PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Eagles’ ones had a little problem Thursday night at Gillette Stadium, in Foxborough, Massachusetts. The defending Super Bowl champions thought that they were there to play a meaningless exhibition against the New England Patriots.
The dilemma was that the Patriots thought that they were there to play a game. It showed.
With 12:40 left in the first half, the Eagles were down 17-0 in a game that they eventually lost, 37-20. By then, the Birds were outgained, 111-37, in total yards, and had gone three-and-out in three of their first five drives, and lost a fumble on another series against the Patriots’ ones.
Aside from the numbers, the Eagles’ ones were sloppy on both sides of the ball, though far more so on the offensive side. The Eagles were flagged five times for 50 yards, and Nick Foles was sacked three times for minus-19 yards, and a lost fumble that resulted in Ja’Whaun Bentley’s 54-yard touchdown return.
Going in at halftime, a visibly angry Doug Pederson questioned the execution and not the effort. But the eye test said otherwise. Or maybe it was a case of the Patriots’ effort was greater, possibly because many of them were still smarting from what happened six months.
That game counted.
Here’s a preseason version of some of the good, some of the bad, and some of the ugly that took place Thursday night.
Wide receiver Shelton Gibson looked good again. Against the Pats’ first-team defense, he caught two passes, one from Nate Sudfeld for the Eagles’ first score on a four-yard TD pass. Gibson made a great catch in the third quarter, hauling in a 57-yard reception.
Rookie tight end Dallas Goedert once again showed flashes that he’s going to be a headache to defend.
Cornerback Ronald Darby was one of the few ones that looked decent.
Rookie cornerback Avonte Maddox made a nice play on the Pats’ first drive of the second half, swatting away a pass intended for veteran receiver Eric Decker.
Quarterback Nate Sudfeld’s 17-yard, third-quarter touchdown pass to Richard Rodgers couldn’t have been placed better. Sudfeld hit Gibson with a 57-yard pass, and later tossed a 31-yard touchdown pass to Rashard Davis in the third quarter. Sudfeld concluded his night by completing 22 of 39 for 312 yards and three TDs.
Safety Jeremy Reaves had a great hit in the third quarter and played well as a special teams jammer.
Receiver Kamar Aiken’s drop in the first quarter on a second-and-seven from the 50. It was a catchable ball.
Receiver Mike Wallace’s drop in the first quarter on a first-and-10 at the Eagles’ 33.
Quarterback Nick Foles overthrowing pretty much everyone he targeted.
Cornerback Sidney Jones looked bad whiffing horribly on Cordarrelle Patterson in the open field, which resulted in a Pats’ 11-yard third-quarter touchdown—and 34-7 lead.
Running back Matt Jones didn’t help himself at all by having a screen pass hit him in the helmet and have New England rookie Christian Sam come up with an interception. The play was straight out of the “Three Stooges” playbook. Jones dropped three passes coming out of the backfield.
The Eagles’ first two drives on both offense and defense.
The six penalties for 65 yards in the first half.
Left tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai looked like a human turnstile against the Pats’ ones. Vaitai was later beaten by the Pats’ fourth-team defensive end Geneo Grissom.
Kicker Jake Elliott missing an extra point after the Sudfeld-to-Davis 31-yard TD in the third quarter. Elliott has not been very consistent this summer.