Carson Wentz's costly fumble the turning point in loss to Seahawks


SEATTLE -- All Carson Wentz saw was the end zone. And then the ball bouncing helplessly away from him.

Turns out the guy who has carried the Eagles in MVP fashion through their nine-game winning streak is human after all.

Wentz's third-quarter fumble inches from the end zone with the Eagles trailing by seven cost the Eagles a touchdown and ultimately cost the Birds a chance to extend their winning streak to 10 straight games.

Instead of tying the game at 10, the Eagles let the Seahawks drive 75 yards down the field to take a 17-3 lead on the way to a 24-10 win at CenturyLink Field.

"Fumbled," Wentz said. "It happens. It’s tough to do that on the road in close situations, especially when you’re down there on the 1-yard line.

"It’s tough to do that and expect to win, especially coming out first drive of the second half the way we did. We were rolling there. Just can’t put it on the ground."

Wentz's fumble came at the worst possible time.

The Eagles couldn't do anything right in the first half, when Wentz threw for only 45 yards.

"We struggled to get into a rhythm running the ball, throwing the ball, came up short on a couple of third downs and stuff like that," he said.

"We just had to find it in that second half. Came out right away and went with our no-huddle drive. That kind of got us a little boost.

The offense came out after halftime rejuvenated, and Wentz quickly marched the offense down to the 4-yard-line, where the Eagles had a 1st-and-goal and a chance to tie things up.

Then disaster.

On a called run, Wentz had daylight, but defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson got a hand on the ball and stripped Wentz just before he got into the end zone.

The ball bounced out the back of the end zone for a touchback. Seahawks ball. Eleven plays later, the Seahawks had a 14-point lead.

And once you trail the Seahawks by 14 points at CenturyLink, the game is pretty much over.

"We got it all the way down there, we just didn’t finish," Wentz said. "I saw the goal line, so I thought I was going to be close. I made that extra lunge, and it cost me."

It was the Eagles' first lost fumble at the 1-yard-line since Michael Vick fumbled at the 1 against the Steelers in 2012.

Before that you have to go to a Donovan McNabb fumble at the 1 against the Ravens in 2004 and a Ty Detmer fumble at the 1 against the Packers at the 1 in 1997.

"Just ball security," head coach Doug Pederson said. "You know when you’re down in that area — and I applaud the fact that he was going for the end zone and the touchdown — but at the same time, you know you’re going to be in some traffic and try to secure the ball the best you can, try to go two hands on it.

"Listen, he’s made a lot of football plays, and I’m sure he’s sick to his stomach for that one, but he’ll learn from it, get better and move on."

Wentz is always going to fight for extra yards. That's just the way he's wired. Almost all the time, it leads to big plays.

This time it was costly.

"He likes to find the extra yards," Richardson said. "He's a quarterback. He's not used to being hit down in and down out, so (protecting) the ball is something still a little foreign to him."

The Eagles struggled early and managed just 128 yards of offense in the first half. Only 45 of them through the air.

In the second half, they had 303 passing yards and 7 rushing yards, but twice drove inside the Seattle 25-yard-line and failed to score.

"We were just trying to figure out what was working for us through the ground, through the air," Wentz said. "We obviously were a little stagnant there early on."

Wentz finished 29-for-45 for 348 yards with a touchdown pass to Nelson Agholor and also just his sixth interception of the season. He got picked off by former Eagle Byron Maxwell just before the two-minute warning.

"I thought he did OK," Pederson said. "He made some great plays in the second half, kept us in the football game. I think if you asked him, there might be a couple plays still left out there, but (he was) under duress a little bit some of the night."

The Eagles actually outgained the Seahawks by more than 100 yards (425 to 310), but the Eagles had two turnovers, the Seahawks none.

This was only the fourth time in franchise history the Eagles netted 425 or more yards of offense but scored just one touchdown.

"That’s the story of the game really," Wentz said. "We turned the ball over, they didn’t, and in a road game like this, in this atmosphere, against a great team like they are, it’s tough to win when you do that."

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