The last matchup between the Patriots and Eagles (5-4) ended in heartbreak for New England, as they lost 41-33 in Super Bowl LII. Fortunately, Bill Belichick’s team was able to rebound from the loss by winning Super Bowl LIII, but there’s no doubt that a win in Philadelphia would mean a lot to them.
Here are some things to consider entering this Week 11 matchup.
1. Can the defense rebound?
The Patriots’ defense has had 2 weeks to digest their disappointing performance against Lamar Jackson and the Ravens, where they gave up 30 points and over 200 rushing yards. This week’s game should be intriguing, as they’ll face off against a dynamic young quarterback in Carson Wentz who is protected by a formidable offensive line. The Patriots should be able to clamp down on Philadelphia’s banged-up passing attack which will be without key weapons in DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery. Hence, it wouldn’t be overly surprising to see Belichick place Stephon Gilmore on Zach Ertz, in an attempt to neutralize Wentz’s favorite weapon.
In consecutive weeks, the Browns and Ravens proved that the Patriots can be vulnerable against a power rushing attack, which may not bode well for New England in tomorrow’s game, as Doug Pederson has proven to be a coach that is committed to establishing the run. With the Eagles having a strong offensive line, and a speedy rusher in Miles Sanders, the Patriots will need to dominate the line of scrimmage if they want to limit Philadelphia’s success.
2. How about the offense?
The loss to the Ravens proved that the Patriots’ offense cannot afford to get off to slow starts, as early deficits can put a great amount of pressure on the team to deliver in the second half. I believe that this is the game where the Patriots’ passing attack will explode, due to Philadelphia’s subpar secondary. In addition, the bye week should have given Josh McDaniels additional time to draw up plays to utilize Mohamed Sanu and N’Keal Harry (if the rookie receiver is active). Either way, I’d expect Julian Edelman to have a huge game in the middle of the field.
On the other hand, the Patriots may have some difficulty running the football, as the Eagles boast the NFL’s fourth best rushing defense. I’d like to see the Patriots attempt to establish their running game, as it would help protect Brady from the likes of Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox.
- Patrick Chung (heel/chest) – Out
- Damien Harris (hamstring) – Out
- Nate Ebner (ankle/back) – Questionable
- Matt LaCosse (knee) – Questionable
- Gunner Olszewski (ankle/hamstring) – Questionable
- Danny Shelton (ankle) – Questionable
- John Simon (elbow) – Questionable
- Nigel Bradham (ankle) – Out
- Alshon Jeffery (ankle) – Out
- Darren Sproles (quadriceps) – Out
- Jordan Howard (shoulder) – Questionable
Prediction: Patriots 28, Eagles 20
Here are my picks for the rest of the NFL’s Week 11 games (excluding Thursday Night Football).
Last week: 4-8
Jets at Redskins: Jets
Jaguars at Colts: Colts
Bills at Dolphins: Bills
Cowboys at Lions: Cowboys
Texans at Ravens: Ravens
Falcons at Panthers: Panthers
Saints at Buccaneers: Saints
Broncos at Vikings: Vikings
Cardinals at 49ers: 49ers
Bengals at Raiders: Raiders
Bears at Rams: Rams
Chiefs vs Chargers: Chiefs