Feeley, Eagles Show It Might Not Be So Easy for Patriots, After All
FOXBOROUGH, Mass.--It remains to be seen if the Philadelphia Eagles have a quarterback controversy on their hands, or even a quarterback issue.
But backup A.J. Feeley, filling in because of Donovan McNabb's ankle and thumb injuries, nearly beat the team here Sunday night that many expect to go unbeaten this season. Feeley threw for 345 yards and three touchdowns in the Eagles' 31-28 defeat to the New England Patriots.
"It was a heck of a football game and something we can build on," Eagles Coach Andy Reid said.
The Patriots were impressed by Feeley.
"We tried to blitz him and we couldn't get to him, and he was just lighting us up," said cornerback Asante Samuel, who had two of the Patriots' three interceptions.
The Eagles gave the rest of the league a blueprint for beating the Patriots. They threw the ball early and often on offense. They took chances, converting a fourth-down gamble on their way to a touchdown and recovering an onside kick. Their defense got hits on Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and kept wide receiver Randy Moss basically in check.
"We had a couple too many turnovers against a good team, but we had a lot of good efforts out there," Reid said.
Said Patriots Coach Bill Belichick: "We had some mistakes, and they forced us into mistakes."
The Patriots emerged with their aura of invincibility punctured, just a week after they had overwhelmed the Buffalo Bills, 56-10. Yet they improved to 11-0, with Brady passing for 380 yards.
"We want to win the game period, no matter how, whether it's one point or 10 points or 20 points or whatever," linebacker Tedy Bruschi said in the Patriots' postgame locker room. "It feels good that we are division champs. We know we have some work to do to get better, but we accomplished something today.... I anticipate more games like this, to tell you the truth. Teams play their best football coming down the stretch. Take last week--is it gonna be like that every week? I doubt it. I highly doubt it. We're gonna be in some battles."
By Mark Maske |
November 26, 2007; 12:51 AM ET
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