Tom Brady scrambles (Getty)
Tom Brady three for over 350 yards and two TDs as the Patriots rolled over the Eagles on Sunday. The win puts New England in the drivers seat in the AFC East, while the Eagles are left searching for answers ways to keep their season alive.
Patriots on a roll, rout Eagles
Tom Brady had his way against the Philadelphia Eagles - again.
Brady threw for 361 yards and three touchdowns and the New England Patriots beat the Eagles 38-20 Sunday in a rematch of the 2005 Super
Filling in for the injured Michael Vick for the second straight game,
Vince Young couldn't keep Philadelphia's fading playoff hopes alive
despite throwing for a career-best 400 yards passing. The Eagles (4-7)
are all-but-mathematically eliminated from playoff contention in a
season that began with Super Bowl expectations.
Angry fans made their feelings known about coach Andy Reid, chanting
''Fire Andy!'' in the second half.
The defending NFC East champions fell to 1-5 at home and have lost
eight of nine at the Linc, including a playoff loss to Green Bay last
Down 10-0 early, the AFC East-leading Patriots rallied behind Brady.
New England (8-3) scored on five of its next six possessions, excluding
a kneel-down at the end of the first half.
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Brady and coach Bill Belichick improved to 4-0 against Reid's Eagles,
including a 24-21 win for their third NFL title in four years after the
Brady finished 24 of 34, Deion Branch had 125 yards receiving and Wes Welker caught eight passes for 115 yards and two TDs.
Brady, a two-time NFL MVP, has completed 67.3 percent of his passes for
1,232 yards, nine TDs and no interceptions in four career games against
Young led the Eagles to a 17-10 win against the New York Giants last
week in his first start in nearly a year. He put up decent numbers
against the worst-ranked defense in the league, but couldn't overcome
another inept performance by the Eagles' defense.
Young finished 26 of 48. It was just his third career game over 300
Vick broke two lower ribs in a loss to Arizona on Nov. 13. He got hurt
on the second play of that game and stayed in, but hasn't practiced the
last two weeks. It's uncertain whether Vick can play when Philadelphia
visits Seattle on Thursday night.
After a fast start, the Eagles fizzled.
Vince Young tackled by Patriots DL Mark Anderson Nov. 27, 2011 (Rich
Brady engineered a 70-yard drive capped by BenJarvus Green-Ellis'
4-yard TD run to cut it to 10-7. The Pats converted two third downs on
the drive, including two by penalty.
Helped by a missed call, New England's defense then forced a
three-and-out. Young was sacked by Rob Ninkovich, who spun the
quarterback down by pulling his facemask. But the referees didn't see
it, eliciting loud boos from the crowd when the replay was shown on the
One play after just-signed Tiquan Underwood dropped a wide-open pass,
Brady connected with Branch for 63 yards to the Eagles 1 on a
third-and-13. Green-Ellis scored on the next play to put the Patriots
Antwaun Molden intercepted Young's deep pass intended for DeSean Jackson on Philadelphia's next play and returned it 27 yards to the
Eagles 34. But the Patriots couldn't convert the turnover into points.
Stephen Gostkowski missed a 39-yard field goal wide right.
No problem for Brady and Co.
The Eagles went three-and-out again, and the Patriots went to a
no-huddle when they got the ball back.
Welker blew past the secondary and Brady hit his wide-open target in
stride for a 41-yard TD pass to give New England a 21-10 lead.
DeSean Jackson dropped what should've been a 4-yard TD pass and the
Eagles settled for a 22-yard field goal to get within 21-13.
It was the second time in the first half that Jackson appeared to shy
away from contact and dropped a pass across the middle. Fans let him
hear it with a chorus of boos. Jackson, a two-time Pro Bowl pick, is in
the final year of his rookie contract and has been unhappy that he
didn't get a new deal. He dropped a deep pass that should've been a TD
in the third quarter.
The Patriots got the ball to start the second half and Brady led them
into the end zone again, tossing a 9-yard TD pass to Welker for a 31-13
Brady threw a 24-yard TD pass to Rob Gronkowski to extend it to 38-13
in the fourth quarter.
Young came out firing. He tossed a 22-yard pass to Brent Celek on the
first play from scrimmage. Then he connected with Riley Cooper for 58
yards to the Patriots 4. LeSean McCoy ran in from the 2 to give the
Eagles a 7-0 lead.
Young hit Jackson for a 44-yard gain to the Patriots 36 on the first
play of the next series. The Eagles' drive stalled at the 25 after
three consecutive dropped passes, and Alex Henery kicked a 43-yard
field goal to make it 10-0.
Besides Vick, the Eagles didn't have leading receiver Jeremy Maclin or
nickel cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha didn't start after injuring his knee in practice on
Thanksgiving Day, though he played in some situations.
The Patriots played without three starters: cornerback Devin McCourty,
safety Patrick Chung and center Dan Connolly.
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