It wasn’t Michael Vick that suited up for the Eagles last week, but it didn’t matter. Vince Young orchestrated an excellent game plan to down the Giants. However, all Vince Young had to do was minimize the mistakes due to the Eagles stingy defense last week. Many people believe the Eagles are better without Michael Vick who has difficulty protecting the football. In any case, the Eagles will need a well rounded effort with the slew of injuries they have coming in to this game. The Patriots had an easy Monday night against Tyler Palko and the Chiefs, picking up the victory 34-3. This game against the Eagles will perhaps be their biggest test for the rest of the year.
The New England Patriots come into this one an abundance of injuries as well. Most notably on defense the Patriots are reeling. At one point against the Jets two weeks ago, they had to rely on their fourth string safety, a second year player out of Villanova, Ross Ventrone. If you take a quick glimpse at the game last week against the Chiefs, one would think the defense was stout. But they were going against Tyler Palko after all, so don’t put much into last week. This will be the biggest test the Patriots defense has faced since the Pittsburgh Steelers game, where they surrendered 25 points. Keep an eye on the statuses of Devin McCourty, Brandon Spikes, and Patrick Chung on defense for the Patriots before you lock in your bets. This is a defense that needs to get healthy. They rank dead last in the NFL, allowing an average of 404.2 points a game. The Patriots are putrid against the pass in particular, giving up nearly 300 yards a game. Offensively, though, they rank at the top. Thanks to an unstoppable passing attack with Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski. The connection of Brady to Gronkowski is where the Eagles are going to have problems. The Eagles have gotten better at the linebacker position, but they will have their hands full with the, what I believe, to be the best tight end in the NFL today. Gronkowski is a menace across the middle and is an excellent blocker as well.
This is a must win for the Eagles. They have a glorious opportunity to get back into the playoff picture with a win against the Patriots. It is a long shot, but if the Eagles turn it up in the home stretch they have a great chance to seize a playoff spot. As I alluded to earlier, the Patriots are banged up on defense. However, the Eagles are in the same position as well. Nnamdi Asomugha was taken off on a cart on practice Thursday due to a knee injury. As I write this, the Eagles have been quiet in regards to the extent of the injury so monitory it closely. The cornerback opposite Asomugha, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, will most likely be out, though. It will be tough sledding for the Eagles against a high octane offense if they are without their two best corners.
Patriots vs. Eagles Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
New England Patriots -3.5
@Philadelphia Eagles +3.5
Over 50.5 (-110)
Under 50.5 (-110)
Patriots vs. Eagles Pick:
There are many question marks in regards to injuries coming into this one for both squads. All indications show that both defenses are going to be hobbling, though. The Patriots and Eagles defenses have certainly played before of late, but neither has played against offenses such as these lately. Even with Michael Vick out, I believe the Eagles are going to have no issues moving the ball at home. They’ll get LeSean McCoy involved early and often with quick passes and screens. The Patriot linebackers are slow. I believe it’s an excellent matchup for all of the speed that the Eagles posses. Not to be out done, the Patriots will be able to put up some points as well given the state of the Eagles defense. Take the over in what should be an entertaining affair.