Eagles @ Patriots 2nd Half Live Blog

Eagles @ Patriots 2nd Half Live Blog

Click here for the 1st half live blog.

All it took was one half of football for the fickle Philly fans to call for McNabb's trade.  Commenter John, "I'm officially on the feely [sic] bandwagon... trade mcnabb and his contract."

I think he may have already forgotten the third play of the game.

Second half thoughts after the jump.

There has been a Darren Howard sighting!  Darren Howard! I forgot that guy was even on the team! (not really)  And the Eagles force the Patriots to punt.  The Birds defense has been very impressive to this point.  Good on 'em.

John Madden has leftovers from Thanksgiving.  I find that hard to believe.  Aww, it's McNabb's 31st birthday.  Happy Birthday, number five.

The Patriots defense finally showed what they are capable of on the Eagles first drive of the second half, forcing Rocca to punt.  Early in the second half, it's still 24-21 Patriots.

Hey, there's Curt Schilling! Booooooooooo!

Brady observation: the guy is amazingly accurate.  If a guy is open, Brady gets him the ball in his hands.

Randy Moss dropped a bomb.  Dawk and Lito were there and it would have been a fairly sick over the shoulder catch, but it did hit his hands.

On a big third and three, Wes Welker loses Joselio Hanson for a nifty little route to get the first.  The Eagles need to try and force a fumble more aggressively here.  HIT STICK!

Damn.  The Patriots run a wide receiver screen to perfection.  Wes Welker followed his blocks perfectly and got all the way down to the Pats 2 or 3.  That's a back breaker type play right there on a 3rd down.

I just got a hit from a Google search for "Reno Mahe highlights."  I'm surprised there are search results for that one.

Penalty on the evil ones!  Randy Moss caught a TD but he was flagged for being too handsy.  Dawkins just missed an INT.  woulda been an amazing catch.

Another big stand from the Eagles defense prevents the Pats from getting in the end zone.  And the Patriots MISS THE FG!  Ouch.

Eagles takeover and A.J. Feeley will now lead them on a legendary, go-ahead, drive that will forever make Eagles fans want to move on from the Donovan McNabb era.

Kevin Curtis catches a nice ball from Feeley for a big third down conversion.  Madden and Michaels are talking about what to do with Feeley when McNabb comes back.  Usually I'd say Feeley goes back to the bench, but I'm not so sure.

As a commenter points out, ESPN.com's main headline right now is "Touchy Feeley."  That's not good.

With their third or so trick play of the game, the Birds run a successful flea flicker.  Sure it wasn't a deep bomb, but a completion for a first is fine with me.

With a big third down and four, A.J. elects to take a timeout.  Man, on his first real miss of the night on the previous play, A.J. couldn't connect with Reggie Brown on a play that could have given them six or at least a first down.

TOUCHDOWN REGGIE BROWN!  Feeley hangs in the pocket and his patience pays off.  Eagles take a 28-24 lead

I'm kind of at a loss for words at the moment.  This is the point where I usually get real quiet watching the game and don't really want to talk to anyone.  I just keep saying over and over to myself, "they can do this."

On a 4th down on which the Patriots were going to punt, the refs call a neutral zone infraction on the Eagles giving the Patriots a first down.  That's what you call a buzz kill.

:biting fingernails:

4th QTR: The Eagles start the fourth with a four point lead and the Pats in a third down jam.  Brady gets a quick completion for a first.  That damn Wes Welker again.

Joe may have the comment of the night, "Nick Cole needs to be cut immediately.  Not tomorrow - right now, during the game."

WOW!  The Patriots elect to go for it on fourth down and the Birds bring the house at Brady.  INCOMPLETE! Birds get the ball and it's BWest time.

Ohhhh, man.  Kevin Curtis had his man BEAT deep but A.J. left it short and the defenders knocked it down.  On third and 8, they couldn't connect.  Not a great few plays there from the Birds.  A.J. had Junior Seau on BWest and couldn't get him the ball in stride.  That hurts.

The Pats take over at their own 31.  Randy Moss has been awfully quiet.  Has he blown up on the sideline yet this year?  Let's see it!

