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The Philadelphia Eagles were off to a hot start with Vince Young at quarterback against the New England Patriots with a 10-0 lead through most of the first quarter of play. The Patriots, particularly Tom Brady, started to heat up near the end of the first quarter. The Eagles' lead had evaporated early into the second quarter. The Patriots never looked back en route to a 38-20 victory.
The Patriots used a 17-point second quarter to push away from the Eagles. Brady had a big day with 364 yards passing and three touchdowns. Young countered with 400 yards passing but did not get his first touchdown pass until there was only 36 seconds remaining in the game. He also threw one interception. The Eagles actually outgained the Patriots 466-459 but just couldn't put enough touchdowns on the board to make this a competitive affair. LeSean McCoy had the only other Eagles' touchdown on a 2-yard run in the first quarter.
With the loss the Eagles, fall to 4-7 overall and 1-5 at home. The Patriots improve to 8-3.
The Eagles once led this game 10-0. That lead only lasted until the second quarter.
Tom Brady's third touchdown pass of the game took until the fourth quarter, but the damage had long been done on the scoreboard. A 17-point scoring burst from the Patriots erased the early lead the Eagles held. Philadelphia had for the most part kept Rob Gronkowski, who burned the Chiefs last week for two important scores, in check. With the latest Brady touchdown, only Deion Branch didn't score a long touchdown for the Patriots out of Branch, Gronkowski and Wes Welker. Branch did however catch a 63-yard pass which setup the touchdown which allowed the Patriots to take the lead 14-10.
Vince Young, replacing Michael Vick at quarterback for the Eagles, also had big passing numbers (400 yards) in this game. However, he didn't have the touchdowns that Brady had. Young also had one interception to Brady's zero.
It’s getting ugly down at the Linc today and the fans have seemingly had enough. The Eagles trail 31-13 late in the third and had a 4th and 1 near the goal line. Rather than the ball, they called a play action roll out where Vince Young overthrew Brent Celek on a fade pass.
It was one of those play calls that just infuriates everyone watching. The Eagles are the top rushing team in the NFL with the the NFL’s leading rusher and they call a play that cuts the field down into a quarter in the already tight space of a goal line play. The throw was poor from Young, but the play was pretty well covered either way.
At that point, the fans snapped. Very loud “Fire Andy Reid” chants began to break out around the Linc as the Eagles faithful voiced their displeasure at the coach and the team.
DeSean Jackson has also gotten his helping of boos tonight. The first came after he dropped a perfectly thrown pass in the end zone that would have made the score 17-21. The worst part was that Jackson appeared to be concerned about getting hit on the play and may not have put his full attention into making the catch. He got himself a second helping of boos when late in the third quarter he opted not to fair catch a punt that took a big Patriots bounce and put the Eagles in terrible field position.
And just as I write this, DeSean dropped yet another would be TD pass when Vince Young hit him with a perfect deep pass over two Patriots defenders. Not surprisingly, huge boos rain down from the stands. In a truly terrible year for DeSean, he just may be putting on his worst display yet.
And the “Fire Andy” chants resume…
The Eagles certainly didn't plan on seeing the Vince Young to Riley Cooper connection this season, but so far the duo have hooked up for big plays in two straight weeks. Young hit Cooper for the game winning TD against the Giants and this afternoon found him for a 58 yard throw to set up the Eagles first TD.
Cooper beat Patriots CB Kyle Arrington deep and made a great catch with the defender all over him. Arrington came into this game leading the NFL in interceptions with seven. The throw from Young, as you'll see, was perfect.
Two plays later LeSean McCoy punched it in for his 11th rushing TD of the season. He has 13 overall to lead the NFL. The TD marks just the second time this season that the Eagles have scored on their opening possession. The first was the blowout of the Cowboys.
The Eagles host the Patriots today in a rematch of the 2004 Super Bowl, although that won't mean a whole lot to this Eagles team. The only player on the Eagles roster to play in that game is Asante Samuel and he was a Patriot at the time. Of course, the two constants from that game are the coaches Andy Reid and Bill Belichick. Reid and Belichick are two of 11 coaches in league history to win at least 60% of 200+ games. Andy Reid is currently the longest tenured coach in the NFL, while Belichick is second.
Nnamdi Asomugha is active and will start for the Eagles today against the Patriots. However, the team will still be without Michael Vick, Jeremy Maclin, Brandon Graham & Dominique Rogers-Cromartie. King Dunlap, Julian Vandevelde & Phillip Hunt are the other inactives.
On the injury front, the Patriots are severely depleted in the second and will miss starters Patrick Chung and Devin McCourty. WR Chad Ochocinco, LB Brandon Spikes & G Dan Connolly will also miss today's game.
