Every week during the season, we’ll scout out the Eagles next opponent. This week, that opponent is the New England Patriots.
The Opponent: The New York Giants, a.k.a. The Legendary Fans of Brady Nation
The Line: Pats by 3. Home dogs! Nothing beats being a home dog.
Last Game: A 34-3 beatdown of the hapless Chiefs, who were forced to start Tyler Palko at QB after a crippling injury to starter Matt Cassel. If you watched this game from start to finish, you have a much higher tolerance for Ron Jaworski than I do.
The Coach: Bill Belichick. I always mark the changing of the seasons by when Belichick busts out the headband. That's a sharp look.
The Offense: After three straight tough outings against the Cowboys, Steelers and Giants, Tom Brady has reasserted his dominance over the past two weeks -- taking apart the Jets and Chiefs without even breaking a sweat. The key has been TE Rob Gronkowski, who has four TDs in the past two games and has become an unstoppable red zone target. Gronk has been the beneficiary of teams double and triple-covering Wes Welker, who has leveled off after a record-breaking start. The Eagles will have to find a way to keep both men contained AND get to Brady enough times to throw off his timing.
The Defense: I find it incredibly annoying when a good team with a struggling defense manages to turn it around by the end of the season. Typical Patriots. Aren't we just the perfect little franchise? Anyway, DE Andre Carter has provided a huge boost to the pass rush, and that's what has helped the Pats' D improve over the past two weeks. HOWEVAH, this is still a ravaged secondary, and Mike Vick (or Vince Young) should be able to do some damage. Still, Young isn't going to get away with throwing three picks again. This offense MUST stop turning the ball over if they want to have any chance of climbing back in the division race. Given the past eleven weeks, I'm not all that hopeful.
Key Matchup: DeSean Jackson vs. stupidity. With Jeremy Maclin's status still in question, it'll be on Jackson to take advantage of that rotten New England secondary. I hope he's gotten all his glaring mental mistakes out of the way for the year.