PHILADELPHIA –The Eagles came out firing but it was the Patriots who put out the fire early as Tom Brady and Co. torched Philadelphia at the end of the day.
The Patriots are now 8-3 and remain two games ahead of the New York Jets.
The Eagles looked primed for the upset early as Vince Young was making fans forget about Michael Vick after two quick scores had Philadelphia on top 10-0 in the first quarter.
But then the Patriots went to work and as usual, it was an air show by Tom Brady that did most of the damage.
It started on the ground when BenJarvus Green-Ellis was the first Patriot to find the end zone on a 4-yard run after doing the bulk of the heavy lifting on the scoring drive.
On the Patriots second scoring drive, it looked like Super Bowl 39 all over again when Brady hit Deion Branch for a 63-yard gain to the Eagles 1 yard line. Green-Ellis punched it in for his second TD of the day to give New England a lead that was never threatened.
On the Patriots third score, Brady hit Wes Welker on a 41-yard pass play on a 76-yard drive that took just 1:45.
Welker finished the day with two touchdowns and 115 yards on 8 catches. Branch had 125 yards on 6 catches on the day.
Brady continued to march the Patriots down the field in the second half. The Patriots QB connected with Welker again and the wide receiver who dove for the corner and crossed the end zone plane to put New England up 31-13, and the game was basically over as Eagles fans poured out of the Linc and called for coach Andy Reid’s firing.
It’s officially became a blowout after Brady hit all-world tight end Rob Gronkowski on a beautiful 24-yard slant to extend the Patriots lead while Eagles fans tripped over each other to get out of the stadium.
The live blog recap follows:
0:32 4th quarter, Patriots 38, Eagles 20: Jason Avant, who did not embarrass himself like most of the Eagles today, scores on a 1-yard TD pass from Vince Young. The too-late drive: 16 plays, 90 yards, in 4:35
1:22 4th quarter: First and 10 from the Patriots 40 after Young picked up a first down on a rare third down completion. Tick, tick, tick …
3:14 4th quarter: The Eagles are just 1-for-9 on third down after another failed attempt. They got the ball back but we’re basically just playing out the string here. The Eagles did just pick up a first down on fourth down play after a 7-yard pickup.
6:54 4th quarter: Brian Hoyer in the game at QB for New England. Hoyer hasn’t thrown a ball all season. Brady finishes the day 24-for-34, 361 yards, 3 touchdowns. Everyone is getting into the ugly act for the Eagles. Punter Chas Henry just booted one off the side of his foot for an 18-yard kick.
7:39 4th quarter: Eagles still moving the ball. What looked like a Mark Anderson sack on Vince Young turned into a first down after DB Philip Adams picked up a penalty for illegal contact. It looks like Andy Reid may have taken DeSean Jackson out of the game, and not for any injury.
8:35 4th quarter, Patriots 38, Eagles 13: It’s officially a blowout after Tom Brady hits all-world tight end Rob Gronkowski on a beautiful 24-yard slant to extend the Patriots lead. The drive: 14 plays, 75 yards, in 7:27. The Linc is more than half empty now as Eagles fans are tripping over each other to get out of this place. Brady’s now 24-for-34 for 351 yards and three touchdowns. His elbow is bending pretty well today.
9:58 4th quarter: Patriots running back Shane Vereen is showing his skills on the ground. Vereen, who had only 8 carries coming into the game, just picked up a nice 8 yard gain, and now has 4 carries on the day.
14:06 4th quarter: Another first and 10 for the Patriots at midfield after a Rob Gronkowski catch for 14 yards, his third catch of the day. Both Welker and Branch have over 100 yards receiving on the day. Brady now over 300 yards passing.
0:00 3d quarter: More “FIRE ANDY” clap-clap… clap-clap-clap chants as the third quarter comes to a close. Brady and company in complete command as they will continue the current drive into the fourth quarter.
