Final, 42-35 Patriots: That’s all she wrote, as the Pats are able to run out the clock. That sure was a wild one, thanks for following along.
Fourth quarter, 4:38, 42-35 Patriots: The fans who stuck it out in Foxboro are letting out some roars after they just witnessed a goal line stand.
The Eagles tried on three straight plays to plunge it in from the 1-yard line, and they were stopped each time. Impressive stuff from the backups on the interior.
Pats take over on their own 1-foot line.
Fourth quarter, 8:32, 42-35 Patriots: New England really seemed to have something going there, but a 10-yard loss on a third-down sack set them back a bit. Stephen Gostkowski then pulled his field goal attempt wide, and the score remains 42-35. Hopefully Chip Kelly knows that if his Eagles score, he’ll have to go for two. We don’t “do” overtime in these preseason games.
End of third quarter, 42-35 Patriots: A million penalties helped to confuse that Eagles drive, but I do know this: It ended in a touchdown. Henry Josey slipped through a few tackles along the right sideline and crept his way into the end zone to make this a one-score game.
Third quarter, 4:22, 42-28 Patriots: If you blinked, you missed another Eagles turnover. Matt Barkley’s pass to Damaris Johnson was right on the money, but the receiver let it bounce off his chest. The ball ended up right in the arms of Nate Ebner, and the Patritos’ offense is back on the field.
Third quarter, 5:15, 42-28 Patriots: Ryan Mallett threw it up there, and Brian Tyms went up and got it. Touchdown.
Mallett looks a lot better this week than he did last week, and that 17-yard touchdown pass extends the Pats’ lead to 42-28.
What was better than the catch was Tyms’ celebration, as he got up after making the nice catch along the boundary and then did the celebration that Randy Moss made famous.
Third quarter, 6:13, 35-28 Patriots: A change to the pace of points after points after points is welcome here, as Malcolm Butler helps force a fumble (along with Nate Ebner) and then recovers it. Pats take over inside the Philly 25.
Third quarter, 6:23, 35-28 Patriots: If you came to see points, you aren’t disappointed. Sparked by a 23-yard pass from Mallett to Boyce, the Pats got moving down the field, and Roy Finch finished off the drive with a 10-yard touchdown run. Points and points and points and points. Hope you weren’t hoping to see defense in this second half.
Third quarter, 9:36, 28-28: Mark Sanchez is tearing through the Patriots’ offense like a warm knife through butter. Sanchez is now 11-for-12 for 117 yards and two touchdowns. Yes, it’s the same Mark Sanchez from the New York Jets.
The incompletion, of course, was an interception, which kind of takes the shine off that “near perfect” description. But hey, he looks pretty good out there, and he’s having no problem tearing up the Pats’ D.
Third quarter, 13:39, 28-21 Patriots: With nowhere to go on third down, Mallett simply took off and scored this one on his own. Mallet scrambled out of the pocket and found plenty of room to run in a 6-yard touchdown. Pretty good start for him, and the Pats are back on top.
Third quarter, 14:24, 21-21: Mark Sanchez hung onto the ball a little too long, and Duron Harmon just played center field and waited. Once Sanchez released the pass, Harmon broke on it and returned it all the way to the Philadelphia 12-yard line.
Ryan Mallett on to QB the Pats.
Third quarter, 15:00, 21-21: We are underway in the second half.
Halftime, 21-21: Hey, look at that — it’s halftime! And it only took an hour and 40 minutes!
Clearly, football with this many flags can’t happen, and what’s crazy is that the flags have stopped flying every other play. The first quarter was just so long and had no flow that it’s hard to get a great grasp of the big picture.
We do know this: Jimmy Garoppolo has cooled since his hot start. He started out going 4-for-5 for 56 yards and two touchdowns, but he’s 2-for-7 for 16 yards since.
The Pats’ defense had a pretty good half, only giving up touchdowns on the short field after the blocked punt and late in the half with the second units going on.
Second quarter, :41, 21-21: Mark Sanchez just drove his team all the way down the field, something he’s done a number of times. The Eagles scored quite the touchdown when Momah bobbled a pass in the end zone and the ball popped up into the hands of Arrelious Benn. The play was reviewed and there was no evidence to show that the ball hit the turf. Tie football game.
Second quarter, 1:49, 21-14 Patriots: After a drive to nowhere, the Patriots punted. Matthew Slater was aggressive in punt coverage, and the Eagles start this drive at their own 38.
Second quarter, 3:35, 21-14 Patriots: Nick Foles, the touchdown machine, breaks through, hitting Zach Ertz right at the goal line for the Eagles’ first offensive touchdown of the night. It was bound to happen after the Eagles took over so deep in Pats territory after the blocked punt.
Patrick Chung drew some oohs and ahhs from the crowd after he walloped Brent Celek with a massive hit early in the drive. Chung drove his helmet through Celek’s chest and knocked the tight end’s helmet off. Hard hits have never been difficult for Chung to make.
Second quarter, 5:20, 21-7 Patriots: The Eagles come up with their first third-down stop of the night, and then they block the first Ryan Allen punt. Arrelious Benn broke through the middle of the line and got in on Allen to make the block.
Second quarter, 6:12, 21-7 Patriots: A third-down penalty on Patrick Chung doesn’t end up hurting the Patriots, as Alex Henery’s 47-yard field goal attempt sails well wide to the right. The strong showing continues for the Patriots’ defense, which hasn’t given up any points.
The Eagles’ offense has just 63 yards on 13 plays tonight.
