By Teddy Brenner
Carson Wentz is getting worse and worse:
The Cleveland Browns Sione Takitaki’s pick-six and Olivier Vernon’s sack safety knocked off the Eagles 22-17.
In the second quarter, Takitaki intercepted Wentz’a swing pass and returned it 50 yards for a touchdown to break a scoreless tie.
Then in the third quarter, Vernon took down Wentz in the end zone for the defensive end’s career-high third sack of the day, putting Cleveland ahead, 12-7.
Thanks to those two plays, the Browns became the first defense since 1997, according to ESPN Stats &Information, to produce both a pick-six and a safety in multiple games in a season. Cleveland accomplished the feat earlier on Oct. 11 against the Indianapolis Colts, when Garrett forced Phillip Rivers into an intentional grounding call from the end zone, resulting in a safety.
As its offense sputtered on yet another bad weather game day at FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland had to lean on its defense once again. In fact, it was the first matchup of the entire NFL season to feature no offensive points in a first half.
But while the Browns defense continued to stifle Wentz, Cleveland finally got its vaunted running game rolling in the fourth quarter to put the Eagles away. Nick Chubb bounced off several Philadelphia tacklers on the way to a 54-yard run, setting up Kareem Hunt’s acrobatic hurdle over a defender for the 5-yard, game-clinching touchdown.
Through 10 games, the Browns now have their best record — 7-3 — since 1994 when Bill Belichick was the coach.