Patriots Play Ugly Game Without Starters

Monday night's preseason contest between the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots showcased two different exhibition strategies. In the Eagles' 27-17 victory at Gillette Stadium, Philly decided to play its starters -- not including injured quarterback Michael Vick -- well into the third quarter, while New England played its safe by not playing anybody.

The Pats' strategy led to a ugly performance from the defending AFC champions, says SB Nation blog Pats Pulpit.

Overall, it was a really ugly game, with 23 combined penalties and three turnovers between the teams. Mallett had an improved performance, but still has a way to go. Tonight was a reminder that it's still the preseason, and both teams have a lot of work ahead of them.

Despite not playing star quarterback Tom Brady, the Patriots jumped out to an early 11-0 lead behind backup Ryan Mallett. But a muffed punt by Brandon Bolden turned the game's momentum in favor of the Eagles, who rolled from there.

For more on the Eagles and Patriots, please visit our respective blogs Bleeding Green Nation and Pats Pulpit, along with SBNation.com for all the latest news and updates.

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