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Pats force four McNabb turnovers

9/15/2003

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The New England Patriots pressured, harassed
and rattled Donovan McNabb, and never let up.

Tom Brady passed for 255 yards and three touchdowns and the
Patriots' defense forced six turnovers and had seven sacks in a
31-10 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.

Question on the Patriots: Will Belichick eventually be forced to make Faulk his lead back?
It may be time to make the switch. Faulk has given them an added dimension in their running game the past two weeks. Last week, he was the sole bright spot offensively and this week he performed well also.

Question on the Eagles: How do the Eagles go about generating some offense?

They may just need to start playing teams that aren't quite so good. It's difficult to score points against the two previous Super Bowl champions

Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders.

Embarrassed in a 31-0 loss to Buffalo in their season opener,
the Patriots (1-1) scored two first-half touchdowns off turnovers
and kept the Eagles winless at the new Lincoln Financial Field.

"We played better. We executed better. We scored in the red
area and we played better defense in the red area," Patriots coach
Bill Belichick said. "It's not that complicated."

The two-time NFC East champion Eagles, coming off a 17-0 loss to
Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay on Monday night, are 0-2 for the
first time since losing their first four games in 1999, Andy Reid's
first year as coach.

After losing consecutive NFC title games, Philadelphia wouldn't
settle for less than a trip to the Super Bowl this season. The
Eagles will have to get to .500 first, and they'll have two weeks
to think about their disastrous start with a bye next week.

"We have to go back and analyze ourselves and I have to start
with me," Reid said. "We have to get this thing turned around."

In his worst game since his rookie season, McNabb completed just
18 of 46 passes for 186 yards, threw two interceptions -- one
returned for a TD -- lost two fumbles, and heard loud boos for the
first time since the day he was drafted. Eagles fans who attended
the 1999 draft in New York wanted running back Ricky Williams and
booed McNabb's selection with the No. 2 overall pick.

"I'm way better than what I've been doing," McNabb said. "I
have to go out and make the plays. I'm not confused. Consistency is
something I don't have."

Christian Fauria caught two TD passes, Willie McGinest had two
sacks and one fumble recovery and Tedy Bruschi returned an
interception 18 yards for a TD for New England.

The Patriots' loss to the Bills capped an emotional week in
which safety Lawyer Milloy, a team leader, was cut for salary cap
reasons, then signed with Buffalo in time to play against his
former teammates.

"Because we lost, there was the whole Lawyer issue," Patriots
wide receiver David Patten said. "We know we have a good team, we
prepare well and we have great coaches."

David Akers kicked a career-long 57-yard field goal for the
Eagles, outscored 75-20 in their last three games, including a
27-10 loss to the Buccaneers in the NFC championship game last
January.

The Eagles led 7-3 on Duce Staley's 2-yard TD run a minute into
the second quarter. But the Patriots scored the next 21 points.

New England botched a 40-yard field-goal attempt when Lonie
Paxton's snap sailed over holder Ken Walter's head. But on the next
play, McNabb fumbled as he pump-faked, and Roman Phifer recovered
at the Eagles 35.

A 27-yard screen pass to Kevin Faulk put the ball inside
Philadelphia's 10. Brady connected with Fauria on an 8-yard pass
for a 10-7 lead.

The Patriots went three-and-out on their next possession, but
Brian Westbrook dropped the punt and Bethel Johnson recovered at
Philadelphia's 14. Brady hit Fauria over the middle for a 5-yard TD
pass, giving the Patriots a 17-7 lead.

Brady connected with Deion Branch on a 26-yard TD pass for a
24-7 lead midway through the third quarter. Bruschi stepped in
front of McNabb's pass, and ran it in to ice it.

Brady completed 30 of 44 passes, taking advantage of a secondary
missing All-Pro safety Brian Dawkins and Pro Bowl cornerback Bobby
Taylor. He was 14-of-28 for 123 yards, four interceptions and no
touchdowns against the Bills.

"Brian Dawkins is the best in the league, but they still have a
solid team," Brady said.

Adam Vinatieri had a 27-yard field goal for the Patriots.

Notes: The Eagles lost DT Paul Grasmanis to a torn Achilles'
tendon. He's the third defensive lineman lost for the season. DE
Derrick Burgess tore his Achilles tendon in practice two weeks ago
and fourth-round pick Jamaal Green broke his leg in the preseason.
... The Eagles are 0-3 the last three years in the game preceding a
bye. ... The Eagles are 8-6 with McNabb over the last two seasons,
including playoffs. They are 5-1 without him.