PHILADELPHIA — Julian Edelman threw a go-ahead 15-yard touchdown pass to Phillip Dorsett and the New England Patriots rallied for a 17-10 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.
Tom Brady threw for 216 yards, leading New England (9-1) back from a 10-0 deficit, but it was Edelman, the Patriots’ wide receiver and former college quarterback, who found a target in the end zone. The Pats defense sacked Carson Wentz five times and forced one turnover.
Wentz couldn’t get much going without his two best receivers and top running bac k sidelined by injuries. Nelson Agholor couldn’t make a twisting catch on Wentz’s fourth-down heave into the end zone from the Patriots 26 with just under a minute left.
The Eagles (5-5) got the ball back and advanced to their 42 but Wentz’s desperation pass fell incomplete.
This was nothing like the thrilling matchup between the two teams in Super Bowl two years ago. Nick Foles led the Eagles to a 41-33 victory over the Patriots to capture the franchise’s first NFL title since 1960. The teams set or tied 29 Super Bowl records, including most yards in any game (1,151) in league history.
Neither team could get in sync on offense in the rematch.
After settling for three field goals in the first half, the Patriots turned to a trick play.
Brady drove them to the Eagles 15 on the opening possession of the third quarter. Facing a third-and-11, Brady tossed a backward pass to Edelman. The former Kent State quarterback fired a perfect pass to Dorsett, who was alone in the end zone. It was Edelman’s second career TD pass. The other came in a playoff win over Baltimore in January 2015.
James White ran in for the 2-point conversion to increase the Patriots’ first lead to 17-10.
The teams traded punts the rest of the second half.
Wentz tossed a 5-yard TD pass to Dallas Goedert early in the second quarter to give the Eagles a 10-0 lead. The play was initially ruled a turnover because Jonathan Jones ripped the ball away. But the call was overturned after a review.
The Patriots didn’t cross midfield until Brady connected with Benjamin Watson for 22 yards to the Eagles 31 near the midpoint of the second quarter. But they had to settle for Nick Folk’s 35-yard field goal to cut it to 10-3.
Brady hit Watson again over the middle for a 19-yard gain to the Eagles 4 on New England’s next possession. But Edelman dropped a TD pass on second down and Folk hit a 22-yarder to get the Patriots to 10-6.
New England’s defense then delivered a big turnover. Danny Shelton sacked Wentz, forcing a fumble that was recovered by Lawrence Guy at the Eagles 22. But Philadelphia’s defense held again, forcing the Patriots to settle for another field goal. Folk nailed a 39-yarder to make it 10-9.
Before Edelman’s TD pass, the Patriots tried a similar play. Rex Burkhead took a handoff and threw a backward pass to Brady, who fired a deep ball incomplete.
Earlier, the Eagles had center Jason Kelce go in motion and line up in the slot. He threw his arms up and waved for the ball but the pass went the other way to Miles Sanders for a 5-yard gain.
Patriots: Dorsett left the game a with head injury in the second half. … S Patrick Chung (chest) was inactive.
Eagles: All-Pro RT Lane Johnson left with a head injury in the first half. … RB Jordan Howard (shoulder), WR Alshon Jeffery (ankle) and LB Nigel Bradham (ankle) were inactive.
Patriots: Host the Dallas Cowboys (6-4) next Sunday. Eagles: Host the Seattle Seahawks (8-2) next Sunday.