PHILADEPHIA, PA- A trick-play touchdown pass from WR Julian Edelman was the deciding factor in the Patriots win over Philadelphia as they improved to a league-best 9-1 and captured their 19th consecutive winning season.
The Patriots offense struggled mightily in Sunday’s Super Bowl 52 rematch against the Philadelphia Eagles. With just 298 total yards of offense, Tom Brady and the Patriots had to revert to a trick play for their only offensive touchdown of the night.
“We’ve been practicing that for a while so it’s cool… it’s fun to throw the pill sometimes,” said Edelman.
Edelman’s version of the “Philly Special” gave New England a 17-10 lead at the beginning of the third quarter. The 15-yard touchdown strike to Phillip Dorsett in the middle of the endzone gave the Patriots their first lead of the game. The Patriots would then score a two-point conversion to go ahead 17-10 as James White tumbled across the goal-line.
After an abysmal first-half performance in which Philadelphia controlled the time of possession by nearly ten minutes, the Patriots defense stepped up their game. The style of defense that New England and their fans were used to seeing throughout the first eight weeks of the season showed up once again. Limiting the Eagles to zero second-half points and forcing a crucial turnover, the Patriots defense earned back their “boogeymen” namesake.
A big night on special teams plus another strong defensive performance leads #Patriots to victory. What went right last night. pic.twitter.com/GWFnlJByzG — New England Patriots (@Patriots) November 18, 2019
Still ranking atop the entire league in total defense, New England limited the Eagles to under 255 yards in total offense as they made Carson Wentz look like a mere backup QB. Coming into the game as one of the worst rushing defenses in the league, the Patriots held the Eagles to just 85 total rushing yards. This just goes to show how good Lamar Jackson and the Raven’s performance was two weeks ago on Sunday Night Football as they racked up over 210 total rushing yards. Wentz throwing for just 214 yards on Sunday afternoon as he was a mere 20-40 on the night with a 74 quarterback rating.
“That’s a really good defense,” Wentz said. “They did a good job taking away things we wanted to do. But we have to be better.”
It wasn’t a good day for any quarterback as Tom Brady didn’t perform to expectations either. The veteran QB completing 26 of 47 throws for just 216 yards and a quarterback rating of just 67. Uneventful postgame, Brady talked at the podium for just 1 minute and 40 seconds, one of the shortest pressers of his career.
Brady: “It doesn’t matter what I think, it matters what we do… everyone just played for 3 hours, we’re a little tired.” Tom spoke for a whole 1 minute and 40 seconds, one of his shortest presser’s ever. — Jordan Moore (@iJordanMoore) November 18, 2019
Despite a lack of offense, the Patriots defense stepped up to show that they can, in fact, play well against quality teams as they essentially won the game for New England on Sunday afternoon. As for the offense, the Patriots welcomed rookie WR N’Keal Harry into the lineup as he had 18 yards on four receptions. Harry’s role will only get bigger as the season progresses. Offensive Tackle Isaiah Wynn is also eligible to return next week which will certainly help with the struggling offensive line.
Reminder- LT Isaiah Wynn is eligible to return next week vs. Dallas after being placed on the IR after week 2 of this season. Could certainly help with a struggling offensive line which has a lot to do with the struggling offense as a whole. pic.twitter.com/mI2oD6jjiL — Jordan Moore (@iJordanMoore) November 18, 2019
Phillip Dorsett was also missing for most of the game after catching the touchdown pass from Edelman as he was hit helmet to helmet, suffering concussion-like symptoms on a play that should’ve been flagged for unnecessary roughness.
Defenseless reciever, helmet to helmet contact which caused a concussion injury but yet no flag after Phillip Dorset’s touchdown. Despicable, @NFLOfficiatingpic.twitter.com/r9MzVArJr8 — Jordan Moore (@iJordanMoore) November 18, 2019
As the season goes on and the relationship between Brady and his receivers progress, the offense will flourish as it did at the beginning of the season. The Patriots receiving options have been a revolving door all season long. Not to mention that the Eagles aggressive pass rush, along with their lockdown secondary was a tough match for the Patriots and they handled it pretty well as they got the win.
The Patriots will host the 6-4 Dallas Cowboys at home next Sunday. Another good test for New England.
[Thumbnail photo via ESPN.com]