Open Thread: Eagles vs. Patriots

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Photo | Jeff Fusco

It’s now-or-never time. The Eagles face a depleted Patriots team in Foxboro. With the NFC East still inexplicably within reach, the Birds look to end their three-game losing streak against Tom Brady and the Pats. We’ll pop in with some updates and thoughts from time to time. Feel free to join the conversation in the comments section below.

7:31 – Kenjon Barner fumbles in New England territory and Tom Brady will have 62 seconds to tie the game at 35. Wow.

7:27 – Riley Cooper makes a gigantic third-down catch and the Eagles are in field goal range at the two-minute warning. Birds still lead, 35-28.

7:13 – The Patriots recover an onside kick that Zach Ertz practically gift-wrapped.

7:20 – Eagles 35, Patriots 28. Here we go. A blown coverage by Kiko Alonso on fourth down gives the Patriots extra life, and Tom Brady sneaks it in from one yard out.

Eagles fans are taking it well on Twitter.

7:12 – Tom Brady doesn’t typically lose back-to-back games. He’s five and a half minutes away from doing just that.

7:10 – Eagles 35, Patriots 21. Tom Brady finds Scott Chandler for a 14-yard touchdown with 5:27 left in the fourth quarter.

7:04 – The Patriots and Eagles exchange punts, and New England takes over with just under eight minutes to go.

6:58 – If the Eagles hold on to this win, the NFC East scenario will be even more confounding. Especially if Dallas wins over Washington tomorrow night.

6:54 – Everything is crumbling in Foxboro.

6:52 – Eagles 35, Patriots 14. Pinch yourselves. Sam Bradford finds Jordan Matthews in the end zone and the Birds take a three-score lead over the Pats midway through the fourth quarter.

6:42 – End of 3rd quarter: Eagles 28, Patriots 14. You read that right.

6:40 – Tom Brady is looking very un-Tom Brady-like today.

6:39 – Tom Brady catches a 30-yard pass on a trick play, but Byron Maxwell gets payback on the very next play in the form of an interception, and the Eagles take over on their own 20-yard line. 6:33 – Eagles 28, Patriots 14. My goodness. The Eagles’ special teams unit continues to break this game wide open. Darren Sproles returns a punt 83 yards for a touchdown. Dave Fipp’s unit is throwing it back to last season this afternoon.

6:28 – Malcolm Jenkins has been nothing short of outstanding this season.

6:21 – Wow. Malcolm Jenkins catches a deflected Tom Brady pass at the goal line, and then turns it up field for a 100-yard interception return for a touchdown. As the excellent Gil Brandt points out, that’s the first time the Eagles have picked off Tom Brady. Brandon Lee Gowton encapsulates every Eagles fan’s thoughts right now.

6:15 – The Eagles answer the Patriots’ three-and-out with one of their own. The Pats take over at the Eagles’ 45-yard line with ten and a half minutes left in the third quarter.

6:10 – Walter Thurmond makes a big tackle on third down, and the Patriots punt it away on their first drive of the second half. The Eagles take over on their own six-yard line.

6:08 – Fletcher Cox update to start the second half.

5:51 – End of the first half: Eagles 14, Patriots 14. The Birds have out-gained the Patriots, 161-157, in offensive yards through 30 minutes.

5:50 – The Dave Fipp era has been productive.

5:47 – The Eagles’ special teams have resurfaced! Chris Maragos blocks a New England punt and Najee Goode returns it for a touchdown with eight seconds left in the first half. Impressive play by Maragos. 5:45 – After a sack of Tom Brady, Fletcher Cox was down for a few minutes. Seems to be okay, but we’ll see.

5:42 – The Birds move into New England territory, but can’t make it into field goal range before the end of the first half. Donnie Jones punts it away, and the Patriots take over on their own 13-yard line with 90 seconds to go in the first half.

5:34 – Marcus Smith makes the first solo tackle of his career, 28 games after he was drafted, and the Eagles force a punt. Jimmy Kempski celebrates the Smith tackle.

5:31 – The Patriots inexplicably try a pooch punt off the kickoff, and Sam Bradford and the Birds turn it into seven points with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Zach Ertz, the tight end’s first of the year. Darren Sproles and Kenjon Barner continue running the ball with success, now up to 72 yards on nine carries, and Bradford makes a number of big throws. Bradford is now 9-of-15 for 71 yards and a touchdown. 5:23 – It’s starting to get a little rough in Foxboro, so Josh comes in the clutch with some well-timed comedy.

5:22 – Patriots 14, Eagles 0. Tom Brady finds Danny Amendola for an 11-yard touchdown. After those first two drives, the Eagles’ defense has been flattened by Brady and the New England offense.

5:20 – Hmm.

5:13 – Another Eagles possession, another Eagles penalty, and another Eagles punt. The Eagles have 85 yards on 21 plays but just four first downs early in the second quarter. 5:06 – Patriots 7, Eagles 0. The Patriots capitalize on the first play of the second quarter. Tom Brady finds James White for a five-yard catch. As Paul Domowitch points out, the Eagles have surrendered 21 touchdowns in their opponents’ last 24 red-zone possessions. 5:03 – End 1Q, Patriots 0, Eagles 0. New England has the ball at the Eagles’ five-yard line after a series of impressive throws from Tom Brady, who is picking on the Birds’ depleted secondary. Brady is now 5-of-9 for 66 yards. 4:58 – Chip Kelly continues to pound the ball with DeMarco Murray despite mounting evidence that he should do otherwise.

4:56 – Sam Bradford’s first three drives back from injury have been underwhelming. An incomplete pass to Jonathan Krause on third down forces yet another punt.

Bradford is 4-of-9 for 18 yards through three drives.

4:51 – The Eagles force a three-and-out from the Pats, including another sack for Connor Barwin. The Patriots have run nine plays for 13 yards through two drives.

4:45 – A spate of offensive line penalties squashes the Eagles’ offensive momentum, and Donnie Jones punts the ball away once again.

The Birds have run the ball seven times for 55 yards on two drives so far this afternoon, but they have yet to pass mid-field because of five penalties that have cost them 45 yards.

4:39 – Connor Barwin registers a sack on Tom Brady and the Eagles force a punt on the Patriots’ first possession of the game. The Patriots picked up a few yards on the ground, but were unable to make it work through the air.

The Birds will take over on their own 20-yard line.

4:34 – As Josh points out, Lane Johnson has been a penalty machine this season.

4:33 – The Eagles pick up a pair of first downs but a Lane Johnson hold thwarts a possible third, and the Eagles punt it away for the first time.

Darren Sproles was featured heavily in the first drive, carrying the ball twice for 14 yards and catching one pass for seven yards.

4:25 – The Patriots win the toss and elect to defer until the second half. Sam Bradford and the Eagles will start the game off with the ball.