FOXBORO - The Patriots wanted to keep their key players out of harm's way Monday night.
And trouble still found safety Patrick Chung. On a first-and-10 from the Eagles 44, LeSean McCoy took a direct snap and went around right end where Chung made the stop and paid the price. Chung left the field, had his helmet taken by the training staff and was walked - with a spotter - to the locker room, possibly for neurological tests.
If Chung is down for a few days - and that is likely - rookies Tavon Wilson and Nate Ebner and veteran James Ihedigbo will be moving up the chain. Chung has battled injuries throughout his brief career which have prevented him from reaching his potential.
The Eagles took a more significant blow though. Quarterback Michael Vick went down with an apparent rib injury on a hit from Jermaine Cunningham. Vick was forced to pirouette into Cunningham after a pressure by Kyle Love.
On to the other notes.
Ryan Mallett did not have a good first quarter. Getting the start he threw an interception on a third-and-7 pass intended for Deion Branch. It was a startlingly easy pick for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. That was wiped out by a roughing-the-passer penalty. Given a new life, Mallett took a sack on third-and-7 three plays later. That was wiped out by a defensive hold on Nnamdi Asomugha. Given a third life, Mallett eventually got the Patriots downfield and in for a touchdown early in the second. Mallett finished the quarter 6 for 12 for 60 yards. There was a drop by Jeremy Ebert in there but also a throw off the butt of Eagles corner Joselio Hanson and even on some of his completions (a crossing pattern to Julian Edelman) he threw inaccurately.
Edelman - for all his scintillating work in camp in 1-on-1s - continues to make plays that are questionable. He opted to field a punt at the 7 - iffy decision - then promptly muffed it. Last week, he blundered on a kickoff return. He also had a nice 16-yard run on a quick screen which shows the other side of the coin.
Nate Solder is not looking sharp early. Too much pressure from Trent Cole including one play when he was driven back onto his can. He also got beaten by Cole which led to a screen pass being blown up.
Shane Vereen didn't get a lot of running room and had just 19 yards on nine carries.
Not a good quarter for Marcus Cannon either who had a hold on the second play from scrimmage (he allowed a strip sack in the second as I was writing this).
Brandon Spikes, who was down last week, played this week along with Dont'a Hightower and Bobby Carpenter at linebacker.
The starting Patriots offensive line was Solder and Cannon at the tackles, Dan Connolly and Nick McDonald at guard and Ryan Wendell at center.
Stephen Gostkowski drilled a 51-yard field goal.
The Patriots defensive line is playing well.