After training together in camp for the past week, the Eagles and Patriots squared off. If you only watched the first quarter, you’re quite the smartie. New England dominated every aspect and walked away with an (albeit meaningless) 35-0 win.
However, there were some bright spots, mainly the debut of first-rounder DeVonta Smith and the ongoing success of Kenny Gainwell. Jalen Hurts was set to start the game, but was held out due to a non-COVID illness.
The Eagles received the ball to start off the game, and looked pretty good through the first two plays. Miles Sanders had his first carry of the preseason, going for 10 yards while Gainwell caught a 12 yard reception.
Unfortunately, Nate Herbig had a high snap, which sent Joe Flacco running backwards. Although Flacco picked up the ball, he then fumbled after he was sacked, which the Patriots recovered (by none other than Jalen Mills).
The Patriots, starting from the Eagles’ nine-yard line, only needed two rushing plays to get into the end zone. 7-0 Patriots
The defense looked terrible on the Patriots’ second drive, allowing passes of 19, 23, and 10 yards. However, Philadelphia was able to put together a stop at 3rd and 6 on their 18. New England then attempted and missed a 36-yard field goal.
While the Birds’ offense floundering, the Patriots once again drove down the field at the end of the first. With 11 seconds left on the clock, Cam Newton completed a 28-yard pass to Jakobi Myers for the score. NE’s kicking continues to struggle as they miss the extra point. 13-0 Patriots
Cam Newton to Jakobi Meyers for the touchdown! The Patriots are dominating the Eagles backups right now. (Via @BenBrownPL)
— Pats Buzz (@PatsBuzz) August 20, 2021
On the Eagles’ first drive of the second, Smith finally hit the NFL field. While his first two targets went for incompletions, he registered a nine-yard catch that help to move the chains:
.@DeVontaSmith_6's first catch in an Eagles uniform!#NEvsPHI | #FlyEaglesFly pic.twitter.com/DrnXBn7epo
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) August 20, 2021
On 4th and 3 at New England’s 9, the Eagles opted to go for it. Flacco’s pass to Quez Watkins in the end zone was incomplete, keeping the Eagles off the board.
The Patriots utterly dominated the second, chewing up around 9 minutes on their only drive of the quarter (which consisted of 20 plays). The drive eventually ended in a Rhamondre Stevenson rushing touchdown. The Patriots attempted a two point conversion, which went incomplete. 19-0 Patriots.
With two minutes left in the quarter, the Eagles were able to drive down to their own 41. On 4th and 4, the Eagles went for it. Once again, they didn’t get the first. The Patriots were able to nab an interception, ending an awful half of offensive football.
The Patriots picked up right where they left off in the first quarter. First-rounder Mac Jones and running back J.J. Taylor led New England down the field, allowing Taylor to score on a 1-yard rush. Once again, the Patriots miss the extra point. 25-0 Patriots
The poundings didn’t stop there. After another dud of an Eagles drive (led by Nick Mullins), the Patriots once again were able to move the ball down the field thanks to their rushing attack (with some Jones passes mixed in). Stevenson rushed into the end zone for his second touchdown of the night. 32-0 Patriots
Mullins carried his awful performance over from last week and continued to underwhelm. It’s safe to say that if the team has to rely on either one of Mullins or Flacco at some point this season, fans should be looking towards 2022.
Bryan Hoyer took over for Jones at the start of the quarter. The change didn’t matter, as New England’s offense continued to operate at a high-scoring level. The Eagles were able to make the stop on 3rd and goal at the Eagles’ 6, but the Patriots were able to make the field goal. 35-0 Patriots
The Eagles’ defense finally made a big play, forcing a Stevenson fumble that was recovered by DT Raequon Williams. That gave the Eagles the ball at their 21.
#Eagles got tired of the Rhamondre show and forced a fumble. #NEvsPHI
— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) August 20, 2021
The Eagles would get some late momentum and end up making it to the New England 31, but turned the ball over thanks to a Mullins interception (his third of the preseason). Mullins finished the day 5/10 with a 16.7 QBR. With that, the game was thankfully over.
- TE Jack Stoll: 4 receptions, 33 receiving yards
- RB Elijah Holyfield: 4 attempts, 31 rushing yards
- RB Kenny Gainwell: 3 receptions, 23 receiving yards / 5 attempts, 23 rushing yards (46 total yards)
- LB Alex Singleton: 7 total tackles, 1 TFL
While the score is obviously horrendous, keep in mind that the Eagles only had five of their projected starters on defense play. As with any preseason game, this isn’t a representation of how the team will perform come regular season time.
#Eagles' projected starters who played tonight:
Off: LT Jordan Mailata, LG Isaac Seumalo, RB Miles Sanders, WR DeVonta Smith, WR Jalen Reagor, WR Quez Watkins, TE Dallas Goedert.
Def: LB Eric Wilson, LB Alex Singleton, CB Steven Nelson, SCB Avonte Maddox, S Anthony Harris.
— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) August 20, 2021
The team was also very impressed by how they performed at the joint training camp this past week, so maybe use that as a silver lining if this loss is bumming you out.
The Eagles will play their third and final preseason game next week against the Jets (1-0) in New York on Friday, Aug. 1 at 7:30pm on NBC10.