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NEW ENGLAND 31, PHILADELPHIA 10

Patriots Rough Up a Shaky McNabb

September 15, 2003|From Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — The New England Patriots pressured, harassed and rattled Donovan McNabb, and never let up.

Tom Brady passed for 255 yards and three touchdowns, and the Patriots forced six turnovers and had seven sacks in a 31-10 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.

Embarrassed in a 31-0 loss to Buffalo in their opener, the Patriots (1-1) scored two first-half touchdowns off turnovers and kept the Eagles winless at Lincoln Financial Field.

"We played better. We executed better. We scored in the red area and we played better defense in the red area," Coach Bill Belichick said. "It's not that complicated."

The two-time NFC East champion Eagles, coming off a 17-0 loss to Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay on Monday night, are 0-2 for the first time since losing their first four games in 1999, Andy Reid's first year as coach.

"We have to go back and analyze ourselves and I have to start with me," Reid said. "We have to get this thing turned around."

In his worst game since his rookie season, McNabb completed 18 of 46 passes for 186 yards, had two passes intercepted -- one returned for a touchdown -- and lost two fumbles.

McNabb heard loud boos for the first time since the day he was drafted. Eagle fans who attended the 1999 draft in New York wanted running back Ricky Williams and booed McNabb's selection with the No. 2 pick.

"I'm way better than what I've been doing," McNabb said. "I have to go out and make the plays. I'm not confused. Consistency is something I don't have."

Christian Fauria caught two touchdown passes, Willie McGinest had two sacks and one fumble recovery and Tedy Bruschi returned an interception 18 yards for a touchdown for New England.

David Akers kicked a career-long 57-yard field goal for the Eagles, outscored 75-20 in their last three games, including a 27-10 loss to the Buccaneers in the NFC championship game in January.

Brady completed 30 of 44 passes, taking advantage of a secondary missing Pro Bowl safety Brian Dawkins and Pro Bowl cornerback Bobby Taylor. He was 14 for 28 for 123 yards with four interceptions and no touchdowns against Buffalo.

"Brian Dawkins is the best in the league, but they still have a solid team," Brady said.

Adam Vinatieri had a 27-yard field goal for the Patriots.

Philadelphia defensive tackle Paul Grasmanis tore his left Achilles' tendon in the fourth quarter and was taken to the locker room on a cart.

Grasmanis' knee buckled as he chased Brady and he was down for several minutes before being helped onto the cart. The eighth-year veteran will have an MRI exam today.

He's the third Philadelphia defensive lineman lost for the season. End Derrick Burgess tore an Achilles' tendon in practice two weeks ago and fourth-round pick Jamaal Green broke a leg in the exhibition season.

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