Randy Moss may be held in check but Wes Welker is a speedy little white boy.  The defense hasn't been getting to Brady lately and he's making them pay.  The Pats have been running this quick hit plays that aren't giving the Birds a chance to get to Brady.

TAKEO Spikes lays out Maroney on run play.  Never should have left his feet.  Wes "fucking" Welker keeps killing the Eagles and gets the Pats another first down.

And ANOTHER to Welker.  Ugh.  I can't type anymore.  Omar Gaither finally breaks one up in the end zone.  Nicely done, Omar.

Touchdown Patriots.  Laurence Maroney runs it in to give the Pats a 31-28 lead.  A.J. Feeley has 7 minutes to become a legend or just another backup QB.

The Birds can't buy a break, getting called for an illegal block on the kick return.  Surely the refs have orders from the NFL to make sure the Pats don't lose, right?

We almost had a flashback of the pick-six earlier in the game.  Feeley gave Asante Saumel a ball in his hands that the Patriots dropped.  Feeley followed it up with a bullet to L.J. Smith for a huge first down.  Then L.J. again, then Curtis.  hmmm.

EEEEEEEEEk.  And A.J. Feeley throws a questionable ball to Curtis that is right into the hands of Asante Samuel.  As Madden said, "he just threw that one up and he was hoping."  That could be the ball game folks.

The Patriots have a huge 3rd and 1 which is basically the ball game.  Can the defense step up and make a play?  The Pats move offsides making it a third and six.  That's a big help.

Takeo Spikes gets caught out of position and Jabar Gafney catches the huge first down.  It's looking bleak, my friends.

Birds force the Pats to punt.  The Birds could really use a Devon Hester here, couldn't they?  And just as I type that Al Michaels tells us Brian Westbrook is back to return.  I bet a quarter the Pats don't kick it to him.

Westbrook doesn't really get any open field and the Eagles get the ball with .19 seconds and no timeouts.

It doesn't matter as A.J. throws another pick.  Game over.  Pats 31 Eagles 28

It was a valiant effort from all of the Iggles.  Props for showing the world that they're not a bunch of chumps.

Snap counts: Nelson Agholor plays whole game vs. Bengals

Snap counts: Nelson Agholor plays whole game vs. Bengals

CINCINNATI -- Just six days after being a healthy scratch against the Packers, Nelson Agholor didn't just play against the Bengals. He didn't just start either. 

He played all 80 snaps on Sunday afternoon in the 32-14 loss at Paul Brown Stadium. 

Agholor, 23, had an awful game in Seattle a couple weeks ago and then said he was in his own head as the pressure of the NFL was seemingly crushing him. So head coach Doug Pederson gave him a day off. 

On Sunday, Agholor tied a career-high with four catches that went for just 23 yards. 

With Jordan Matthews out with an ankle injury, undrafted rookie Paul Turner got significant playing time. Turner played a career-high 41 snaps (51 percent), while Bryce Treggs got just two snaps. With Agholor and Dorial Green-Beckham playing most of the game, there wasn't much left for Treggs. 

Zach Ertz played 70 snaps and had nine catches on 15 targets. Trey Burton played 53 snaps, which was likely a result of not having Matthews. 

In the running back rotation, Darren Sproles led the way with 44 snaps, while Wendell Smallwood had 24 and Kenjon Barner had 13. Ryan Mathews missed his second straight game with an MCL sprain. 

On defense, Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod played the entire game, which has been customary. 

In somewhat of a surprise, Leodis McKelvin led corners with 55 snaps (86 percent). Nolan Carroll had 51 and rookie Jalen Mills, who had been playing significant time, got just 23. 

The Eagles weren't in nickel all game, so Mychal Kendricks played 26 snaps, while Jaylen Watkins played 39. 