Second quarter, 8:44, 21-7 Patriots: The legend of Jimmy G continues.
The quarterback hit Brandon LaFell perfectly on a deep out for a gain of 26 yards to cross midfield on a third down early in the drive, and the duo connected yet again on a third-and-goal for a touchdown. Garoppolo showed some nice touch to get that one over some traffic and into the hands of LaFell to give the Pats a 21-7 lead.
Noteworthy in that drive was a Stevan Ridley fumble. It wouldn’t have stood up on replay review, because his knee was down before losing it, but James Develin’s recovery made such a review unnecessary. Regardless, Ridley has one job really, and that’s to hold on to the ball. He can’t be losing it.
End of first quarter, 14-7 Patriots: Rob Ninkovich swooped around Nick Foles and was able to close in on the QB for a sack on third-and-8 to force a turnover on downs. So far, so good from the defense.
Edelman made an eight-yard return, and Ridley gained four up the gut, and the first quarter is officially over.
First quarter, 2:39, 14-7 Patriots: Jimmy Garoppolo and James Develin connected twice for big gains. The first was a rollout right, and the QB hit the fullback in stride for a gain of about 13 yards. A few plays later, on second-and-goal from the 15, Develin again got free, this time in the left flat. Garoppolo made the easy pass, and the big man made the catch — looking like Calvin Johnson while hauling it in over his shoulder — and barreled into the end zone to give the Pats the lead.
First quarter, 5:01, 7-7: The Eagles’ offense got a whopping one play in before turning it over. Dont’a Hightower lit up Ifeanyi Momah over the middle, knocking the ball loose after a pass. Tommy Kelly recovered it, and the Pats have the ball again.
Jimmy Garoppolo — and not Ryan Mallett — is in at QB. Interesting.
First quarter, 5:09, 7-7: Thirty-seven minutes after the game begins, we get to see the Eagles’ offense take the field.
First quarter, 5:09, 7-7: What. A. Mess.
Somehow, through a downpour of yellow flags, the Patriots persevered to score a touchdown.
I’d recap all of the penalty calls, but I don’t have a calculator handy. It’s honestly hard to keep track.
Instead, I’ll run through a few of the better plays of the touchdown drive for the Pats:
Shane Vereen came in for James White and immediately made an impact, running a swing route to the right side and gaining 12 yards.
Julian Edelman hauled in a deep pass down the left sideline. He was ruled to be out of bounds, but defensive pass interference was called. (Belichick asking the officiating crew for explanations led to a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty on the head coach. Bill is in midseason form.)
On third-and-14, Brady threw a perfect back-shoulder pass to Thompkins, whose momentum carried him across the goal line.
It’s a tie game — after the officials reviewed the score, of course. Tough pace to this one so far.
Oh, also: Cary Williams pulled his hamstring on that interception. He’s out for the rest of the night.
First quarter, 10:41, 7-0 Eagles: Tom Brady was running a very successful drive down the field, connecting with Edelman and Amendola on different third downs to keep the drive alive. But then Brady threw to Steve Maneri, who took a few extra steps and never turned his head. Brady’s pass sailed to an area, unbeknownst to Maneri, and cornerback Cary Williams — he of the large mouth — made the easy pick and took it 77 yards for a touchdown.
Chances are that Maneri never gets another pass from Tom Brady.
Of note: Brady ran after Williams and made a diving attempt at a tackle. That’s not really what the Patriots want him to try to do. A stray knee to the helmet could derail the season.
First quarter, 15:00: Here we go, for the first time since last year’s divisional playoff round, it’s time for some football at Gillette.
The Patriots received the opening kick from Alex Henery, taking the touchback. It’s first-and-10 from the 20. Tom Brady is on the field.
7:18 p.m.: Closing in on kickoff at Gillette.
As expected, Jerod Mayo is not uniform, as he’s been out of practice this week. Alfonzo Dennard is also not in uniform for New England.
Rob Gronkowski also isn’t playing tonight, but nobody expected him to be in there.
6:18 p.m.: We won’t be seeing Jeremy Maclin tonight for the Eagles, as he is out.
6:08 p.m.: The photograph on tonight’s season ticket depicts a franchise-turning moment in Patriots history:
5 p.m.: Everybody knows that the events that take place on the field tonight at Gillette Stadium don’t really mean much, considering this is just Week 2 of the preseason. But still, there’s always a level of excitement to see the Patriots in full uniform under the bright lights.
And bully for us, it seems as though we’ll be graced with the presence of one Mr. Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr. this evening.
It’s unclear just how much we’ll get to see of Tom Brady and the starters, but it’s safe to assume that with just a few weeks left before these games really count, they should get a decent amount of work in. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Brady under center for the whole first quarter, perhaps getting a few series with Stevan Ridley behind him, as well as a couple with rookie James White.
As far as the offense goes, I’ll be looking specifically to see how well Brady has his timing down with two receivers: Brandon LaFell and Danny Amendola. LaFell, obviously, is the new guy, and he looked OK last week with Ryan Mallett. But let’s see how he does with the ones. And as for Amendola, I think his huge performance in Week 1 last year got lost in the shuffle of his groin injury and the subsequent time he missed, and I think he can be a big part of the offense this year. (As with anything ever said about Amendola, this must be followed with “when healthy.”)
Defensively, we’re all looking at Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner. We won’t be seeing the Nick Foles offense at 100 percent power, but as far as mid-August tests go, this is a pretty good one for the D.
In any event, I’ll have updated right here in the live blog from pregame through the final play, so check back throughout the night for everything you need to know as the Patriots host the Eagles.
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