Miracle in Foxboro: Eagles Stun Patriots, Win 35-28


The Philadelphia Eagles faced the New England Patriots in what was considered a hopeless situation and, against all odds, came away with a miraculous victory. Here’s the recap from the Eagles monumental upset in Foxboro:

The Eagles get the ball to start this one, and go to the stretch to the left side. Darren Sproles makes a few moves and picks up 9. Sam Bradford, who makes his return following the shoulder injury and concussion, hits Zach Ertz on a short gainer to convert. A few plays later, and after a few misses, Bradford finds Sproles yet again for the 1st, however, a holding penalty wipes it away. The Eagles ultimately fail to convert and are forced to punt away. More mistakes early for the Eagles.

Tom Brady is out for his first possession, and the New England offense has difficulties of their own. LeGarette Blount finds room on a cutback and moves the sticks, but Connor Barwin gets in backfield shortly after to bring Brady down. On 3rd and long Brady spins away from the rush and heaves the ball downfield for Brandon Lafell who’s covered well by Eric Rowe. Solid opening series for the defense.

The Eagles offense quickly puts themselves behind the 8-ball with another holding penalty, but Kenjon Barner quickly erases the difference with a 19-yard carry to the outside. Barner showed some explosiveness on the play, and will hopefully get some more carries going forward. Following a DeMarco Murray conversion, the Eagles are flagged for a face mask penalty. Of course. The offense moves the ball well despite the slew of flags, but inevitably fails to convert after the repetitive mistakes; already 5 penalties in two drives. Disgusting. Punt.

The Pats take over and Blount gets back to work, picking up another 10 yards on a cutback. Brady lobs a pass for Brandon Bolden who can’t hold on. Rowe hauls it in off the deflection but can’t get his feet inbounds to secure the interception. On 3rd and long Brady drops back and the pocket collapses; Connor Barwin notches another sack, with Vinny Curry also in the mix. Good start for the pash rush.

A batted ball and a short loss on a Murray carry puts the offense at 3rd and 12. Bradford drops back and has time, but misses a well covered Johnathan Krause, who may have ran the wrong route. Bradford looks erratic and uncomfortable early on, but the receivers aren’t doing much to create any opportunities either. Donnie Jones comes on and punts it away. Still 0-0.

The Patriots quickly hit a handful of passes and cross midfield into Eagles territory. On 3rd and long, Brady steps up to avoid pressure and hits Danny Amendola on a perfectly placed ball. After a horrendous missed grounding call, Brady does a masterful job of climbing the pocket under extreme pressure, and tosses it up for his tight end, Scott Chandler, who brings it down for a big gain. The Pats are now on the goal line, and after Bolden is stuffed for no gain, Brady finds James White wide open in the flat for the touchdown. 7-0, Pats.

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The Eagles offense sets up shop just short of the 20. Sproles finds room on the far side with a good block from Allen Barbre, and picks up the first. A stuff and a drop by Nelson Agholor sets up a 3rd and 9, and Bradford, under duress hits his dump off option in Barner. Barner makes a few nice moves to extend his run, but can’t move the chains. Not that it would matter though, as Jason Peters is flagged for holding anyway. The Pats decline the penalty and Donnie Jones punt it away. Nice tackle by Chris Maragos and company on the coverage unit.

Pats ball, and Mychal Kendricks bursts through the line to drill Blount for a loss of 5. More miscues hurt the Eagles, this time in the secondary when Malcolm Jenkins pulls on the receiver’s shoulder and is flagged for pass interference. A miscommunication for Blount leads to another tackle for loss, but Brady soon after finds Amendola who’s wide open for a gain of 10. Blount -when he’s not tripping over himself- continues to cause problems for the defense. Kiko Alonso is caught over pursuing and eats turf (he’s been horrid), and Blount rumbles for another 1st down. Then, with the Pats in the red zone, Amendola easily shakes free from Walter Thurmond and scores. 14-0.

In classic Bill Belichick fashion, the Pats attempt an onside kick in hopes of putting their foot on the throat of the enemy. The Eagles recover, however, and avoid the potential final nail in the coffin. On 3rd and long, Bradford threads the needle and finds an open Jordan Matthews on a crossing route for the conversion. Darren Sproles does an outstanding job of maintaining balance and scrambling for another 11 yards on a sweep. Bradford dumps the ball to Brent Celek who finds room for a nice gainer, and the Eagles offense is deep in Patriot territory. Now at the goal line, Bradford drops back and hits a diving Zach Ertz in the back of the end zone for the touchdown. Ertz ran a very nice route, and Bradford threw the ball with anticipation just before his tight end shook free. Great throw and catch. 14-7, Pats still on top.

