Paul Domowitch's Eagles-Patriots report card
In a gutsy move, Chip Kelly used his struggling, $8 million-a-year running back, DeMarco Murray, less and leaned heavily on little guys Darren Sproles and Kenjon Barner.
Here is Domo's report card for the Eagles-Patriots game. Click here to send in your own grades.
In a gutsy move, Chip Kelly used his struggling, $8 million-a-year running back, DeMarco Murray, less and leaned heavily on little guys Darren Sproles and Kenjon Barner. Sproles and Barner combined for 105 rushing yards and 41 receiving yards.
Sam Bradford returned after missing two games and turned in a solid performance, throwing two TD passes and, for the third consecutive game, no interceptions. He was clutch on third down. Both of his TD passes came on third down. And he had a big, third-and-11 completion for a first down to Riley Cooper late in the game that allowed the Eagles to hold on to the ball.
The Eagles had problems with the Patriots' ground game in the first half, giving up 80 yards and six rushing first downs on 17 carries. They did much better in the second half, holding them to 23 yards and just two rushing first downs on eight carries.
With the exception of a couple of rocky fourth-quarter drives, the same defense that got torched the last two weeks by Jameis Winston and Matthew Stafford did a very good job against Tom Brady. They got consistent pressure, intercepted him twice, including one by Malcolm Jenkins that he returned 99 yards for a touchdown, and held him in check on third down.
A huge game by Dave Fipp's units. Darren Sproles returned a punt 83 yards for a touchdown. Chris Maragos blocked a punt that Najee Goode returned for a touchdown, and Riley Cooper made a heads-up play on a late onside kick, batting it out of bounds and preventing a recovery by the Patriots.
For most of the season, the Eagles have been losing the third-down battle on both sides of the ball. But not Sunday. After two ugly butt-kickings, this could have been a stick-a-fork-in-'em game. But the Eagles turned in an impressive performance against the defending Super Bowl champs that nobody but them thought they had in them.