Eagles bow in preseason opener

Posted: August 14, 2009

Yes, there was still a game. And the first-team Eagles showed plenty of rust.

As news of Michael Vick's signing swirled, myriad penalties plus shaky special teams gave the New England Patriots a 15-point lead at halftime, one the reserves would not relinquish.

The Patriots defeated the Eagles, 27-25, in the preseason opener for both teams last night at Lincoln Financial Field.

Eagles kicker David Akers made four field goals, but he missed a 43-yard attempt with 57 seconds left that could have won the game.

Two of the Eagles' offensive starters left the game with injuries.

Free-agent left tackle Jason Peters re-injured his left thigh and tight end Brent Celek partially separated his left shoulder. Coach Andy Reid said Celek would be fine in "a couple of days."

The mistakes happened early and often for the Eagles' starters.

On the second New England series, Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel grabbed Randy Moss' arm and committed a 46-yard pass-interference penalty, which led to a short Tom Brady touchdown pass. Samuel celebrated, thinking he had thwarted the long attempt, before he turned around and saw the yellow flag.

The Eagles committed six penalties for 90 yards in the first half.

"It took us out of situations and put them into good situations," Reid said of the penalties. "You can't do that."

In the second quarter, the punt coverage allowed Julian Edelman, a rookie who played quarterback at Kent State, to scamper 75 yards for a touchdown.

Donovan McNabb was sacked twice in his five series as the first-team offense failed to score a touchdown. McNabb finished 11 of 18 for 103 yards. Rookie LeSean McCoy, starting for the injured Brian Westbrook, rushed for 55 yards on 10 carries.

Brady, originally scheduled to play just one series in his first return to game action since tearing ligaments in his left knee at the start of last season, was impressive. He completed 10 of 15 passes for 100 yards, with two TDs and one interception.

When the reserves entered, Eagles tailback Eldra Buckley scored two second-half TDs, on a 4-yard run and a 1-yard reception from A.J. Feeley.

Contact staff writer Matt Gelb

at 215-854-2928 or mgelb@phillynews.com.

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