Eagles Manhandled by Patriots, 38-20
Andy Reid's Eagles were outmatched, outplayed and outcoached in a 38-20 loss to the Patriots. "It's my responsibility," Reid said of the loss.
LINCOLN FINANCIAL FIELD, PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — Vince Young was wildly inaccurate, DeSean Jackson dropped two touchdown passes and the Eagles defense was outmatched, outcoached and embarrassed by the Patriots in a 38-20 blowout that left fans chanting for the ousting of head coach Andy Reid.
The loss drops the Eagles to 4-7 and leaves them closer to the number two overall draft pick than to a playoff spot in a year they expected to end in a deep playoff run at a minimum.
The Eagles jumped out to a 10-0 lead just 6:41 into the game. They were outscored 38-3 over the next 44:44, prior to adding a meaningless late touchdown. That dichotomy matches Philadelphia’s game-by-game performance. Dominant against the Cowboys, lackluster against the Bears. Uninspired against the Cardinals, spirited against the Giants.
Perhaps worst of all, the Eagles lack any explanation for their back and forth play.
“I’m not sure,” said defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins. “Every time we lose, you know, we sit up there and try to answer this question and say, maybe it’s complacency, maybe it’s attitude, maybe it’s this or that, but you don’t know.
“You get to the point now where you’re just searching for answers. You’re trying to search for why we come out like that sometimes, and why we come out looking like a championship team other times and, you know, I don’t know.”
The lack of any rationale extends beyond the players. Eagles head coach Andy Reid can’t figure it out either.
“Listen, that’s something that we’ve got to figure out,” Reid said. “If I could answer that, I’d end it, right? So you keep working the fundamentals and the things you know are right and then, so that’s how you go about it.”
Early on, it looked like the Eagles would come out strong for the second game in a row. Young hit Riley Cooper for a 58-yard gain to set up a 2-yard touchdown run by LeSean McCoy. The Eagles gave up just one first down before getting Tom Brady and company off the field, and Young hit Jackson for 44 yards to set up a 43-yard field goal by Alex Henery. Just like that, it was 10-0.
Just like that, the Eagles had reached their peak and began descending. The Birds gained 6 yards on their next three drives, before a 78-yard field goal drive. Of the Eagles seven first half drives, three went for 217 yards and 13 points. The other four went for 5 net yards, zero points and an interception.
Meanwhile, the Patriots had solved the Eagles defense. According to Deion Branch, once the Patriots made their initial adjustments, the Eagles couldn’t get back on solid footing defensively. New England’s next five drives went for three touchdowns, a field goal and a missed field goal.
First, the Patriots pounded the ball on the ground, as a 12-play, 80-yard drive was finished off by Benjarvus Green-Ellis’s 4-yard touchodwn run. Green-Ellis ran eight times on the drive for 28 yards.The Eagles lead was 10-7.
Next, Tom Brady aired it out. On second-and-13 from his own 36 yardline, Brady found a wide open Tiauan Underwood deep down the left side, but the rookie dropped the pass. The very next play, Brady went to the same part of the field and found another wide open target. This time, Deion Branch hauled in a 63-yard pass to set up a 1-yard run by Green-Ellis. 14-10 Patriots.
The Eagles had a response, but it wasn’t pretty. On the first play of the drive, DeSean Jackson got a step on Antwaun Molden, but Young underthrew him and Jackson didn’t fight back to the ball. Molden picked it off and momentum was securely on the New England side.
On the next drive, Brady hit Wes Welker with a 41-yard bomb on a play action fake that saw Welker dart past Joselio Hanson and Nate Allen. 21-10 Patriots.
“He said before the play that, ‘If I get this certain look, then I’m going to fake like I’m running the in cut and then run the post,’” said Brady. ”He did and came to the sideline and said ‘I told you, I told you!’ So that was pretty funny.”
PAGE TWO: WHERE DO THE EAGLES GO FROM HERE? WHO HAS MORE WINS AT THE LINC THAN THE EAGLES SINCE DECEMBER 3, 2010?
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