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Eagles cannot stop Patriots or hold onto the football

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The Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots should get into a few shootouts this season. Since the Eagles and Patriots have some of the most explosive offenses in the NFL, it would be a big problem if they weren't capable of scoring 30-40 points. But for Philadelphia, giving up 30+ points a game would be a problem, which it did for the second straight preseason game in a 42-35 loss to New England on Aug. 15.

Another big problem for the Eagles' defense was that it couldn't get off the field in the first quarter. The only thing it did right was returning a Tom Brady throw for a touchdown, and even that went wrong when Cary Williams pulled a hamstring while returning that touchdown. After that, the Patriots promptly went down the field again and scored their own touchdown this time.

The Eagles and Nick Foles needed to run a few plays and give the defense a rest, but the rusty offense promptly turned the ball over. It was the first of four turnovers from Philadelphia, although Foles was the only Eagles quarterback not to throw an interception. At the least, it was an improvement from his two-interception game at Chicago on Aug. 8.

Foles threw his first preseason touchdown late in the first half, finishing a game where he went eight-for-10 for 81 yards. Marc Sanchez and Matt Barkley then combined to go 20-for-24 with two touchdowns, yet they each threw an interception to go with it.

Brady had the exact same stats as Foles, down to the 8-for-10 for 81 yards and one touchdown line. The Patriots could afford to let Foles, Sanchez and Barkley complete passes, as long as they kept racking up points and forcing turnovers of their own.

The Eagles have now yielded 76 combined points to the Bears and Patriots in two preseason games. Given that Chicago and New England are supposed to rack up points, and since defensive starters don't play more than a half in the preseason, this may not be a huge concern for Philadelphia now.

But since the Bears and Patriots are teams with high ambitions, and the Eagles must beat and stop quality teams in the regular season to become one themselves, these kinks do need to be worked out at some point. Philadelphia's next chance to do so comes against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Aug. 21.

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