Tom Brady's absence certainly didn't help the New England Patriots in their 27-17 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in a Week 2 preseason battle on Monday night at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA. Nevertheless, the Pats were in the mix and were almost able to overcome.
Then again, it's only a meaningless preseason game, so it really doesn't matter, right?
Brady was held out of the Patriots second preseason game, likely due to the fact that New England has two games on the schedule this week. Following Monday's game, the Pats are scheduled to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Friday night in Tampa, Florida.
New England put the first points on the board when Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 51-yard field goal with 6:15 left in the first quarter. Mallett then found Alex Silvestro for a seven-yard touchdown with 13:48 to go before halftime, and the Pats went for two and succeeded.
Philadelphia scored back-to-back touchdowns -- a one-yard run from Lesean McCoy at 10:11 and a one-yard pass from quarterback Nick Foles (18-for-28, 217 yards, two touchdowns, one interception) to Clay Harbor at 9:11 -- to go ahead 14-11. A 35-yard field goal from Gostkowski with 3:13 to go tied the game at 14-14 heading into halftime.
Harbor caught his second and final touchdown pass -- a three-yard strike from Foles -- at the 11:06 mark of the third quarter, putting the Eagles on top for good. Gostkowski hit a preseason-best 55-yard field goal at 4:17 in the third to bring the Pats a little closer, but that was cancelled out by a 42-yard field goal from Alex Henery of the Eagles with 38 ticks left.
Henery kicked a 21-yard field goal with 2:03 left in the fourth to put the nail in the coffin.
Deion Branch had three catches for 51 yards to lead the Pats' receiver. Stevan Ridley rushed for 25 yards on 10 carries and Shane Vereen had 20 rushing yards on 10 carries. Will Allen, Niko Koutouvides and Sterling Moore each had five tackles for the Pats.
Michael Vick started the game under center for Philly, but left in the first quarter after being hit hard by Jermaine Cunningham. Vick had an X-Ray on his ribs in the locker room, which was negative. He finished with five yards on 1-of-3 passing. DeSean Jackson had four catches for 82 yards and Bryce Brown rushed for 51 yards on nine rushes for the Eagles.
New England and Tampa Bay will kick off in Tampa at 7:30 p.m. ET on Friday evening.