Pats-Eagles 3rd quarter: Eagles drive; Gostkowski drills one

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Pats-Eagles 3rd quarter: Eagles drive; Gostkowski drills one

FOXBORO -- The second half began with an eight-play, 80-yard drive that took four minutes, and resulted in a three-yard touchdown pass from Nick Foles to Clay Harbor that gave the Eagles a 21-14 lead. That drive saw a deep 40-yard pass to DeSean Jackson which put the Eagles in Patriots territory after he beat Sterling Moore. It was a drive that saw way too much time in the pocket for Foles.

The Patriots scored their only points in the quarter on a 55-yard field goal from Stephen Gostowski with 4:12 remaining. It finished a possession that saw a big pass from Mallett to Branch down the left sideline, after Branch was able to shake off some tight coverage and make the catch on a solid throw.

Gostkowski's field goal cut Philadelphia's lead to 21-17, but with 33 seconds left in the quarter, Alex Henery made up for his previously missed 55-yard field-goal attempt by nailing a 42-yarder and giving the Eagles a 24 17 lead after three quarters.

Ryan Mallett returned as the Patriots quarterback, after being replaced by Brian Hoyer in the second quarter. Hoyer, however, returned for his second stint of the game, with 30 seconds left in the third.

Deion Branch and Donte' Stallworth both saw time at wide receiver in the quarter.

Patriots defensive end Jake Bequette was called for a roughing the passer penalty after he crushed Foles with a hit just as the Eagles' quarterback released the ball. It was on third down, and it gave Philadelphia a first down. It ended up not mattering, as Henery eventually missed a 55-yard field goal later in the possession.

Report: 3 owners unhappy with Kraft's amicus brief on behalf of Brady

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Report: 3 owners unhappy with Kraft's amicus brief on behalf of Brady

Three NFL owners have expressed “extreme disappointment” in Robert Kraft and the Patriots filing an amicus brief on behalf of Tom Brady in the quarterback’s appeal of the Second Circuit Court’s reinstatement of his Deflategate suspension, according to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report. 

The Patriots filed the brief on Wednesday. 

The owners see the move as a publicity stunt done to appease Brady and the Patriots fans, Cole said, and they don’t believe Kraft did it any seriousness because the issue speaks to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s ability to punish players and undermines the league’s collective bargaining agreement with the players.

If Kraft thought it mattered, he wouldn't have done it, Cole said one owner told him. 
 

Collins, Hightower mum on contract talks

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Collins, Hightower mum on contract talks

FOXBORO – A fleet of Patriots have expiring contracts after this season but Dont'a Hightower and Jamie Collins are the two most prominent on that list.

With the sport being the way it is – a nearly 100-percent casualty rate every season – it’s never comfortable for a player to enter a contract year without knowing his long-term future. And it’s especially uncomfortable for players whose first contracts are expiring because the second NFL contract is usually the bonanza.

Both Hightower and Collins can entertain thoughts of contracts worth more than $50M if good fortune sticks with them.

The question as it pertains to both of these players is whether they get contract extensions this summer or whether they go into the year with contract pressure bearing down and ultimately become free agents.

Neither player was very forthcoming after their OTA practice Thursday.

With Collins, that’s often the case. He’s never been expansive with media. It was very uncharacteristic for Hightower to be so clipped in his answers, though.

Every question posed to Hightower was met with a variation of, “I’m just trying to get better.”

Asked about his contract, Hightower replied, “I ain’t got nothing to do with none of that. I’m just out here trying to get better with my teammates.”

When it was pointed out that Hightower does indeed have say on his contract, he answered, “That might be. But there’s a time and place for everything and I’m just out here trying to get better.

“If I get better I feel like that’ll take care of everything else,” he added. “If I get better each and every day that’s all I can ask for.”

Asked whether he’s at all focused on his deal, Collins replied, “No, I come out here and I handle my business and I let the rest speak for itself … My first priority is me. So I’m gonna handle me."