Brady, Patriots rout Eagles 38-20
Tom Brady saw running lanes, tucked the ball and took off
That’s no misprint.
Brady threw for 361 yards and three touchdowns and the New
England Patriots beat the Philadelphia Eagles 38-20 Sunday in a
rematch of the 2005 Super Bowl.
Picking apart defenses is nothing new for Brady. But the most
impressive number on the stat sheet was his rushing total. On a
field where Michael Vick is usually the one making dazzling plays
with his legs, Brady ran for 28 yards. It was his second-highest
total. Brady had 31 yards on the ground against Jacksonville in
Dec. 2006, two years before knee surgery left him even slower than
”Yeah that’s a rarity,” Brady said. ”There’s just a few times
where I felt it opened up in the middle and I just took off. I’m
not moving very fast, they’re converging pretty quickly, so I just
got down there as fast as I could.”
Filling in for the injured Vick for the second straight game,
Vince Young couldn’t keep Philadelphia’s fading playoff hopes alive
despite passing for a career-best 400 yards.
The AFC East-leading Patriots (8-3) stayed in the hunt for the
No. 1 seed in the conference behind a surgical-like effort from
The six-time Pro Bowl quarterback finished 24 of 34, Deion
Branch had 125 yards receiving and Wes Welker caught eight passes
for 115 yards and two TDs. Brady’s favorite targets, tight ends Rob
Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, also chipped in.
Gronkowski caught his 11th TD pass and Hernandez had six
receptions. BenJarvus Green-Ellis scored twice on the ground.
”I thought it was more balanced today,” Brady said. ”That’s
how it needs to be, you got to run it. You got to throw it to
everybody and you got to keep them off balance, you got to screen,
you got to draw, you got to trap, you got to downhill run, you need
quick hitters, you need all levels of the passing game. When
they’re able to take a few of those away, obviously it makes it
more difficult to execute, but I thought today we did a good job of
really maximizing all of the guys out there who are playing
The Eagles (4-7) are all-but-mathematically eliminated from
playoff contention in a season that began with Super Bowl
Angry fans made their feelings known about coach Andy Reid,
chanting ”Fire Andy!” in the second half.
”The way we played, I can understand,” Reid said.
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 January.
Down 10-0 early, the Patriots rallied behind Brady. New England
scored on five of its next six possessions, excluding a kneel-down
at the end of the first half.
”Overall we did a great job of staying composed on the sideline
and making the right adjustments and doing pretty much what we game
planned for,” Branch said.
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 2004 season.
”Tom did a good job really pressing the issue,” Belichick
said. ”He felt he had them on the run with some of the mismatches.
Tom kept pressing it, guys got open and Tom did what he does best,
finding the open guys.”
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’
Young finished 26 of 48. It was just his third career game over
”Andy’s a tremendous guy,” Young said, defending Reid. ”I
have the utmost respect for him. Fans don’t understand some of the
situations that goes on during the game. You can’t put it all on
Andy. We’re going to always continue to keep fighting hard, playing
hard for him.”
After a fast start, the Eagles fizzled.
Brady engineered a 70-yard drive capped by Green-Ellis’ 4-yard
TD run to cut it to 10-7.
One play after 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 up 14-10.
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 in the second quarter.
DeSean Jackson dropped what could’ve been a 4-yard TD pass and
the Eagles settled for a 22-yard field goal to get within
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 could’ve been a TD in the third quarter, and was benched in
the fourth quarter.
”I know I am a better receiver, there are no excuses behind
that, but I just didn’t have my best game today,” Jackson said.
”It’s frustrating, but I have to figure it out.”
Notes: Patriots WR Chad Ochocinco sat out with a hamstring
injury. … LeSean McCoy has 11 TDs rushing, five shy of breaking
the single-season team record held by Hall of Famer Steve Van
Buren. … Young’s last 300-yard game was against Arizona on Nov.
29, 2009. He threw for 387 yards in Tennessee’s 20-17 win.