|National Football League|
Browns throttled by Eagles 27-10
By TOM WITHERS
CLEVELAND (AP) With a season opener against Philadelphia looming in two weeks, the Browns didn't want to show the Eagles too much in their exhibition matchup.
Besides turnovers, costly penalties and just bad football, Cleveland hardly revealed a thing.
Rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden was sacked three times and fumbled twice in the first half when Philadelphia's defensive front manhandled Cleveland's offensive line and the Eagles rolled to a 27-10 win over the sloppy Browns.
"All of the things that you can't do, we found a way to do it," Browns coach Pat Shurmur said. "It's not good enough."
And it won't be good enough when the teams meet again on Sept. 9.
Philadelphia rookie quarterback Nick Foles, filling in for the injured Michael Vick, threw two short touchdown passes in the first quarter after the Eagles (3-0) forced two turnovers and blocked a punt while jumping to a 14-0 lead.
The Browns never had a chance.
With their incoming owner, Jimmy Haslam III, sitting in Cleveland's Dawg Pound section, the Browns put on another poor performance in front of fans who have become accustomed to their ineptitude. At least Haslam hasn't had to endure their suffering.
He paid $1 billion for his team, and it may be a long time before he's rewarded with wins on his investment.
Shurmur rattled off a few bright spots in the lopsided loss, but it was hard to find many positives as the Browns were throttled by a superior team they'll see again soon. Afterward, Shurmur, who went 4-12 in his first year with Cleveland, grew tired of questions about his team's errors.
"I'm not worried, disappointed or concerned," he said. "We're going to get it fixed. I don't mean to be short. Let's look at it for what it is, we need to play better. I'm encouraged because I got a bunch of guys in there that when I talk to them after the game, I could see their jaws lock and understand what we need to get done
"I think we have got a crew here that understands the message."
Vick's long history of injuries always has the Eagles worried.
Maybe Foles can put them at ease.
Filling in while Vick nurses bruised ribs, Foles stepped in and played impressively again. The third-round pick from Arizona finished 12 of 19 for 146 yards with one interception. In the first quarter, he threw a 7-yard TD pass to tight end Brent Celek, and a 2-yarder to running back Dion Lewis.
If he's feeling any pressure, he's not showing it.
"I'm having a blast," Foles said. "You go out there and play the game. There's nothing like it. I'm learning a lot. I'm developing a relationship with a lot of the guys."
The Eagles (No. 8 in the AP Pro32) hardly missed Vick, who took a shot to the ribs Monday night against New England. Vick didn't accompany the team to Cleveland, but the oft-injured and sometimes reckless superstar, who has started 16 games just once in nine NFL seasons, is expected to be fully recovered and ready for the opener.
In case Vick's injury lingers, Foles looked like a reliable replacement.
Foles was intercepted on his second attempt, when he forced a deep throw into double coverage. However, Foles, who has passed injured Mike Kafka (broken hand) on the depth chart, bounced back while facing a first-team defense for the first time.
"For being a rookie he is so calm," Celek said. "Any time you ever make a mistake, if you can come back and let that go, you're going to be fine in this league. We all make mistakes, it's how you respond from it. Nick has done a great job, not only throughout camp but through the first few games."
In three games, Foles has completed 36 of 57 passes for 507 yards with six TDs and two interceptions.
Weeden, making his debut at home, went 9 of 20 for 117 yards.
The 28-year-old was sharp early, completing his first four passes and driving the Browns (No. 30) to Philadelphia's 2. But a holding penalty backed the Browns up, and Weeden fumbled on the next play when he was sacked by Derek Landri, who came through Cleveland's line untouched.
Later, Browns running back Montario Hardesty fumbled at Cleveland's 14, setting up the Eagles' first TD. Weeden fumbled again, but the Browns recovered.
"The second one was on me, I have to take better care of the football," Weeden said. "I understand the importance of it. I have to continue to harp on it."
Weeden was constantly under pressure from Philadelphia's starting defense, a unit he'll see in just over two weeks.
"They're fast," said Weeden, who hasn't thrown a TD pass in three games. "That's what they do. Their strong suit is getting after the quarterback. We knew they were going to get upfield and put as much pressure on me as possible."
Following the game, McCoy, who has been the subject of trade rumors for months, refused to answer whether he felt he has done enough to earn the backup job.
"I don't want to go there," said McCoy, who went 7 of 9 for 74 yards. "I don't know what's going to happen."
Phil Dawson kicked a 33-yard field goal for the Browns, who were again without rookie running back Trent Richardson. He's been sidelined since undergoing knee surgery Aug. 9. The No. 3 overall pick is expected to return to practice this week, and the Browns are optimistic he'll be able to play in the opener.
NOTES: Eagles coach Andy Reid said Vick was able to throw on Friday and has improved. ... Browns WR Jordan Norwood was treated for an eye injury after the game. ... The Eagles committed seven penalties, raising their total to 29 in three games. It was a major improvement after they had 16 against the Patriots. ... Browns DE Marcus Benard suffered a left arm injury and left the stadium in a sling. He missed most of last season following a motorcycle crash.
Updated August 25, 2012