2:14 3d quarter: Jason Avant catches a 19-yard reception from Young that takes them to the NE 49. It was the first third-down conversion of the game for the Eagles. DeSean Jackson dropped a would-be TD, after earlier dropping a ball earlier in the drive when he was double covered by Julian Edelman and Molden.
3:20 3d quarter: A 55-yard punt by Zoltan Mesko pins the Eagles back to their 12 as the boos continue to rain down on the Eagles at the Linc. The Patriots last drive, starting deep in Eagles territory, stalled at the NE 33 yard line.
6:33 3d quarter: Philly fans are chanting “Fire Andy” and are starting to pour out of the Linc already after Young missed Celek in the corner of the end zone on a 4th-and-1 from the 2.
8:05 3d quarter: Still no room for LeSean McCoy to run as he has nowhere to go inside the Patriots 10, twice. Young found another possible weapon on offense earlier in tight end Clay Harbor who took the Eagles to the Patriots 11 on a 25 yard reception. “Zoomass” product James Ihedigbo was shaken up on the last play.
9:37 3d quarter: The Eagles found a weapon: wide receiver Jason Avant who caught two balls for 16 and a 22-yards in his first catches of the game…. except when Young went to find Avant a third time, he was hit square in the midsection from the blind side by Kyle Arrington. Avant dropped the ball and is being attended to by the Eagles training pass.
11:27 3d quarter, Patriots 31, Eagles 13: New England is officially pulling away. Brady hits Welker who dives for the corner post and the score (after review). It’s a 9-yard TD reception. The drive: 8 plays, 69 yards, in 3:33.
11:34 3d quarter: The Linc is QUIET. Brady’s working Branch and Welker and Hernandez for an 18-yard that has NE at first and goal from the 9 yard line. Brady on the run again for 8 more yards and the Patriots are driving into Philadelphia territory.
Halftime The Eagles fans, true to reputation, boo Vince Young and Co. off the field at the end of the first half. Brady finishes up the half with an efficient 13-for-20 for 213 yards and 1 TD. More importantly, the Patriots have taken control of a game that looked like it might get out of hand early. Wes Welker came on strong as the game progressed and finished with 84 yards, 1 TD, on 5 catches for the half. Biggest surprise on the Philadelphia side: Just 29 yards rushing for DeSean Jackson. Stay tuned for some quick halftime thoughts from the Globe’s Greg Bedard coming up.
0:13 2d quarter: The Eagles are now 0-for-5 on third down attempts after Young threw it to no one after facing a third-and-11 from their own 19.
0:18 2d quarter, Patriots 24, Eagles 13: A 45-yard Gostkowski FG extends the Patriots lead. Brady misses Deion Branch on a third-and-10 from the Eagles 27. The Patriots are 3 for 6 in third down situations today. Brady was doing his best Michael Vick impersonation earlier as he’s up to 19 yards on 2 carries.
2:11 2d quarter, Patriots 21, Eagles 13: Vince Young suddenly looking old after starting 4-for-5, he’s 5-for-11 since. He missed DeSean Jackson in the end zone and the Eagles were forced to kick a 22-yard field goal when they looked like they would march into the end zone. The Eagles scoring drive: 10 plays, 78 yards in 4:58. Both Brady and Young have thrown for 190 yards so far.
3:22 2d quarter: Here come the Eagles. First and goal from the 5 yard line after a 24-yard completion to tight end Brent Celek.
7:01 2d quarter, Patriots 21, Eagles 10: Brady hits Welker on a 41-yard pass play. The drive: 5 plays for 76 yards in just 1:45. (We had some internet connection problems here at the Linc, apologies for the delay in updates)
10:20 2d quarter: Steven Gostkowski misses wide right on a 39-yard field goal attempt. Philly catches a break as the Patriots don’t score on the turnover.
