Report Cards: Patriots - Eagles

Patriots win 38-20 vs the Eagles. Here are the grades for Week 11 including how did each team do, broken down unit-by-unit.


   PASSING OFFENSE: B-plus -- Once again, Tom Brady took charge and finished with another strong game. Though the team got off to a slow start, Brady finished 24 of 34 with three touchdown passes and 361 yards. The big news is the resurgence of Wes Welker, who bounced back from a quiet game the previous week to score two touchdowns, and Rob Gronkowski, who continues to shine as the league's most dangerous tight end.

-- The Patriots did most of their damage in the passing game, but BenJarvus Green-Ellis' nose for the end zone paid dividends once again. Green-Ellis finished with only 44 yards, but he scored two touchdowns on key drives. Other than five carries by Brady, Green-Ellis did all the work, carrying the ball 14 times. The Patriots didn't need a big-time rushing attack to beat Philadelphia.

-- The secondary shut down Vince Young in spurts, but certainly not well enough to make the game as lopsided as it appeared to be on the scoreboard. Young, despite throwing an interception and only completing 26 of his 48 pass attempts, still threw for 400 yards. Those numbers are definitely a byproduct of the number of attempts, but there were still drives on which New England's inability to get the Eagles off the field kept the momentum from shifting entirely in one direction.

   RUSH DEFENSE: B -- Outside of a 22-yard run by LeSean McCoy, the Eagles didn't do much on the ground. Not even Young could break free for any long runs; he had just one 13-yard carry. Linebacker Rob Ninkovich did a nice job on the outside, and even converted receiver Julian Edelman made a few plays, including a tackle on Young near the goal line.

   SPECIAL TEAMS: B -- DeSean Jackson never had a chance to run one back, and that's enough for a passing grade. Jackson is one of the league's premier punt returners, but he was a non-factor Sunday. The Patriots got several strong punts from Zoltan Mesko, none of which gave Jackson a chance to turn the game on its ear. Other than Stephen Gostkowski missing a field goal, the special teams unit did its job.

   COACHING: A -- Using Edelman on defense has worked. Edelman played 16 snaps on defense and never got overexposed. The Patriots are a bit banged up in some spots, and they've got some underperforming players in others, but they're making the most out of what they have and are doing what they need to do -- beating up on the bottom-feeders in anticipation of grabbing the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs.


   --This is how bad things have gotten for the Eagles: offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg and defensive line coach Jim Washburn got into a heated exchange on the sideline during the first half of Sunday's 38-20 loss to the Patriots. According to sources, they still were going at it when the Eagles came back out for the second half. It is believed that Washburn expressed his displeasure with Mornhinweg's pass-heavy game plan, which wasn't very effective and didn't give Washburn's linemen an opportunity to catch their breaths in between Patriots possessions.

   --LeSean McCoy, who went into the New England game as the league's leading rusher with 1,019 yards, got just six carries in the first half and 10 for the entire game. When asked why, with his starting quarterback out with broken ribs and his No. 1 wide receiver out with shoulder and hamstring injuries, he didn't give the ball to McCoy more, coach Andy Reid said, "The teams that we saw that had success against (the Patriots) obviously threw the football. They did a good job with that. They were stout against the run, and you play into their strength with that."


   PASSING OFFENSE: D-minus -- Vince Young completed just 16 of 31 passes in the first three quarters. He was 1-for-6 on third down in those first three quarters. DeSean Jackson had four catches for 73 yards, but dropped three passes, including two that would've been touchdowns, and was benched by coach Andy Reid for the entire fourth quarter.

   RUSHING OFFENSE: C -- LeSean McCoy came into the game as the league's leading rusher, yet had just six rushing attempts in the first half when the game was still close. He had a two-yard touchdown run on the Eagles' first possession and later had a 22-yard run on a second-quarter drive, then watched as coach Andy Reid and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg called three straight pass plays after they had a first-and-goal at the 5-yard line.

   PASS DEFENSE: F -- The fact that Tom Brady finished with a 134.6 passer rating pretty much tells you all you need to know about the defense's woeful attempt to defend the pass. They managed to keep the Patriots' two tight ends from doing too much damage, but they were sliced and diced by wide receivers Wes Welker and Deion Branch, who combined for 14 catches, 240 yards and two touchdowns.

   RUSH DEFENSE: B-minus -- The Eagles gave up a pair of rushing touchdowns to BenJarvus Green-Ellis in the first half, including a four-yarder in which he slipped a tackle attempt in the backfield by linebacker Brian Rolle. But stopping the run really was the least of the Eagles' defensive problems except for the fact that they let Tom Brady rush for 28 yards.

   SPECIAL TEAMS: C-minus -- The Eagles' return game was non-existent. The kickoff coverage unit gave up a 34-yard return to Danny Woodhead. Chas Henry did OK except for an 18-yard shank. Alex Henery converted both of his field-goal attempts.

   COACHING: F - Andy Reid didn't have his starting quarterback or top wide receiver, but he did have the league's rushing leader. Yet, LeSean McCoy got just six carries in the first half. Juan Castillo's defense looked clueless against Tom Brady, opting to play mostly zone against his receivers

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