Patriots Rally Late, but Fall to Eagles 35-28


The New England Patriots went down in defeat to the Philadelphia Eagles 35-28 on Sunday.

We can continue to blame the injuries all we want, but the New England Patriots were simply outplayed by the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday afternoon. Tom Brady tried to bring them back late, but 35 unanswered points in the middle stages of the game proved to be too much to overcome for the Patriots, as they lost 35-28.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Patriots quickly took the lead. First on a four-yard touchdown reception by James White from Brady, and then an 11-yard touchdown toss from Brady to the returning Danny Amendola.

After an odd onside kick attempt where the Patriots had safety Nate Ebner attempt a drop kick on the ensuing kickoff. The Eagles easily recovered, and were set up with great field position. They reached the scoreboard for the first time on a five-yard touchdown toss from Sam Bradford to tight end Zach Ertz.

The two teams then traded punts, before the Patriots were unable to run out the clock to take the game into half. On a Ryan Allen punt attempt with eight seconds remaining in the first half, Eagles specials teams ace Chris Maragos broke for the block. The ball was scooped up by linebacker Najee Goode who raced into the end zone. The two teams were tied as we headed into half.

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The Patriots received the ball to begin the second half, and Brady immediately drove them down the field. Unfortunately, Brady unwisely tried to force the ball into Amendola, and it was picked off by Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, who immediately took the ball 99 yards down field for a score.

After a quiet Patriots’ possession, Allen stepped in for another punt. His long boot allowed the Eagles to set up a return, and Darren Sproles took it all the way to the house. An 83-yard punt return for a touchdown by Sproles gave the Eagles a shocking 28-14 lead.

The Patriots let loose a little trickery on the next drive, as Amendola and Brady switched roles. On a reverse play out of the Wildcat formation, Amendola received the ball and hit a wide-open Brady down the sideline for a 36-yard game.

The trick play got the Patriots back in business, but Brady threw an interception to Byron Maxwell on the very next play. It was a deep pass intended for Brandon LaFell down the right sideline, but LaFell appeared to give up on the play.

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The Eagles immediately drove down field, scoring a touchdown on a 10-yard pass from Bradford to WR Jordan Matthews. The 35-14 lead with just over 11 minutes left in the game appeared to be completely insurmountable for the Patriots.

Two quick three and outs followed by a quick touchdown drive by the Patriots (Brady to Scott Chandler for 14-yards) kept the Patriots hopes barely alive. However, a recovery of an onside kick and another quick score (one-yard Brady run) made this one a ball game again.

However, a failed onside kick attempt pretty much shut the door, before a Kenjon Barner fumbled forced it to creep back open. The Patriots took over possession down by seven points, on their own 25-yard-line, without any timeouts and 1:02 remaining. You never count Brady out in those situations, but it proved to be too much to overcome, as the Patriots were not able to mount a serious comeback attempt on the drive.

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The Patriots have now lost back-to-back games, and are tied for the best record in the AFC with the Denver Broncos and Cincinnati Bengals at 10-2. Obviously, they are still sitting well on paper, but this team needs to get back on track. They are clearly reeling right now, and it has not been pretty.

The Patriots look to get back on track next week against J.J. Watt and the Houston Texans on Sunday Night Football.