Eagles talking points
Darren Sproles’ 83-yard punt return for a touchdown in the third quarter and Chris Maragos’ punt block that Najee Goode returned for a score in the second quarter were the difference in the game.
1. Isn't that special: Darren Sproles' 83-yard punt return for a touchdown in the third quarter and Chris Maragos' punt block that Najee Goode returned for a score in the second quarter were the difference in the game. Maragos also threw the first, key block that sprung Sproles. Also, Sproles replaced DeMarco Murray as the starter and ran 15 times for 66 yards; Murray, eight times for 24 yards. Kenjon Barner ran nine times for 39 yards.
2. Gut checks: Left tackle Jason Peters has been limited by back, quadriceps and ankle injuries, medical issues that began five games ago. He started Sunday and run-blocked well. He struggled in pass protection early, though he righted himself. Defensive tackle Bennie Logan (knee) started, too, and played well. Quarterback Sam Bradford returned from a two-game absence (concussion, shoulder) and threw two TD passes and no interceptions.
3. Sam Bradford returned and played with poise and efficiency. His two TDs were key, but so was his third-and-11 strike to blocking wide receiver Riley Cooper just before the 2-minute warning, which gave the Birds control of their fate. Bradford continued to build on his first nine starts: 14-for-24 for 120 yards and a 99.3 passer rating.
4. Suuupah geeeeenius: Revered Pats coach Bill Belichik outsmarted himself twice in the first half, which led to two Eagles touchdowns. First, after taking a 14-0 lead, the Pats tried a drop-kick onside kick that the Eagles easily recovered at their own 41, and they scored eight plays later. Belichik (who botched time management at the Super Bowl too) failed to fully run out the clock at the end of the first half, and so had to punt... which Chris Maragos blocked and Najee Goode returned 24 yards for a tying touchdown.
5. Major, Tom: Tom Brady had never thrown an interception against the Eagles, but his two picks, one at the 1 and one in the end zone, were killers. Walter Thurmond deflected the first into Malcolm Jenkins' hands, and Jenkins returned it 99 yards for a TD. Brady and his receiver miscommunicated on the second, which Byron Maxwell caught by himself in the end zone. Brady (29-for-56, 312 yards, three TDs, two interceptions) was hurt by at least six drops.