Here are full snap counts from Sunday afternoon: 

Offense
Brandon Brooks: 80 snaps (100 percent)
Allen Barbre: 80 (100)
Jason Kelce: 80 (100)
Stefen Wisniewski: 80 (100)
Jason Peters: 80 (100)
Carson Wentz: 80 (100)
Nelson Agholor: 80 (100)
Zach Ertz: 70 (88)
Trey Burton: 53 (66)
Dorial Green-Beckham: 50 (62)
Darren Sproles: 44 (55)
Paul Turner: 41 (51)
Wendell Smallwood: 24 (30)
Brent Celek: 19 (24)
Kenjon Barner: 13 (16)
Isaac Seumalo: 4 (5)
Bryce Treggs: 2 (2)

Defense
Malcolm Jenkins: 64 snaps (100 percent)
Rodney McLeod: 64 (100)
Jordan Hicks: 63 (98)
Nigel Bradham: 61 (95)
Leodis McKelvin: 55 (86)
Nolan Carroll: 51 (80)
Brandon Graham: 49 (77)
Fletcher Cox: 47 (73)
Connor Barwin: 42 (66)
Jaylen Watkins: 39 (61)
Bennie Logan: 37 (58)
Vinny Curry: 26 (41)
Mychal Kendricks: 26 (41)
Jalen Mills: 23 (36)
Beau Allen: 22 (34)
Marcus Smith: 18 (28)
Destiny Vaeao: 16 (25)
Stephen Tulloch: 1 (2)

Nelson Agholor takes step in right direction in return to action

Nelson Agholor takes step in right direction in return to action

CINCINNATI — Nelson Agholor took a step forward on Sunday afternoon.

It was a baby step, but it was still a step.

The Eagles’ first-round pick from a year ago started in Sunday’s 32-14 loss to the Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium six days after being a healthy scratch — call it a mental health day — against the Packers.

Two weeks ago, Agholor, 23, had an awful day in Seattle, after which he admitted that he was in his own head. It appeared the pressure of being in the NFL had become overwhelming.

Head coach Doug Pederson elected to sit Agholor in the Packers game, but he didn’t have much of a choice on Sunday with Jordan Matthews’ ankle injury.

“I felt good competing again, just getting the chance to lace it up and go out there felt great,” Agholor said. “I had fun doing it and now I just have to build on it.”

It wasn’t a great day for Agholor, but it wasn’t an awful one either. He tied a career-high with four catches that went for just 23 yards. He was the Eagles’ sixth-leading receiver on a day when the offense struggled mightily.

But he caught the football, didn’t have a drop and didn’t have any major mental blunders. Yes, the bar is low.

“I thought it was a great time to get out there, got to touch the ball a bit, caught some passes, caught some contested ones,” Agholor said. “And now it's just about finding a way to take the next step for myself. Watch the game with a critical eye and continue to grow as a football player.”

Since the Eagles drafted Agholor with the 20th overall pick in 2015, he’s been a colossal disappointment. During Sunday’s embarrassing loss to the Bengals, Agholor quietly surpassed his receiving yards total from his rookie season. In 2016, he has 287 yards on 31 catches.

Perhaps that means there’s been improvement, but not really. The Eagles were counting on Agholor to become a viable option for rookie quarterback Carson Wentz and that hasn’t happened. In fact, at times, Agholor has made a negative impact.

Undrafted rookie Paul Turner, in his second career game on Sunday, caught six passes for 80 yards, both surpassing career highs for Agholor, who has been a starter since he joined the Eagles.

“The most important thing for me is to focus on me right now,” Agholor said when asked if the Eagles are giving maximum effort. “And I want to give unmatched effort and have great focus in the classroom and let it translate to football games.”

Agholor said there wasn’t some grand announcement from Pederson telling him that he was going to be active for Sunday. More or less, that announcement was inferred thanks to Matthews' injury status and Agholor’s practice load during the week.

No, it wasn’t Pro Bowl stuff from Agholor on Sunday. Four catches for 23 yards isn’t going to ever be good enough. But he was at least able to take a baby step forward.

He wasn’t too nervous either.

“I was blessed, to be honest with you,” he said. “Put the shoulder pads on, the helmet on again. The lesson that I truly thought I learned from last week was something that I loved so much, I didn't have an opportunity to do. So now, I didn't care if I just ran go-routes every play and the ball didn't come my way. As long as I got to put my cleats on and play with my teammates and play the game that I've loved for so long, I was happy about it.”