Pats-Eagles 2nd Quarter: Leaky O-line; Eagles penalty-heavy

854655.jpg

Pats-Eagles 2nd Quarter: Leaky O-line; Eagles penalty-heavy

FOXBORO -- What a mess for Philadelphia. The Eagles only accumulated more total yards (94) than penalty yards (86) with little over two minutes to play in the second quarter. The team went into the half with 10 for 91 yards. Consequently, New England was winning the time of possession battle with almost double the clock used.

And yet the score was tied, 14-14.

The Patriots offensive line looked ugly and a muffed punt by a rookie didn't help. To be honest, New England was lucky to not be losing.

For all of Mallett's first quarter struggle (6-12 for 60 yards), he started the second with a touchdown. The ball was very well-placed to DE-turned-TE Alex Silvestro just inside the end zone.

Jerod Mayo, ever the captain, was helping Jeff Tarpinian line up before the snap.

Will Allen and Nate Ebner were your safeties.

Little dime package on third-and-10. Will Allen almost came up with an interception thanks to some nice pressure by Trevor Scott.

Brandon Bolden, an undrafted rookie, muffed a punt. Akeem Jordan put on the speed, blew past two Patriots defensive backs, and recovered for Philadelphia.

A slight scuffle broke out when Brandon Boykin shoved Marquice Cole next to the fumble recovery pig pile. Cole pushed back. Things broke up quickly.

Vereen and Donte' Stallworth were back to receive on New England's next kickoff return. Patriots seem to like this pair. Vereen got 22 yards out of the effort.

Brian Hoyer came in with just over 10 minutes remaining in the second quarter. His offensive line: Nate Solder at LT, Donald Thomas at LG, Nick McDonald at C, Jeremiah Warren at RG, Marcus Cannon at RT.

Ryan Mallett's second half: 2-3 for 27 yards and a touchdown.

Phillip Hunt paid his 1.75 and used Cannon as a turnstile, blowing by and sacking Hoyer for a Patriots fumble. Philadelphia got the ball on New England's 12.

Brandon Bolden got a lot of looks in the second quarter -- he ran five times and was targeted for three passes on Hoyer's second drive.

When the Patriots needed a big first down, they went to Branch. (First quarter: third-and-5 with 51 seconds left. Branch got 20.) His second catch was on a second quarter third-and-13; pass was good for 17. Makes sense when you think no Welker, Hernandez, no Gronkowski, no Lloyd.

More trouble for the offensive line as Cannon wasn't the only sprung leak. Warren and McDonald got blown up by Cedric Thornton. Hoyer got taken down hard.

Josh Barrett came in at safety in the last 30 seconds of the quarter.

I do believe Nate Ebner had four consecutive practice days with at least one pick last week. He had 34-yards on the red zone INT return Monday night.

Curran’s 100 plays that shaped a dynasty: A nice pair of kicks

top_100_plays_3-4.png

Curran’s 100 plays that shaped a dynasty: A nice pair of kicks

We're into the Top 10 now.

These are the plays of the Bill Belichick Era you best never forget. And probably can't. They're the ones that led directly to championships -- most for New England, a couple for the other guys. Or they're plays that signified a sea change in the way the New England Patriots under Belichick would be behaving from there on out.

I did my best to stack them in order of importance. You got a problem with that? Good. Let us know what's too high, too low or just plain wrong. And thanks for keeping up!

PLAY NUMBER: 4

THE YEAR: 2001 (actually Feb. 3, 2002)

THE GAME: Patriots 20, Rams 17

THE PLAY: Vinatieri 48-yarder in Superdome delivers SB36 win

WHY IT’S HERE: When the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004, it was viewed nationally and locally as a cathartic moment for a long-suffering region. Deliverance for a fanbase that resolutely suffered through 90 years of star-crossed heartbreak with a mix of stoicism and fatalism. “Long-suffering Red Sox fan” was a badge of honor, an identity. And New Englanders – baseball fans or not - would self-identify with the hideous notion of Red Sox Nation. There was no “Patriots Nation.” To drag out the forced metaphor, Patriots fans were living in tents and cabins in the wilderness, recluses. Reluctant to be seen in town where they’d be mocked. And suddenly, they cobbled together one of the most improbable, magical seasons in American professional sports, a year which gave birth to a dynasty which was first celebrated, now reviled but always respected. And while so many games and plays led to this 48-yarder – ones we’ve mentioned 12 times on this list – Adam Vinatieri kicking a 48-yarder right down the f****** middle to win the Super Bowl was an orgasmic moment for the recluses and pariahs that had been Patriots fans when nobody would admit to such a thing.
 

PLAY NUMBER: 3

THE YEAR: 2001 (actually Jan. 19, 2002)

THE GAME: Patriots 16, Raiders 13

THE PLAY: Vinatieri from 45 through a blizzard to tie Snow Bowl

WHY IT’S HERE: Two thoughts traveling on parallel tracks were running through the mind while Adam Vinatieri trotted onto the field and lined up his 45-yarder to tie Oakland in the 2001 AFC Divisional Playoff Game, the final one at Foxboro Stadium. “There’s no way he can make this kick in this weather,” was the first. “The way this season’s gone, I bet he makes this kick. It can’t end here. It can’t end now.” From where I was sitting in the press box I couldn’t see the ball clearly, probably because I was looking for it on a higher trajectory than Vinatieri used. So I remember Vinatieri going through the ball, my being unable to locate it in the air and then looking for the refs under the goalposts to see their signal. And when I located them, I saw the ball scuttle past. Then I saw the officials’ arms rise. Twenty-five years earlier, the first team I ever followed passionately – the ’76 Patriots – left me in tears when they lost to the Raiders in the playoffs. Now, at 33, I was covering that team and it had gotten a measure of retribution for the 8-year-old me.
 

Buy or Sell: Should NFL not test for marijuana?

Buy or Sell: Should NFL not test for marijuana?

Greg Dickerson and Mike Giardi give their take on whether the NFL should not test for marijuana.

Buy or Sell: Patriots will not lose at home even without Tom Brady

Buy or Sell: Patriots will not lose at home even without Tom Brady

Greg Dickerson and Mike Giardi give their take on whether they think the Patriots will be not lose a home game during Brady’s suspension.