Final

Patriots 31

(1-1, 1-1 away)

Eagles 10

(0-2, 0-2 home)

4:15 PM ET, September 14, 2003

 

1 2 3 4 T
NE 3 14 7 731
PHI 0 7 0 310

Pats force four McNabb turnovers

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.

Allen's Analysis
Eric Allen
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.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
New England
Philadelphia
1st Downs1723
3rd down efficiency
4-173-14
4th down efficiency
1-20-0
Total Yards309268
Yards per play4.13.7
Total Drives10
Passing247169
Comp-Att
30-4420-48
Yards per pass
5.63.5
Interceptions thrown
02
Sacks-Yards Lost
2-87-42
Rushing6299
Rushing Attempts
3017
Yards per rush
2.15.8
Penalties8-847-53
Turnovers06
Fumbles lost
04
Interceptions thrown
02
Possession36:3523:25

Passing Leaders

NEC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Brady30/442555.8302-8
PHIC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
McNabb18/461864.0027-42
Detmer2/22512.5000-0

Rushing Leaders

NECARYDSAVGTDLG
Smith12252.109
Faulk7233.309
PHICARYDSAVGTDLG
McNabb6538.8015
Westbrook6294.809

Receiving Leaders

NERECYDSAVGTDLG
Branch68914.8126
Faulk45914.8027
PHIRECYDSAVGTDLG
Thrash68013.3024
Lewis33612.0016

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERNEPHI
FG13:50ADAM VINATIERI 27 YD
Drive: 11 plays, 66 yds, 5:23
30
SECOND QUARTERNEPHI
TD1:00DUCE STALEY 2 YD RUN (DAVID AKERS KICK)
Drive: 8 plays, 67 yds, 2:10
37
TD7:01CHRISTIAN FAURIA 8 YD PASS FROM TOM BRADY (ADAM VINATIERI KICK)
Drive: 4 plays, 35 yds, 1:12
107
TD12:51CHRISTIAN FAURIA 5 YD PASS FROM TOM BRADY (ADAM VINATIERI KICK)
Drive: 2 plays, 14 yds, :43
177
THIRD QUARTERNEPHI
TD7:58DEION BRANCH 26 YD PASS FROM TOM BRADY (ADAM VINATIERI KICK)
Drive: 4 plays, 52 yds, 2:08
247
FOURTH QUARTERNEPHI
FG4:12DAVID AKERS 57 YD
Drive: 5 plays, -4 yds, 1:14
2410
TD9:58TEDY BRUSCHI 18 YD INTERCEPTION RETURN (ADAM VINATIERI KICK) 3110