The Pats are finally flagged on the ensuing kickoff for a hold, and Tom Brady is backed up inside the 10. A pair of short passes brings up a 3rd and long, and good coverage by Malcolm Jenkins forces a punt. Quick 3 and out.

The Eagles offense starts with great field position, near the edge of midfield. Sproles catches a pass in the flat and turns upfield to take the offense into Pats territory close to the 2 minute warning. A poor throw from Bradford nearly results in an interception, and Sproles can’t find room on 2nd down, bringing up 3rd and long. Bradford goes through his progressions and dumps the ball to Sproles who picks up a few yards. Eagles fall short and elect to punt facing a 4th and 8. Patriots ball.

With the clock ticking down, Brandon Bolden takes a pair of handoffs, the latter of which goes for a solid gain. On the following play, Brady feels pressure and bumps into his offensive lineman, tripping himself up and falling to the turf. Looks as though Brandon Graham will be credited with the sack. Scary moment as Fletcher Cox comes up lame, but the big man walks off under his own power and doesn’t appear to be hurt. Brady throws to the sideline on 3rd down, but the coverage is good and he can’t connect with his target. There are 15 seconds on the clock, so the Patriots will have to punt it away. Just when it looks like the half is coming to a close, there’s a HUGE play for the Eagles, as Chris Maragos shakes free and explodes up the middle to block the punt. Najee Goode picks it up and with a convoy of Eagles, and runs it in for the touchdown. Amazing play. 14-14 all at the half.

The Patriots offense takes the field at the start of the second half, but the Eagles defense is beginning to pick up some steam. Brady converts a first down, squeaking between the tackles on 3rd and 1, but the Eagles quickly respond, bringing pressure and backing the offense into a 3rd and long. Brady drops back and hits his receiver in stride, but Walter Thurmond quickly diagnoses and closes to bring the runner down short of the sticks. The Patriots punt, and Sproles lets it bounce pinning the offense deep in Eagles territory.

Quick 3 and out for the offense, as Bradford fires high for Ertz, Murray can’t find room, and the 3rd down try goes short of the sticks. Bradford is very fortunate his throw to Ertz wasn’t intercepted off the deflection. The Eagles QB simply hasn’t looked good coming off his latest injury. Indecisive and overly conservative in a game where his team is on life support.

The Pats open up with excellent field position after the Eagles are forced to punt from the shadow of their end zone. Brady finds Danny Amendola on a drop in the bucket, but his wide receiver never cleanly secures the ball and puts it on the turf while streaking downfield. Very fortunate for the Patriots as Amendola was dangerously close to a fumble. A screen to James White quickly rectifies Amendolas gaff, however, as good play selection leaves White with tons of daylight. White is tripped up just short of the end zone, in what will ultimately be a pivotal tackle for the Eagles defense. On 3rd and goal, Brady drops back and throws into traffic for Amendola, but Thurmond is there to break up the pass, and Jenkins comes down with an interception on the rebound. Jenkins streaks upfield with Patriots in chase, and Tom Brady tries to redirect the Eagles defender to no avail; it’s a 99 yard pick six for Jenkins, who’s given the Eagles the lead, 21-14. Whew.

The Patriots get the ball back and find themselves in a 3rd and long situation. Brady hangs strong in the pocket and fires for Amendola who does a great job of holding onto the ball for a 1st. On the following play, Brandon Graham beats his man and hauls down Brady for the sack. A low pass sets up 3rd and 17, and Brady can’t find anyone open and is forced to slide down short of the sticks to force the punt. Excellent job by the Eagles secondary.

The Eagles are back to receive the punt, and Maragos throws a crafty block to spring Sproles. The Eagles shifty back finds room along the sideline and, wow, he is GONE. Another ENORMOUS play for the Eagles special teams. This is pure insanity.

Down by 14, New England is shockingly in dire straits. Plain to see the Pats are getting desperate, as they run a trick play with Brady feigning confusion while walking to the sideline (not sure he got set). Brady is wide open on the play as his receiver hits him in stride and he rumble downfield for a big gain. On the following play Brady fires for the end zone, and…. No one home!! Maxwell brings the errant pass in for the interception! The apparent miscommunication between Brady and Lafell results in a turnover. Huge play. Eagles regain possession with time ticking down in the 3rd.

