By Peter Gleason
How to explain the bizarre fact that the Eagles have nine wins yet have committed a league-high 34 turnovers, three more than the next highest team, and 11 more than any other NFC team with a winning record.
Their 19 interceptions are a league-high, one more than Jacksonville, Chicago and Tampa Bay. And the 15 fumbles also lead the league, one more than Indianapolis and the New York Giants.
”We keep coaching not turning the ball over,” Eagles offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur said. ”We keep and keep coaching ball security.”
Six more turnovers the past two weeks led to two losses to Seattle and Dallas and dropped the Eagles from first place in the NFC East to now needing help to get into the playoffs.
The Eagles, at 9-5, need to win their last two games against theWashington Redskins and the New York Giants and need Dallas (10-4) to lose one of its last two games against the Indianapolis Colts and the Redskins.
The Eagles are the only team with a winning record that has more often turned the ball over than taken it away.
Early in the season, the turnovers were offset by the fact the Eagles had 10 touchdowns via return, either by the special teams or the defense. There were none of those in the last two losses.
”You can’t say we turned it over, but our defense scored so we’re OK,” Eagles coach Chip Kelly said. ”Every unit is responsible.”
The Eagles still have an opportunity to make the playoffs. They need help, but they also need to help themselves by holding onto the ball.
”That’s what’s been hurting us (the past two weeks),” Sanchez said. ”We need better ball security and that starts with me.”