One of the many cruel twists to the Eagles' ugly 38-20 loss to the New England Patriots was that things started so well for the home team Sunday. Less than seven minutes into the game, the Eagles lead 10-0, thanks to a touchdown on the opening drive and a three-and-out forced by the Eagles defense. But from there, things would go very downhill for the Eagles as they fell to 4-7 on the season while now forced to face a quick turnaround before a Thursday night game in Seattle against the Seahawks.
After the game, head coach Andy Reid took full responsibility for the loss, as he always does.
"Obviously the Patriots were a better team today than we were," he said. "You obviously can't have that many penalties and turnovers when you're playing a good football team. It's my responsibility and I have to make sure that I take care of it."
The Eagles committed 10 penalties during the game for a total of 60 yards compared to the Patriots' three penalties, all of which came in the fourth quarter when the final outcome was no longer a question. Meanwhile, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was his vintage self. Following the initial three-and-out from the Patriots offense, Brady led eight drives, not including a kneel-down at the end of the first half. On those eight drives, the Patriots produced five touchdowns, one field goal, one missed field goal and a single punt. On the day, Brady threw for 361 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions and a quarterback rating of 134.6.
"We have to play a little tighter on the defensive side," said Reid after the game.
Of course, the Eagles are not the first team to fall victim to Brady's brilliance. But for a defense that prides itself on pressuring the quarterback, notching only one sack was certainly a disappointment.
Defensive coordinator Juan Castillo "mixed it up," Reid said. "We did blitz, but there weren't a lot of things working. (Brady) was getting the ball out fast, and he did a nice job. His receivers did a nice job, so you have to give compliments to them."
Defensively, the Eagles were without the full services of Pro Bowl cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, who had been questionable coming into the game with a hyperextended knee. Asomugha played sparingly in third-down situations, which Reid said was mainly to cover the tight ends. Reid also addressed his decision to remove wide receiver DeSean Jackson from the game in the fourth quarter.
"I just wanted to give other guys an opportunity," he said (for more on Jackson's fourth-quarter absence, click here).
Reid said that the only significant injury to report was a sprained ankle for linebacker Moise Fokou. The head coach will now prepare his team for the difficult task of moving beyond the loss and preparing for a truncated week of practice before they fly to Seattle on Wednesday. Still, despite their three-game hole in the NFC East, Reid has not lost hope.
"None of us can predict the future and how things will go," he said. "There are a lot of different variables there, so you keep fighting. That's what you do."
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