FOXBOROUGH — Faced with playing three games in 10 days, the Patriots had to choose when they wanted to give their starters the most work. It wasn’t Monday night, as Tom Brady, Wes Welker, and many other Patriots stars didn’t dress in a 27-17 loss to the Eagles at Gillette Stadium in their second preseason tune-up.
New England’s defense sans Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo allowed 144 rushing yards. Eagles running back LeSean McCoy collected 30 yards and a touchdown on seven carries, but only five yards came from the legs of quarterback Michael Vick.
The Eagles intended to use Vick for three quarters, but that plan backfired with a jolt from Jermaine Cunningham to Vick’s ribs in his second series. Kyle Love’s pressure gave Cunningham an opening to Vick, who was nearly intercepted.
After the play, Vick walked to the locker room for X-rays on his ribs, which came back negative. Vick has missed three games because of rib injuries in each of the last two seasons.
Nick Foles (18 for 28) replaced Vick, throwing for 217 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. Tight end Clay Harbor caught both TDs.
Rookie Ryan Mallett (10 for 20, 105 yards, TD) and 26-year-old Brian Hoyer (5 for 17, 55 yards) split time under center for the Patriots.
Patriots wide receiver Deion Branch made his preseason debut with three catches for 51 yards after behind held out of the Saints game 11 days ago. Running back Stevan Ridley led with 10 carries for 25 yards. Tight end Alex Silvestro caught New England’s only touchdown, while Stephen Kostkowski kicked three field goals, including a 55-yarder.
The Patriots will likely give their starters some action Friday when they head to Tampa Bay to face the Buccaneers. Their preseason schedule concludes next Wednesday on the road against the New York Giants.
2:00 — Eagles 27, Patriots 17 — Henery added another field goal — this one from just 21 yards — in a time-draining series. Drive summary: 10 plays, 50 yards, 5:36.
11:00 — Eagles 24, Patriots 17 — No change in score through the first four minutes of the fourth. Eagles are threatening now.
0:33 — Eagles 24, Patriots 17 — Henery answered with a 42-yard field goal. Drive summary: 7 plays, 56 yards, 3:39.
4:12 — Eagles 21, Patriots 17 — Henery got schooled. Gostkowski drilled a 55-yard field goal within three minutes of Henery missing a 55-yarder. Drive summary: 6 plays, 18 yards, 2:03. Mallett completed a 14-yard pass to Branch for the key play of the series.
6:15 — Eagles 21, Patriots 14 — Eagles kicker Alex Henery attempted a 55-yard field goal. Yes, of course, it came short. It didn’t even make it through the end zone. Patriots take possession on their 45-yard line.
11:02 — Eagles 21, Patriots 14 — Harbor caught his second touchdown from three yards out. Drive summary: 8 plays, 80 yards, 3:58. Key play was the 40-yarder to Jackson. Foles has racked up 162 yards, 2 TDs and 1 INT in Vick’s absence. Vick’s X-rays on his ribs came up negative.
11:35 — Eagles 14, Patriots 14 — Foles had plenty of time to complete a 40-yard pass to Jackson. Sterling Moore wrapped him up quickly, though, which isn’t easy against Jacksonr. Eagles in the red zone on the first series of the second half.
0:00 — Eagles 14, Patriots 14 — Despite a lack of pressure, Foles threw a pass to the hands of Patriots cornerback Nate Ebner instead of receiver Jeremy Maclin. Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson ended the return with an over-the-shoulder tackle. See you after halftime.
1:55 — Eagles 14, Patriots 14 — Hoyer just raised some eyebrows with a Brady-like move to avoid the rush and make a good throw on the run to Donte’ Stallworth on the sideline. He’s still completed less than 50 percent of his passes, though.
2:39 — Eagles 14, Patriots 14 — Bolden needs to learn this signal that prevents him from getting crushed on punt returns. He just got crushed again, but this time he was able to hold on to the ball after a hit by Stanley Havili. Bolden is a 22-year-old rookie out of Mississippi.
3:09 — Eagles 14, Patriots 14 — Gostkowski nailed a 35-yarder to tie it up at 14. Drive summary: 14 plays, 63 yards, 5:57. Key play: Another nice look to Branch, a 17-yard completion on third-and-13. Branch leads all receivers with 37 yards on two catches.
9:06 — Eagles 14, Patriots 11 — Foles hit a wide open Clay Harbor in the back corner of the end zone. Drive summary: 2 plays, 12 yards, 46 seconds. Could the Eagles go for an under-30-second TD next series? With another Patriots fumble, it could happen.
9:59 — Patriots 11, Eagles 7 — Another Patriots fumble? With Brian Hoyer in at QB, Eagles defensive end Phillip Hunt sacked and forced another turnover. And the Eagles have possession again at the 1-yard line.
10:07 — Patriots 11, Eagles 7 — LeSean McCoy pounded it in for the TD. Drive summary: 3 plays, 24 yards, 1:24. Never would have happened if Bolden called a fair catch.
11:31 — Patriots 11, Eagles 0 — Patriots punt returner Brandon Bolden should have called a fair catch. Eagles corner Brandon Boykin forced a fumble as soon as Bolden touched the ball. Eagles recovered and are now on the 1-yard line.
13:44 — Patriots 11, Eagles 0 — Patriots tight ends continue to get their way. It wasn’t Rob Gronkowski. It wasn’t Aaron Hernandez. It was Alex Silvestro, who caught a well-placed pass by Mallett on an out route. Running back Shane Vereen rushed off the left guard for the 2-point conversion.
0:00 — Patriots 3, Eagles 0 — Mallett’s 20-yard completion to Deion Branch on third down kept the Patriots’ drive alive. It will continue on the other end at the start of the second quarter.
3:11 — Patriots 3, Eagles 0 — Mallett caught a break. He threw an interception to Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, but a roughing the passer call on Fletcher Cox negated the pick. First down Patriots.
Vick injury update: He went to the locker room for X-rays on his ribs — right where Cunningham got him on the hit.
6:09 — Patriots 3, Eagles 0 — Patriots linebacker Jermaine Cunningham leveled Michael Vick, nearly forcing an interception on a pass intended for DeSean Jackson. Vick not in for the next play, walking toward the locker room. He was replaced by Nick Foles.
6:15 — Patriots 3, Eagles 0 — Stephen Gostkowski got the Patriots on the board first with a 51-yard field goal. The field goal capped an 11-play drive that lasted 4:45. Key play was Mallett’s 16-yard pass to Edelman on 3rd-and-8.
9:58 — The Patriots got their first first down on a reception by Julian Edelman, who recovered his own fumble on the punt return.
Confirming pregame reports, Tom Brady was not on the field for the first series. Led by rookie quarterback Ryan Mallett, the Patriots went three-and-out.
Olympic gold medalist gymnast Aly Raisman was honored on the field. She made her way up to the press box soon after.
Garrett Reid, the late son of Eagles coach Andy Reid, was also honored with a moment of silence.
The Patriots chose to receive. Houston, we have received confirmation that this is in fact a preseason game.
FOXBOROUGH — Ladies and gents, welcome to Monday Night Football. Well, sort of. We’re about to get underway here from Gillette Stadium for the Patriots’ second preseason game.
The Patriots defeated the Saints, 7-6, 11 days ago. Starting with the Eagles tonight, the Patriots play their final three preseason games in the next 10 days.
We’ll have in-game and postgame updates for you right here. Stay tuned, kickoff is set for 8 p.m.