By William Connelly
The Eagles played one and a half super quarters against the Pats.
And that was far short of what they needed in what was billed as the rematch of the Birds-Pats Super Bowl 52.
In that game, Philly won 41-33 and lifted the Lombardi Trophy.
In this one, the Pats locked down Philly’s offense for the last three quarters and won 17-10 at the Linc.
The Patriots gave up a 95-yard touchdown drive in the second quarter, but then shut down the Eagles the rest of the way. Just before the half, with the Pats trailing 10-0, New England defensive lineman Danny Shelton came up with a huge strip sack on Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, which was recovered by Lawrence Guy at the Eagles 22-yard line. The Patriots offense mustered a field goal out of the possession, cutting the Eagles lead to 10-9 just ahead of the half.
The Patriots had the ball to start the second half, and made the most out of their double-score opportunity. The Patriots went on a 10-play, 84-yard drive, capped off with Julian Edelman throwing his first career regular season touchdown, a 15-yard scoring strike to Phillip Dorsett. James White converted the two-point conversion to give the Patriots a 17-10 lead.
The Patriots defense forced five straight punts after the offense scored that touchdown. The Eagles were threatening to tie the game on their second-to-last drive after getting the ball to the New England 27 on a 19-yard connection between Wentz and Nelson Agholor on a third-and-10. But Wentz threw three straight incompletions to set up a fourth-and-10, and Agholor had a potential touchdown grab bounce off his fingertips in the back of the end zone.
The Patriots went three-and-out after getting the ball back, but rookie Jake Bailey sent a 54-yard punt to the Eagles 12 with 34 seconds left in the game. Wentz’s 58-yard desperation heave was knocked down with no time left to seal the win for New England.
The Patriots defense held the Eagles to just 3-for-13 on third downs Sunday. Neither team scored over the final 27 minutes of the game.
Tom Brady finished the game 26-of-47 for 216 yards and a QB rating of 67.3. Edelman had five receptions for 53 yards, and his touchdown pass.