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Game Notes: Patriots vs. Eagles

Posted Aug 20, 2012

The following are game notes from the New England Patriots preseason game vs. the Philadelphia Eagles at Gillette Stadium on Monday, August 20, 2012.

* The Patriots and Eagles have now met in the preseason a total of 20 times. Philadelphia ties Washington as New England’s second most frequent postseason opponent. The Giants and Patriots have met the most with 21 total preseason meetings.

* The Patriots fell to 1-1 this preseason with a 27-17 loss to Philadelphia. New England lost to the Eagles by the same score in Philadelphia’s last preseason trip to New England on Aug. 22, 2008.

* QB Ryan Mallett started the game in place of Tom Brady. It marked his first professional start. Mallett had 10 completions on 20 attempts for 105 yards and a touchdown. In the first half, Mallett led New England’s first three drives, including a 13-play, 80-yard touchdown drive that ended in a 7-yard scoring pass to TE Alex Silvestro. Mallett also led the Patriots’ first two drives of the second half. Mallett’s touchdown pass was his second scoring toss as a member of the Patriots. He had a 16-yard touchdown pass to RB Stevan Ridley in his first NFL preseason action vs. Jacksonville on Aug. 11, 2011.

* TE Alex Silvestro, who converted to tight end from defense line, made his first NFL catch on an 11-yard reception from QB Ryan Mallett in the first quarter. Silvestro later caught a 7-yard touchdown pass from Mallett in the second quarter.

* LB Brandon Spikes and DL Ron Brace made their preseason debuts on defense with both players seeing action in the starting lineup.

* WR Deion Branch made his preseason debut on offense with a start at wide receiver. The 11-year veteran led the Patriots with 51 receiving yards on three catches.

* First round draft picks Chandler Jones and Dont’a Hightower were both in the starting lineup for the second straight preseason game.

* K Stephen Gostkowski was a perfect 3-for-3 on field goal attempts tonight, connecting from 51, 35, and 55 yards. Gostkowski is 5-for-8 from 50 yards or more in his career, including a career-best 53-yard field goal at Denver on Nov. 11, 2009. His only 50-plus field goal at Gillette Stadium in the regular season was a 51-yarder vs. Chicago on Nov. 26, 2006.

  • Gostkowski has never attempted two 50-yard field goals in a regular season game, but was 2-for-2 from 50-plus tonight.
  • The longest regular season field goal in Gillette Stadium history was a 54-yarder by K Mike Nugent of Cincinnati on Sept. 12, 2010. Tonight Gostkowski connected on a 55-yarder.
  • Only one field goal in Patriots history has been from longer than 55 yards – the team-record 57-yarder by Adam Vinatieri against Chicago in Champaign, Ill., on Nov. 10, 2002.

* Deion Branch (from Mallett), Jeremy Ebert (from Brian Hoyer), Shane Vereen (from Mallett) and Donte’ Stallworth (from Hoyer) all had catches of exactly 20 yards, tying for the Patriots’ longest plays of the night.

* Sixth-round draft pick DB Nate Ebner picked off Philadelphia QB Nick Foles at the 3-yard line and returned it 34 yards to end a scoring threat at the end of the first half. A world-class rugby player who walked on at Ohio State, Ebner was a special teams standout who saw limited action on defense in college.

* Defensive Quick Hits: LB Jermaine Cunningham led the team with three quarterback hits. DL Marcus Forston led the team with two tackles for losses. LB Niko Koutouvides paced the club with five solo tackles and also added a team-high two special teams stops.

* Even Steven in the Preseason:

  • 51-51-1: The Patriots’ all-time record at home in the preseason.
  • 19-19: The Patriots’ overall record in the preseason since 2003.
  • 10-10: The Patriots’ record in their last 20 preseason home games.
  • 10-10: The Patriots’ all-time against the Eagles in the preseason.
  • 5-5: The Patriots’ record in the preseason this decade (2010-present).
  • 1-1: The Patriots’ record in the 2012 preseason.

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