle him -- with Chubb giving him a back-breaking stiff arm.
A basic four-yard run where Chubb followed his blocker from the B-gap to the second level, ended up being 54 yards because of Chubb. Should Ostman have made the tackle? Probably, but Chubb also played a huge role in gaining every yard he could on that play. Chubb broke four tackles for his second-longest run of the season. The Browns scored a touchdown two plays later to take a 19-10 fourth quarter lead.
"I did not consider that" - Doug Pederson on pulling Carson Wentz for Jalen Hurts.
Wentz has thrown a NFL leading 14 interceptions on the season. He is the first quarterback since Jay Fielder in 2003 to have a game with two interceptions, a fumble, a pick-six, a safety, and sacked 5 times in a game.
The Eagles (3-6-1) host the Seahawks (7-3) on "Monday Night Football" in Week 12. The Browns (7-3) play the Jaguars (1-9) on the road next Sunday.