Birds' Fast Start Stalls

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady throws against the Eagles in the first half on Sunday. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

The Eagles’ start was stunningly good. On the third snap, Vince Young found Riley Cooper for 58 yards, Cooper outrunning Kyle Arrington. Two plays later, LeSean McCoy’s 11th rushing touchdown of the season – the most by an Eagle since Ricky Watters in 1996 – made it 7-0.

Second drive, Young found DeSean Jackson for 44 yards, again against Arrington, but the Birds bogged down and Alex Henery kicked a 43-yard field goal for a 10-0 lead.

But the Patriots were still the Patriots, as they proved in driving 80 yards to make it 10-7. Two Eagles third-down penalties played a role in the 12-play drive, which included the first sighting of Nnamdi Asomugha, playing in the dime package.

The Eagles’ next drive went nowhere, partly because an obvious facemask tackle of Young was ignored. And the Pats went right back down the field to take the lead, Brady with all day to find inexperienced corner Brandon Hughes in coverage against Deion Branch for 63 yards, setting up BenJarvus Green-Ellis’ second TD run.

When Young underthrew Jackson, who was pushed down as Antwaun Molden intercepted, it seemed New England might be off to the races. But the Birds’ defense held, and Stephen Gostkowski pushed a 39-yard field goal attempt wide right. The score remained 14-10.