The Eagles Jekyll and Hyde season continued on Sunday in the most unexpected fashion.
Facing the 10-1 New England Patriots, you would think the Eagles were a whole lot better than 4-7 as they managed to force two interceptions from Tom Brady and score on all sides of the ball.
The end result was the end of a three-game losing streak as the Eagles stormed out in the second and third quarter and survived a fourth-quarter rally to beat the Patriots, 35-28.
The Eagles defense came out strong while the offense sputtered thanks to penalties. The Eagles amassed 92 yards on penalties in the first half, stalling out several drives.
The Patriots finally got going on their third drive of the game at the close of the first quarter. The final play of the drive was the first play of the second quarter, as Brady connected with James White for a five-yard touchdown.
New England would score on their next possession, as an eight-play drive was capped with an 11-yard touchdown pass from Brady to Danny Amendola.
The Patriots tried to catch the Eagles off guard on the ensuing kickoff with an onside kick attempt. Starting from their own 41, the Eagles drove down the field on eight plays, capped off by a five-yard touchdown pass from Sam Bradford to Zach Ertz.
The Eagles would get a chance to tie the game after a three-and-out by the Patriots offense, but struggled to move the ball and punted four plays later. With the Patriots content to run the clock out in the final 1:32, the punt that would seemingly run the clock out was blocked by Chris Maragos and recovered by Najee Goode, who returned it 38 yards for a touchdown with eight seconds remaining in the half.
The Eagles came out and forced a stop on the Patriots on the opening drive of the second half, but the Eagles first possession of the third quarter only lasted three plays for one yard.
The Eagles offense didn't take the field again until there were under three minutes to play in the quarter.
On the Patriots next drive, they worked their way into the redzone before on 3rd and goal, Brady threw an interception to Malcolm Jenkins that was returned 100 yards for a touchdown.
The next Patriots drive ended in similar fashion. Forced to punt, the kick was returned 83 yards by Darren Sproles for a touchdown, extending the lead to 14.
When the Eagles offense did return to the field, they orchestrated their best drive of the game. A 12-play, 80-yard drive was capped off by a 10-yard touchdown pass from Bradford to Jordan Matthews.
The Patriots did manage to claw their way back into the game late. A seven-play drive was capped off with a 14-yard touchdown pass from Brady to Scott Chandler with 5:27 to play. The Patriots would then recover an onside kick to get possession right back.
After converting on 4th and 13, Brady would sneak into the endzone from the one-yard line to make it a one-score game.
The Eagles were working to run off the clock after thwarting an onside-kick attempt when Kenjon Barner fumbled on 3rd and 5 with 1:02 to play and the Patriots recovered.
Brady managed to lead the Patriots 12 yards downfield to the New England 37 before the drive stalled, sealing the Eagles fifth win of the season.
First Downs: Eagles – 15, Patriots - 273rd Down Efficiency: Eagles – 6-for-14, Patriots - 7-for-174th Down Efficiency: Eagles – 0-for-0, Patriots - 1-for-2Total Plays: Eagles – 58, Patriots - 86Total Yards: Eagles – 248 yards, Patriots - 427 yardsPassing Yards: Eagles – 120 yards, Patriots - 348 yardsRushing Yards: Eagles – 128 yards, Patriots – 103 yardsRedzone: Eagles – 2-for-2, Patriots – 4-for-5Penalties: Eagles – 8 penalties, 97 yards; Buccaneers – 3 penalties, 30 yardsTurnovers: Eagles – 2, Buccaneers – 2Time Of Possession: Eagles – 25:44, Buccaneers – 34:16
Kevin Durso is managing editor for Eagledelphia. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.