The Patriots defense is a bit of an enigma. They give up tons of yardage, the most in the league actually, but are pretty stingy when it comes to points. In fact, they’re allowing 20.3 points per game, which is 10th best in the NFL. However, the amount of yards they give up, over 400 per game, is a major concern in New England. It makes their low points per game average fairly unsustainable if teams are moving on them at will.
DeSean Jackson – 4.49 rec for 50.83 yds, 0.28 TDs for 6.77 pts
Jeremy Maclin – 3.08 rec for 39.68 yds, 0.40 TDs for 6.43 pts
LeSean McCoy – 18.50 car, 83.85 yds, 4.17 rec for 38.15 yds, 0.72 TDs for 16.56 pts
Brent Celek – 3.97 rec for 41.04 yds, 0.33 TDs for 6.06 pts
Vince Young – 21.64/34.74, 218.55 yds, 1.16 TDs, 0.88 INTs for 14.09 pts
And for the Patriots.
Tom Brady – 21.12/33.36, 249.50 yds, 1.74 TDs, 0.92 INTs for 15.91 pts
Wes Welker – 4.56 rec for 67.78 yds, 0.54 TDs for 10.30 pts
Rob Gronkowski – 5.29 rec for 64.39 yds, 0.50 TDs for 9.41 pts
BenJarvus Green-Ellis – 10.92 car, 46.44 yds, 1.78 rec for 14.42 yds, 0.38 TDs for 8.40 pts
"They really have threats everywhere." said Brady, "They rush as good as anybody that we face. They have two of the best corners in the league that intercept passes. They force you to throw it quick and then they're on you quick. Very athletic and it's a fast group. They're a really dangerous group and we have to go out and execute really well. I think we have to execute as well as we've executed all year in order to go out and try to win this game."
He says that the Eagles record doesn't necessarily reflect what the stats say about them.
"They're very talented - there's no question about that. You look at their defensive stats and their offensive stats [and] they're as good as any team in the league. They can play with anybody. They've had two pretty significant blowout wins and then the rest of the games have been very close. It's not like teams are running away from these guys; they're in every single game. They're a tough team in all phases."
He's got a point. The Eagles have been able to produce stats (sacks, yards etc) but they really haven't turned them into wins enough. This is a team that has scored more points and allowed fewer than the Giants and yet have won two less games.
Jason Babin says that the key to turning that production we've seen into wins in discipline.
"The biggest thing for us is that we can't beat ourselves. If we are in the right gap, in the right place, doing the right thing and using the proper technique, we can be very successful. When we don't do those things, in the past that has been giving us some trouble."
The Eagles host the Patriots on Sunday in a key game. The Eagles have enough talent to win this game, even with some key players hurt. Here is what needs to happen.
Philadelphia Eagles corner Nnamdi Asomugha cumpled to the ground at yesterday's practice with an injury to his left knee. He needed assistance getting to his feet and had to helped off the field with a cart. However, the news appears to be good. Ruben Frank is reporting this morning that scans on Asomugha's knee revealed no structural damage, but the Eagles CB's status for Sunday is still up in the air.
Safety Kurt Coleman said it was a scary scene.
"It's painful to see," Coleman said. "You never want to see a teammate go down, especially when they're holding lower body [parts]. That stuff can affect your career."
While the injury may not be season ending, the knee is still reportedly sore and his status for Sunday's game against the Patriots is in doubt. The Eagles are also already without Dominique Rogers-Cromartie, so one of the youngsters like Brandon Hughes or rookie Curtis Marsh could get the call to start.
"Hopefully, it's just minor," Marsh said. "But I feel very ready. Every week, I've been preparing as if I'm going to play, as if I'm going to be in the game plan. I stay focused, I'm in the meetings every day, and I feel good about it. I feel like I'm prepared and I'll be able to step in."
The Eagles opened the week as four-point home underdogs when they host the New England Patriots. Quarterback, Michael Vick's status is still unknown as he nurses broken ribs.
New England, which has provided Philly with a few heartbreakers in recent years, will certainly provide a challenge for the Eagles on Sunday--a challenge that might ultimately determine whether or not this club is ready to make a deep run toward the promised land.
The Eagles host the New England Patriots this weekend and the #1 thing on any Eagles defenders' mind is stopping Tom Brady. From their comments today, it seems quite clear how they plan to do that. Pressure him early and often.
The news is mixed today as the Eagles return to practice to prepare for this weekend's matchup with the Patriots. Jeremy Maclin has returned to practice, but Michael Vick and DeSean Jackson are sitting out.