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.