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Patriots vs. Eagles Final Score: Pats Show Improvement in 42-35 Win

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Initial thoughts from the Patriots' 42-35 preseason victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots scored 42 points against the Philadelphia Eagles tonight, but what if I told you

  • Flags, flags, flags, flags, flags, flags
  • Well over 200 yards on the ground from the Patriots.  The Patriots' second unit offensive line really excelled after a poor performance last week.  Jonas Gray and Roy Finch each had strong games.  Gray had 98 yards on 12 carries and Finch provided some explosiveness and a touchdown run of his own.
  • All three Patriots quarterbacks performed very well.  Tom Brady was especially sharp.  He had an interception on the opening drive - but the blame on that one goes to Steve Maneri, the recently signed tight end.  Jimmy Garoppolo, somewhat surprisingly, was the second quarterback to play for the Patriots.  He showcased his mobility and ability to throw on the run and make good decisions.  He threw a pair of touchdowns - one to James Develin and one to Brandon LaFell.
  • Ryan Mallett started the second half for the Patriots, and played with a sense of urgency.  He played his best preseason football in two years, leading three third quarter touchdown drives for the Patriots.  His bomb down the right sideline to Brian Tyms was a thing of beauty (as was the Randy Moss-esque catch and celebration by Tyms).
  • flags, flags, flags, flags
  • Darrelle Revis made his Patriots debut and wasn't thrown at in about 10 snaps.  That's a good thing.
  • Rookie free agent Malcolm Butler received the surprise start across from Revis, and forced two fumbles.  He's a lock to make the initial 53.
  • The Patriots had a rotation of Kyle Arrington, Patrick Chung, Logan Ryan, and Duron Harmon at strong safety.  Chung made a couple of nice plays, but also allowed a touchdown pass to Zach Ertz.
  • Flags, flags, flags, flags, flags, flags, flags
  • I counted Tommy Kelly making four impact plays in the first two series alone.  He might be coming back from a major knee injury, but he looked like the Kelly of 2013.  Vince Wilfork was double teamed most plays and didn't show up much.
  • Flags, flags, flags, flags
  • The Patriots' offensive line rotation was crazy tonight, with nearly every active player playing multiple positions.  From an initial view, I liked what I saw from Josh Kline and Jordan Devey and I saw some struggles from Marcus Cannon.  I'll have to go back and study the line before making any conclusions here.
  • In the longsnapper battle: Danny Aiken had a poor snap that was dropped by Ryan Allen but also had a nice open field tackle.  Tyler Ott missed a block that led to a blocked punt.
  • Oh yeah, the refs threw too many flags.  It got to the point that the game was borderline unwatchable.
What are your initial thoughts on the game?