After taking a 14-0 lead over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, the New England Patriots attempted a dropkick kickoff, hoping to catch the Eagles off guard.
They didn’t. The ball was easily recovered by Eagles special teamer Seyi Ajirotutu, and the Eagles scored a touchdown on their ensuring drive to cut the Patriots’ lead in half. Philadelphia went on to score 35 unanswered points in the 35-28 win.
What were the Patriots thinking with that?
“That’s the thing about them,” Eagles linebacker and special teamer Najee Goode said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “That’s another reason why they’re really good. They play the game hard. They want to keep scoring. They want to keep pouring it on. When they did that, it was a sign of them trying to impose their will on us and trying to just kick us out of the stadium – and we responded to it. It was just a crazy play that they actually tried. In our mind, it was a crazy play. Then we came back with the block punt.”
Goode returned a blocked punt 24 yards to tie the game just before halftime.
“I picked it up and just ran for my life,” Goode said. “It was a good feeling.”
The Eagles scored two more non-offensive touchdowns in the third quarter: a 99-yard pick-six by Malcolm Jenkins and an 83-yard punt return by Darren Sproles. Jordan Matthews added a 10-yard touchdown reception early in the fourth quarter.
Just like that, the Eagles went from down 14 to up 21.
And it all started with the dropkick, which infuriated more than a handful of Eagles.
“Oh yeah, most definitely,” Goode said. “You’re playing against another team, you see guys do something like that – in a way it’s disrespectful. It fueled our fire. We got a group of guys that plays balls-to-the-wall every night, play all out. Every play, every snap is going be like that. That’s why we got one of the best special-team units in the NFL with Coach (Dave) Fipp, Sproles and all those guys. It did nothing but fuel our fire. We’re going to carry it into this week.”
The Eagles (5-7), who have lost three of four and four of six, are tied for first in the NFC East. They host the Bills (6-6) this Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.