PATRIOTS REPORT CARD VS. EAGLES
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.
RUSHING OFFENSE: B -- 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
PASS DEFENSE: C -- 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."
EAGLES REPORT CARD VS. PATRIOTS
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
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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