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December 06, 2015

Halftime observations: Patriots 14, Eagles 14

Well, here goes nothing. After getting smoked two weeks in a row, the Philadelphia Eagles are up in Foxborough, Massachusetts to take on the 10-1 New England Patriots. After 30 minutes, we're all even at 14. Here is what I saw in the first half:

The good

•    Tom Brady. After feeling some early pressure from the Eagles front, Brady made a couple of excellent throws to extend the Pats’ 10-play, 80-yard touchdown drive to open the scoring. I’m not sure the Eagles could have done much against that type of precision. Brady hit James White from four yards out on the touchdown.

•    The Eagles offense didn’t make a lot happen early, but they were at their best when running Darren Sproles and Kenjon Barner. Those two combined for 105 yards from scrimmage.

•    Sam Bradford made a couple of terrific throws on the second-quarter touchdown drive. Great patience by Señor Sleeves to hit Zach Ertz in the back of the end zone for 6. 

•    Pretty big play by Chris Maragos and Najee Goode at the end of the half, I’d say.

The bad

•    The Eagles used to have big-play threats like DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, and with those guys in the fold, 3rd and 12 didn’t feel like an impossible task. When Lane Johnson gets a holding penalty with this group of personnel (as he did on the opening drive), it seems like an automatic drive killer.

•    For the second straight year, the Eagles’ first-round pick has disappointed:

•    Killer 42-yard pass interference penalty on Malcolm Jenkins to set up the Patriots’ second touchdown.

•    Sweet onside kick, Belichick.

The ugly

•    It’s hard to tell how much of the Eagles’ early penalty woes had to do with an officiating crew that has been heavily criticized as of late, but five penalties in seven minutes isn’t going to cut it. From here, Jason Peters appeared to get away with a couple of false starts as well.

•    Remember the part about Barner and Sproles? Well, one measly yard on five carries.

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann