PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Eagles would've been happy just losing the game.
|David Patten solidifies his position on the Patriots with two TD receptions.(AP)|
The game was costly for Philadelphia, which lost starting wide receiver James Thrash to head and neck injuries, starting linebacker Carlos Emmons to a high ankle sprain, rookie defensive end Jamaal Green to a broken right leg and backup defensive tackle Paul Grasmanis to a concussion.
X-rays on Thrash were negative, but he also has a concussion and will have an MRI on Saturday. Emmons also will have an MRI. Green, a fourth-round pick from Miami, isn't likely to return anytime soon.
"I think we'll get some of the ones back," Eagles coach Andy Reid said about his starters. "These aren't season-ending injuries for the ones."
Neither team wanted to reveal much on offense or defense because they'll play again the second week of the regular season. The Patriots, however, were much better playing a simple style.
"Offensively we left a lot of plays on the field," Brady said. "They dropped a lot of interceptions. They dropped a lot of balls they won't be dropping in three weeks."
Donovan McNabb and the rest of Philadelphia's starters played the first half. McNabb was 12-of-19 for 111 yards.
He led the Eagles (2-1) to New England's 23 in the first quarter, but lost a fumble after being sacked by Ted Washington, who was acquired from Chicago for a fourth-round pick just three days before.
"We are out there working on the fundamentals," McNabb said. "I think you'll see a lot more blitzes and different looks in the regular season."
The Patriots (3-0) have allowed only 31 points in their three exhibition wins.
Brady's 21-yard TD pass to Patten gave the Patriots a 7-0 lead with 4:58 left in the first quarter.
After Washington's sack on McNabb gave the Patriots the ball, a 37-yard pass interference penalty on Pro Bowl cornerback Troy Vincent put the ball at Philadelphia's 22. Two plays later, Patten beat Vincent in the corner of the end zone.
Brady's second TD pass to Patten put the Patriots ahead 17-3 with 19 seconds left in the first half. His 5-yard toss to Graham midway through the third quarter made it 24-3.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick was impressed with how well Brady ran the two-minute offense.
"At worst, you want to get a field goal, but he made a nice play and we got a touchdown," Belichick said.
Defensive end Ivory McCoy, a member of Philadelphia's practice squad last year, intercepted a pass from Damon Huard and returned it 66 yards for a score to cut it to 24-12 with 9:27 left. McCoy strained his hamstring on the play and left the game.
David Akers kicked field goals of 38 and 45 yards for the Eagles.
Adam Vinatieri hit a 27-yarder for New England.
Thrash was taken off the field on a stretcher after he landed awkwardly following a hit by defensive back Ty Law while leaping for a high pass from McNabb.
"It was sad to see a guy like him go down," said Todd Pinkston, the Eagles' other starting receiver. "Your heart drops when you see that."
Green was hurt early in the third quarter while trying to tackle Patriots running back Antowain Smith following an eight-yard gain.
Smith, competing with Kevin Faulk for the starting spot at running back, had 26 yards rushing on 14 carries. Faulk ran 10 times for 39 yards, but lost a fumble at Philadelphia's 27 on the Patriots' first drive.
An announced crowd of 66,279 -- some didn't show up and many left before the fourth quarter -- turned out for the Eagles' first game since moving out of much-maligned Veterans Stadium.
The new stadium already hosted a soccer game between Manchester United and FC Barcelona and three Bruce Springsteen concerts.
"It was a beautiful stadium, a beautiful surface. It was a lot more beautiful than we played," Reid said.
Eagles running back Duce Staley's holdout reached 26 days. He's being fined $5,000 for each day he misses. Reid wouldn't address reports that Staley plans to return to the team Sunday. It's likely Staley will report next week so he'll be able to start the regular season.
The Associated Press News Service
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