Philadelphia Eagles News

Strong Outing Not Enough For QB Sanchez

The numbers were there. They looked great. The Eagles' offense piled up 495 yards of offense. Quarterback Mark Sanchez eclipsed 350 yards through the air and threw a pair of touchdowns. Tight end Zach Ertz caught a franchise-record 15 passes for 115 yards.

But at the end of Saturday night's game, the only numbers that mattered - the ones indicating the score at FedEx Field - weren't in the Eagles' favor.

It was a strong performance from Sanchez and the offense that just fell short in the win column.

"It's tough to swallow," Sanchez said after the game. "You want to get a win, especially with some of the outstanding performances we had. It's really too bad when that happens and we lose."

Sanchez played efficient football all night long, completing 37 of his 50 pass attempts and taking what the Washington defense would give him - short passes over the middle - and it worked. His quarterback rating at the end of the night read 99.9, his third-best mark of the year.

"They played pretty sound on the backend, but we moved the ball," Sanchez said. "I saw we had 400-something yards of offense, which is great."

The Eagles traveled to Washington to face their NFC East rivals in a crucial Week 16 showdown. Making the affair much more special, is that it's Saturday afternoon football ...

The veteran quarterback found his tight end Ertz 15 times on the afternoon, piling up 115 yards on the connection. Sanchez also found wide receiver Riley Cooper for a pair of touchdowns, highlighting Cooper's best game of the season. Cooper finished the day with five catches for 53 yards and the two scores as the passing game excelled in nearly all phases.

"Got Coop rolling, two big touchdown catches - really, really good catches, too, especially the second one," Sanchez detailed. "And then Ertz went off. He had such an awesome day."

But the big day in the passing game wasn't enough to win the game late, when Sanchez threw his only interception of the game at Washington's 42-yard line. It was third-and-10 and wide receiver Jeremy Maclin was Sanchez's hot read. Washington defensive coordinator Jim Haslett brought the blitz, and Sanchez released it quickly. Cornerback Bashaud Breeland found the ball just before it glanced off the field and it was Washington ball with little time left to play.

"I knew people were going to come free, and so I'm trying to anticipate where (Maclin)'s going to be," Sanchez explained afterwards. "I'm getting the guy in my face and I'm trying to throw it to him, and I just missed it and (the cornerback) made an unbelievable play."

It was his only mistake from an otherwise glimmering evening, but for Sanchez, while he appreciated the productivity, the numbers he cared about most didn't shake out in the end.

"We lost," he said. "That's the most important thing is winning the game. Whether I throw for 50 yards or 500 yards, we've got to get a win. That's the most important thing."

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