Eagles fall 42-35 to Brady, Patriots
FOXBOROUGH — Philadelphia coach Chip Kelly was disappointed with his team’s sloppy play on Friday night.
“The rules are not going to change,” Kelly said after the Eagles were whistled 10 times and committed four turnovers in a 42-35 loss to the New England Patriots.
Officials had warned the teams in meetings during the week that there would be an emphasis on penalizing contact on receivers.
“We’ve got to learn how to not get our hands in people’s faces, and we’ve got to understand that after 5 yards, it’s illegal contact. If you can’t play within the rules, you can’t play in this league.
“You don’t have to agree with the speed limit, but if the cop’s out there with the speed gun right there, you better take your foot off the gas, or he’s going to pull you over. That’s the bottom line. There’s rules. We’ve got to follow them.”
Penalties hurt Philadelphia (0-2) for a second straight week after the Eagles were whistled nine times in their preseason opener against Chicago.
They committed four turnovers in that game, too.
“We just have to play cleaner,” starting quarterback Nick Foles said. “The refs are really keying in on a couple things this season, and they’re calling it. They’re not shying away from it.
“So, it’s not like we can talk them out of a call. They make their call, they’re going to go about it. I don’t think a ref’s ever changed his call.
“But it does stall drives. You get things moving, and all of a sudden there’s a penalty, it does take away a little bit from the rhythm of an offense.”
New England quarterback Tom Brady had a touchdown pass, after tossing an interception that Cory Williams returned 77 yards for a touchdown, as the Patriots overcame 11 penalties and rebounded from a poor preseason debut.
Brady’s backups also were sharp in their competition for the No. 2 quarterback job with rookie Jimmy Garoppolo throwing two touchdown passes and Ryan Mallett passing for a score and running for another.
The Eagles rarely had the ball early.
And when they got it later, they kept giving it away.
New England had two offensive series before Philadelphia had even one since the Patriots’ first ended with Williams’ interception.
Brady threw the ball to Steve Maneri, but the tight end who had signed five days earlier didn’t turn around.
Williams hurt his hamstring on the play and didn’t return.
The Patriots tied it on their next possession on a 15-yard touchdown pass to Kenbrell Thompkins, ending Brady’s night after completing 8 of 10 passes for 81 yards in two series.
Then Philadelphia’s turnovers began.
Ifeanyi Momah lost a fumble after catching Foles’ pass on their first offensive play. Mark Sanchez threw an interception on his second play of the third quarter and Momah lost another fumble midway through the third quarter after a reception on quarterback Matt Barkley’s first play.
And on the second play of Barkley’s next series, his pass was picked off by Nate Ebner.
Add Alex Henery’s missed 47-yard field-goal attempt and the slew of penalties and Kelly had plenty of mistakes to point out after a sloppy performance that followed three days of joint practices with the Patriots.
“You’re just handing people first downs. We better figure it out,” Kelly said. “Whichever team ends up being the most disciplined team from a penalties’ standpoint is going to be at a big advantage in this league.
“It’s a challenge to everybody. We’ve all got to figure it out.”
Garoppolo picked right up after Brady left, throwing scoring passes on his first two series, a 15-yarder to James Develin and a 4-yarder to Brandon LaFell for a 21-7 lead. The pass to LaFell was New England’s 35th offensive play. Philadelphia had just six at the time.
The Eagles tied it at 21 at halftime with two scoring passes in the last four minutes, a 6-yarder from Foles to Zach Ertz and a 6-yarder from Sanchez to Arrelious Benn.
The score was tied 28-28 before touchdowns by two free agents, a 17-yard catch by Brian Tyms from Mallett and a 10-yard run by Roy Finch that gave the Patriots a 42-28 lead with 5:15 left in the third quarter.
Barkley’s 27-yard scoring pass to Henry Josey cut the lead to seven points on the last play of the third quarter. The Eagles drove to the Patriots 1-yard line, but were stopped on fourth down with 4:39 to go.