Bill Belichick: Patriots 'Still Have a Long Way to Go' After 35-0 Win over Eagles

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIAugust 20, 2021

New England Patriots' Bill Belichick watches the second half of a preseason NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
AP Photo/Matt Rourke

The New England Patriots' 35-0 preseason win over the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday couldn't have gone much better, but winning head coach Bill Belichick made sure to keep things in perspective when speaking with reporters postgame.

"We still have a long way to go," Belichick said, per Mark Daniels of the Providence Journal. "You're talking about the second preseason game. We have a long way to go."

It is just the preseason, but the Pats shined in nearly all facets of the game.

Quarterbacks Cam Newton and Mac Jones combined to complete 21-of-28 passes for 259 yards and one touchdown. Newton went 8-of-9, and Jones could have done even better than his 13-of-19 mark if not for drops:

Andrew Callahan @_AndrewCallahan

Mac Jones is 13-of-19 for 146 yards, with 3 incompletions that hit his receivers square in the hands.<br><br>He's run plays from the no-huddle, out of play-action, 4-wide sets, 6-OL personnel groupings, shotgun and under center.<br><br>The kid is more than all right.

Patriots running backs combined for 40 carries, 207 yards and four touchdowns. On defense, New England racked up four sacks and two interceptions.

The only struggles occurred in the kicking game, as placekicker Quinn Nordin went 2-of-4 on extra points and 1-of-2 on field goals.

Still, the normally tight-lipped Belichick admitted that his team improved during the time it spent in Philadelphia, which included a pair of joint practices with the Eagles.

"We're a better team than when we came down here," Belichick said, per ESPN's Mike Reiss. "That was the main goal."

New England will close the preseason on Sunday, Aug. 29 at the New York Giants. The Pats open the regular season on Sunday, Sept. 12 at home against the Miami Dolphins.