Tebow gets extended duty for Pats in preseason


New England Patriots' Tim Tebow (5) looks for running room against the Philadelphia Eagles on Friday in Philadelphia. (The Associated Press)

Published: Saturday, August 10, 2013 at 1:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, August 10, 2013 at 1:11 p.m.

PHILADELPHIA — Give Michael Vick a slight edge over Nick Foles in the Philadelphia Eagles' quarterback competition.

Meanwhile, the New England Patriots have no QB controversies.

Tom Brady led the Pats to a pair of 80-yard TD drives in his only two series in a 31-22 win over Philadelphia on Friday and Tim Tebow made his New England debut after backup Ryan Mallett left with a head injury late in the second quarter. Tebow, who played over two quarters including the entire second half, was 4 of 12 for 55 yards and ran for 31 on four carries.

As for Brady, the two-time NFL and Super Bowl MVP finished 7 of 8 for 65 yards and one TD.

"Just to be out there, for all of us, to go out there and play the game we love, it was a lot of fun," Tebow said. "I think I have room for improvement, that's what these games are for. Next week, let's do a little better."

Tebow entered the game to loud cheers from Eagles fans, a sign of his popularity across the country. Tebow spent a lost season in 2012 with the New York Jets, playing sparingly behind struggling starter Mark Sanchez.

Tebow won two national titles at Florida and was a first-round draft pick in 2010 by Denver. He led the Broncos to a wild-card win over Pittsburgh in 2011, but was traded to the Jets after Denver signed Peyton Manning. Tebow signed with the Patriots five weeks after he was cut by the Jets.

"It's all about the same for everyone," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said when asked about Tebow. "It was good, it was far from perfect. We all made mistakes out there, and there are plenty of things to work on for all of us. Not singling anyone out. We haven't played a game in six months, so we saw decent things, but also things we need to work on."

Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper caught one pass for 19 yards, and didn't get much of a reaction. There was a slight smattering of boos for the former UF standout, who left the team for three days last week after a video of him making a racial slur surfaced on the Internet. Some fans even chanted "Coop" in support, which could've been mistaken for boos.

"I know I had that one catch and people said it was a good reaction, so that's good," Cooper said.

Vick completed 4 of 5 passes for 94 yards while Foles lost a fumble on his second play and then went 5 of 6 for 43 yards. Eagles rookie Matt Barkley was 11 for 22 for 103 yards, including a 12-yard TD pass to Greg Salas.

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