The Eagles take over and start to get the ground game going. Sproles and Barner alternate for short gainers and pick up consecutive first downs. On 3rd down and a shade over midfield, Bradford extends the play and fires for Nelson Agholor who is interfered with on the play. The refs throw the flag and the Eagles offense marches forward 5 yards to again move the sticks. DeMarco Murray hasn’t seen much action today, but gets the handoff here and switches fields for a gain of 18. The offense is threatening now, deep inside Patriots territory and forcing a 3rd and 2 from the 9 yard line. Bradford takes the snap, rolls right and fires for the end zone connecting with a diving Jordan Matthews for the touchdown. The Eagles are up by 21 and I’m speechless. Great throw by Bradford.

The Pats have their backs against the wall and things aren’t improving. After the first 2 plays net zero yardage, Brady rolls and fires incomplete into tight coverage, failing to convert. The announcer notes that Brady has been hit 23 times tonight. That’s an unbelievable number, and highlights how much more productive the pass rush has been this week. Another great stand by the Eagles defense.

The Eagles start with good field position at the 35, and have a chance to essentially put the game away. It appears that Chip is intent with running the clock, however, as Bradford hands it off on 3 consecutive plays and the Eagles kick it away. Under 8 minutes left in regulation.

Brady is back under center, and back under pressure. The Eagles defense is in the backfield every play, and forcing Brady into some awkward throws. After nearly being brought down by Graham, Brady finally finds his composure and fires over the middle and across midfield for the first. The Eagles call off the dogs and rush 2, and Brady predictably stays calm and finds White for another 1st down. Then, Scott Chandler shakes free and comes down with the ball in the corner of the end zone. 35-21, Eagles.

The Pats line up for the onside kick and.. The ball clangs off of Zach Ertz’s hands, and into the arms of a Patriots player’s. Uh oh. It’ll take a monumental meltdown for an Eagles loss, but it’s hard not to get at least a little concerned. Brady is back on the field and completes a pass to his back who scampers for a first. Soon after the Pats face a 4th and 12, but Brady buys time and finds White again for the 1st. A pass to Lafell brings the Pats down to the 1, and Brady caps it off with the QB keeper for a touchdown. Time to get nervous. Eagles up by a score, 35-28.

The Pats run some misdirection on the onside kick, but Riley Cooper makes a heads up play to knock the ball out of bounds. The Eagles takeover around midfield in hopes of putting the game away. Bradford rolls out on first down wisely dives to keep the clock running with no open options. A short run sets up 3rd and long with the game potentially on the line. Bradford drops back and has pressure coming off the backside, but he steps up and Jason Peters flies on last second for a huge block, and Bradford delivers a strike to Cooper for the 1st down. Enormous play. The Eagles run the ball on consecutive plays, and then, disaster strikes.. Kenjon Barner loses the football on what was essentially a kneel down play to set up the short field goal. What. The. Hell. The Pats recover and take over with a minute on the clock.

Huge pressure situation for the Eagles defense. Brady fires deep for Lafell but Eric Rowe is in tight coverage. Then, Brady avoids pressure and steps up to deliver the ball, but Mychal Kendricks dives to break the pass up. On the next play a receiver breaks free over the middle and reels it in for the first. Brady fires for Lafell and Amendola have costly drops on consecutive plays, and the Pats face 4th and game. Brady takes the snap, drops back, and fires downfield. Eagles players dive and the balls comes up incomplete. The Philadelphia Eagles just beat the New England Patriots. Un-be-lieve-able. 35-28. Schedule an appointment with your cardiologist.


It wasn’t always pretty, but by god the Eagles came away with one helluva victory tonight. The offense was touch and go but came away with big plays at key moments, and managed to take care of the football (for the most part).

It was refreshing to see Chip get away from Murray, considering his recent ineffectiveness. Barner and Sproles were generally productive in this one, and really helped to chew some clock on the Eagles final touchdown drive. Bradford was inconsistent and threw a few interceptable balls, but, much like the rest of the team, came through in some clutch situations.

The special teams recaptured past form, and made huge plays that were undoubtedly the driving force behind the Eagles upset. This is still a very flawed Eagles team, but man was it fun to see them pull out a huge win against the evil empire of the AFC. The Eagles are essentially tied for 1st –at the moment– in a putrid NFC East. Stay tuned for more coverage.