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New England at Philadelphia

Patriots, Brady bounce back, punish hurting Eagles

SportsLine.com wire reports

PHILADELPHIA -- The New England Patriots pressured, harassed and rattled Donovan McNabb, and never let up.

Pats ride out their storm, but Eagles lost at sea
by Pete Prisco
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Tom Brady passed for 255 yards and three touchdowns and the Patriots' defense forced six turnovers and had seven sacks in a 31-10 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.

Embarrassed in a 31-0 loss to Buffalo in their season opener, the Patriots (1-1) scored two first-half touchdowns off turnovers and kept the Eagles winless at the new Lincoln Financial Field.

"We played better. We executed better. We scored in the red area and we played better defense in the red area," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. "It's not that complicated."

The two-time NFC East champion Eagles, coming off a 17-0 loss to Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay on Monday night, are 0-2 for the first time since losing their first four games in 1999, Andy Reid's first year as coach.

After losing consecutive NFC title games, Philadelphia wouldn't settle for less than a trip to the Super Bowl this season. The Eagles will have to get to .500 first, and they'll have two weeks to think about their disastrous start with a bye next week.

"We have to go back and analyze ourselves and I have to start with me," Reid said. "We have to get this thing turned around."

In his worst game since his rookie season, McNabb completed just 18 of 46 passes for 186 yards, threw two interceptions -- one returned for a TD -- lost two fumbles, and heard loud boos for the first time since the day he was drafted. Eagles fans who attended the 1999 draft in New York wanted running back Ricky Williams and booed McNabb's selection with the No. 2 overall pick.

"I'm way better than what I've been doing," McNabb said. "I have to go out and make the plays. I'm not confused. Consistency is something I don't have."

Christian Fauria caught two TD passes, Willie McGinest had two sacks and one fumble recovery and Tedy Bruschi returned an interception 18 yards for a TD for New England.

The Patriots' loss to the Bills capped an emotional week in which safety Lawyer Milloy, a team leader, was cut for salary cap reasons, then signed with Buffalo in time to play against his former teammates.

"Because we lost, there was the whole Lawyer issue," Patriots wide receiver David Patten said. "We know we have a good team, we prepare well and we have great coaches."

David Akers kicked a career-long 57-yard field goal for the Eagles, outscored 75-20 in their last three games, including a 27-10 loss to the Buccaneers in the NFC championship game last January.

The Eagles led 7-3 on Duce Staley's 2-yard TD run a minute into the second quarter. But the Patriots scored the next 21 points.

New England botched a 40-yard field-goal attempt when Lonie Paxton's snap sailed over holder Ken Walter's head. But on the next play, McNabb fumbled as he pump-faked, and Roman Phifer recovered at the Eagles 35.

A 27-yard screen pass to Kevin Faulk put the ball inside Philadelphia's 10. Brady connected with Fauria on an 8-yard pass for a 10-7 lead.

The Patriots went three-and-out on their next possession, but Brian Westbrook dropped the punt and Bethel Johnson recovered at Philadelphia's 14. Brady hit Fauria over the middle for a 5-yard TD pass, giving the Patriots a 17-7 lead.

Brady connected with Deion Branch on a 26-yard TD pass for a 24-7 lead midway through the third quarter. Bruschi stepped in front of McNabb's pass, and ran it in to ice it.

Brady completed 30 of 44 passes, taking advantage of a secondary missing All-Pro safety Brian Dawkins and Pro Bowl cornerback Bobby Taylor. He was 14-of-28 for 123 yards, four interceptions and no touchdowns against the Bills.

"Brian Dawkins is the best in the league, but they still have a solid team," Brady said.

Adam Vinatieri had a 27-yard field goal for the Patriots.


  • The Eagles lost DT Paul Grasmanis to a torn Achilles' tendon. He's the third defensive lineman lost for the season. DE Derrick Burgess tore his Achilles tendon in practice two weeks ago and fourth-round pick Jamaal Green broke his leg in the preseason.
  • The Eagles are 0-3 the last three years in the game preceding a bye.
  • The Eagles are 8-6 with McNabb over the last two seasons, including playoffs. They are 5-1 without him.

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2003, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved
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Tom Brady has a field day in Philly, completing 30 of 44 passes.
Tom Brady has a field day in Philly, completing 30 of 44 passes.(Getty Images)


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Scoring Summary
FGAdam Vinatieri 27 Yd, 1:10. Drive: 11 plays, 66 yards in 5:23.
TDDuce Staley, 2 Yd run (David Akers kick is good), 14:00. Drive: 8 plays, 67 yards in 2:10.
TDChristian Fauria, 8 Yd pass from Tom Brady (Adam Vinatieri kick is good), 7:59. Drive: 4 plays, 35 yards in 1:12.
TDChristian Fauria, 5 Yd pass from Tom Brady (Adam Vinatieri kick is good), 2:09. Drive: 2 plays, 14 yards in 0:43.
TDDeion Branch, 26 Yd pass from Tom Brady (Adam Vinatieri kick is good), 7:02. Drive: 4 plays, 52 yards in 2:08.
FGDavid Akers 57 Yd, 10:48.
TDTedy Bruschi, 18 Yd interception return (Adam Vinatieri kick is good), 5:02.
New England
T. Brady30/4425530
A. Smith122509
K. Faulk72309
T. Brady6704
L. Centers3706
F. McCrary1000
K. Walter1000
D. Branch689126
K. Faulk459027
T. Brown743016
B. Johnson221017
C. Fauria31928
L. Centers21206
D. Patten2404
D. Graham1303
F. McCrary1303
A. Smith2208
D. McNabb18/4618602
K. Detmer2/22500
D. McNabb653015
B. Westbrook62909
D. Staley51719
J. Thrash680024
C. Lewis336016
T. Pinkston335013
C. Buckhalter121021
F. Mitchell31609
D. Staley31608
B. Westbrook1707
Complete Player Stats