August 16. 2018 11:54PM

Brady is back in the saddle as Pats post preseason win

Staff Report


New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady throws a pass against the Philadelphia Eagles during the first quarter at Gillette Stadium. (Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports)

This matchup between the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles was a lot different from the last one.

Tom Brady went 19-for-26, 172 yards and two touchdowns in a stellar first half in the Pats’ 37-20 win in NFL preseason play Thursday night at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.

The last time the teams played, of course, was Super Bowl LII, which the Eagles won, 41-33, in February.

Nick Foles, who won the Super Bowl MVP award, was a most pedestrian 3-for-9 for 44 yards in limited action Thursday. He also fumbled, which Pats rookie linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley returned 54 tards for a second-quarter touchdown.

Brady connected with Chris Hogan on a 4-yard TD strike in the first quarter and with James White for a 20-yard score in the second quarter.

The five-time Super Bowl winner looked sharp, connecting with seven different receivers, including four to Julian Edelman, who saw his first action in a year.

Backup QB Brian Hoyer hooked up with new acquisition Cordarrelle Patterson for an 11-yard touchdown in the third quarter. Hoyer generally struggled, though, going 5-for-13 for 32 yards and a touchdown.

Rookie Danny Etling played one series, and didn’t connect on the only pass he threw.

Eagles backup QB Nate Sudfeld had an impressive night, throwing three touchdown passes. He connected on 22 of 39 passes for 312 yards and was intercepted once.

Stephen Gostkowski kicked field goals of 37, 49 and 29 yards for New England.

The Patriots also got production from the running game, picking up 140 yards on the ground, led by Brandon Bolden’s 35 yards.

Defensively, New England held Philadelphia’s running attack to 43 yards on 16 carries, and the Pats allowed only seven points in the first half, when the Eagles played mostly their starters. The Pats also sacked Eagles quarterbacks eight times.

The Eagles outgained the Patriots, 359-335.

New England’s next preseason game is next Friday, Aug. 24, at the Carolina Panthers. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m.