12:55 2d quarter: Patriots get the ball right back when Antwaun Molden picked off a poorly thrown pass by Vince Young. 27 yards on the return gets the ball inside the 30. The intended receiver, DeSean Jackson was looking for the flag, but didn’t get it. The Patriots are already in scoring position and have taken it back to the ground with Woodhead and Stevan Ridley getting in on the action.
13:17 2d quarter, Patriots 14, Eagles 10: Looks like Super Bowl 39 all over again. Brady hit Deion Branch for a 63-yard gain to the Eagles 1 yard line. Green-Ellis punched it in for his second TD of the day. Prior to the score, Tiquan Underwood was wide open downfield but couldn’t get his hands around the ball and dropped a big gainer. Before that, Brady was crushed on a sack by Eagles DT Mike Patterson who ran around Sebastian Vollmer. A quick score: 4 plays, 61 yards, 1 penalty, in just 1:33.
0:00 1st quarter: End of first quarter. The Eagles are about to punt. Their offense has slowed from the lightning pace they were on to start the game. Young is 5-for-9 for 137 yards. On the Patriots QB side, Tom Brady is 5-for-7 for 47 yards.
1:27 1st quarter, Eagles 10, Patriots 7: Green-Ellis scores on 4-yard run. It was a long, impressive drive by the Patriots: 12 plays, 2 penalties, 80 yards, in 6:52. Green-Ellis did the bulk of the work on the ground. Brady hit Aaron Hernandez on a 11-yard game to get it close. 42-yards on 10 carries for Green-Ellis.
6:04 1st quarter: Welker picks up a first down on a 10-yard pass making it first and 10 on the Eagles 36. Brady has taken it to the ground with a steady diet of Ben Jarvus Green-Ellis. Gronkowski caught a pass for a 16-yard gain and was hit hard by safety Kurt Coleman.
8:19 1st quarter, Eagles 10, Patriots 0: This time it’s only 3, but the Eagles score again on a 43-yard field goal by Alex Henery after Young threw incomplete on a third and 10 play. The drive: 7 plays, 55 yards, in 2:17.
8:50 1st quarter: The Eagles are facing their first third down of the game, from the Patriots 25 and Vince Young took a timeout. The pass is incomplete after Before the game, Globe sports editor Joe Sullivan was surprised teams weren’t taking better advantage of the Patriots patchwork backfield. Well, the Eagles are doing it today
9:35 1st quarter: Vince Young looks it. He takes to the air again hitting DeSean Jackson on a 37 yard bomb to the Patriots 37. Cornerback Antwaun Molden was beaten on the play. Eagles driving in quickly again. Young is 4-7 for 130 yards already.
10:36 1st quarter: The Patriots got off to a much slower start on offense. Brady hit Gronkowski on a short pass, and Ben-Jarvus Green Ellis picked up a first down deep in their own territory, but Brady threw incomplete to Wes Welker twice and the Patriots were forced to punt from their own 36 after picking up just one first down.
12:43 1st quarter, Eagles 7, Patriots 0: The Eagles came out throwing and scored. First Vince Young hit tight end Brent Celek for 22 yards. Two plays later Young hit wide receiver Riley Cooper with a 58-yard bomb to wide receiver Riley Cooper, who beat Kyle Arrington. LeSean McCoy ran it in two plays later for the TD. Ouch. It was the quickest score of the season for Philly. 84 yards on the drive in just 5 plays, eating up just 2:17 on the clock.
Pregame: It’s a warm afternoon in Philly. Gametime temp at the Linc is 62 degrees, winds out of the south-southwest at 12 m.p.h., 56 percent humidity, and chance of rain is 10 percent.
The Patriots chose heads, the coin was tails, and Philadelphia will receive and defend the south goal.
Erica Appel sang the national anthem flawlessly.
Some brief daytime fireworks accompanied the Anthem and Eagles introductions.
“Fly Eagles fly… on the road to victory”… the tail end of the Eagles fight song just ended.
Former Eagles All-Pro defensive end Hugh Douglas served as Philadelphia’s honorary captain.
Enjoy the action.