The New England Patriots have taken a 24-13 lead into halftime thanks to a 17-point second quarter.
While the Eagles may have come out and staggered the Patriots with their best shot to start the game, New England is the team that's proven capable of maintaining the intensity and momentum through the first 30 minutes of football in Philadelphia.
With the second quarter starting with a Philadelphia punt, the Patriots found themselves with good field position looking to tie the game or go ahead with a touchdown. While the first two plays of the drive--going for a net loss of three yards when combined with a defensive offside penalty--didn't exactly inspire confidence, Tom Brady proved he was capable of hanging with the Eagles in the passing game. Stepping away from pressure, Brady directed Deion Branch and then found him for a long gain. Staying on his feet, Branch would eventually zig-zag his way to the 1-yard line, where BenJarvus Green-Ellis punched the ball home to make it 14-10, New England.
While the defense would come up big on the next drive, with Antwaun Molden picking off an underthrown pass from Vince Young on the very first play, the offense would not be able to capitalize immediately. Some poor running from the backup running backs left the Patriots facing a 39-yard field goal, which Stephen Gostkowski pushed wide right.
A 3-and-out would give Tom Brady and co. another shot, however, and this time they would come through. After some solid gains on a run by Danny Woodhead and passes to Aaron Hernandez and Wes Welker, the Patriots had a 2nd-and-1 play to get creative with. Again Brady targeted Wes Welker, who faked an underneath run to shake off the coverage before going deep. With a rare long ball coming his way, the NFL's leading receiver pulled a bit further away from his nearest competition, running unopposed into the end zone to make it a 41-yard touchdown reception.
While the Eagles finally got back to scoring with a late field goal, pulling within a touchdown of the Patriots, Tom Brady needed just a few more plays to get the Patriots back into Eagles territory. And while this drive would fizzle out short of the end zone, Stephen Gostkowski managed to nail his second attempt from 45 yards, answering the Eagles' field goal with one of his own.
The Patriots will start the second half with the ball, with a chance to really step on the Eagles' throats with a score.