Some observations and highlights from the second quarter.
The Patriots scored 17 points in the second quarter, which has turned the momentum in their favor as they currently lead 24-13 at the half.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis has two rushing touchdowns against Philadelphia today. (FILE:Icon/SMI)
They had a rough start after Tom Brady was sacked on the first play of the quarter after the Eagles brought pressure, but he eventually got even. Brady escaped pressure two plays later and found Deion Branch, who took the ball all the way down to the one yard line for a 63 yard gain. BenJarvus Green-Ellis took it in one play later, and just like that the Patriots went ahead 14-10 with 13:12 left to go in the half.
Antwaun Molden then picked off Vince Young, who was attempting to go deep on their first play on the ensuing drive to DeSean Jackson. He picked it off at the Patriots 39, and returned it to the Eagles 34 yard line.
New England took it down to the Eagles 21 yard line and had the chance to extend the lead, but Stephen Gostkowski missed a 39-yard field goal wide right.
The Patriots defense held, forcing a three and out by the Eagles. Most of Philadelphia’s issues right now on offense appear to be stemming from the fact that Vince Young has been inconsistent through the first two quarters.
New England then went to work, with Brady going to the no-huddle and finding Wes Welker on a playaction pass for a 41-yard touchdown reception. On the play Welker was wide open, and Brady threw it perfectly for the touchdown to extend New England’s lead to 21-10 with 7:09 to go in the opening half.
On the ensuing drive Bill Belichick challenged the kickoff return after Sergio Brown tackled Dion Lewis at the 18-yard line but Lewis kept going and was initially ruled down at the 26 yard line. Replays showed his elbow hit the ground, and the Patriots won the challenge.
LeSean McCoy broke off a big run on their third play from scrimmage, picking up 22-yards and taking the ball into Patriots territory. Three plays later Vince Young hit Brent Celek for 24 yards, who beat Tracy White to give Philadelphia first and goal at the Patriots 5-yard line. However, Kyle Love sacked Young on the first play, Young scrambled out of bounds, and then DeSean Jackson dropped a wide open play in the endzone on third down. That drop lead to a cascade of boos from the Philadelphia fans who watched their team blow a huge opportunity, and they instead settled for a field goal to cut New England’s lead to 21-13 with 2:11 to go in the half.
Tom Brady was pressured on the first play of New England’s ensuing drive, scrambling 13 yards before sliding, and leaving a huge divot in the field as they went to the two minute warning. From there the Patriots worked their way down to the Eagles 27 yard line, and after the drive stalled Stephen Gostkowski managed to hit a 45-yard field goal to put New England back up by 11 at 24-13 with :51 left to go in the half. Brady had the most yards of that drive with 19 yards rushing, and the second rush for Brady was a great pickup where the Patriots veteran quarterback noticed the “Mike” linebacker vacated the spot in front of him, so he called his own number and picked up six yards on the play.
So far through two quarters, Tom Brady is 13-of-20 for 213 yards and a touchdown (QB Rating of 117.3). BenJarvus Green-Ellis only had one carry in the second quarter (his 1-yard touchdown), extending his rushing total to 43 yards on 11 carries and two touchdowns.
The leading receivers so far are Wes Welker (5 catches, 84 yards and a touchdown), Deion Branch (3 catches for 81 yards), Aaron Hernandez (3 catches for 27 yards) and Rob Gronkowski (2 catches 21 yards).