December 04, 2015
I remember the Eagles last game against the Patriots very, very well.
It was Thanksgiving weekend back in 2011, and the weather was way too nice for late November. I decided to take my girlfriend to the game -- one of the last Eagles games I would be able to attend as a fan -- and before we even got to our seats, I had almost ruined the entire thing.
I left my wallet sitting on the dashboard of my car in the parking lot, and I had a sneaking suspicion that it would no longer be there by the time the game was over. So I talked to stadium security and figured out how I was going to get out to my car and still be allowed back in the stadium. I made it work (somehow), ran to my car, and by the time I got back to my seat, the Eagles were already up 10-0.
With Vince [bleeping] Young at quarterback. #DreamTeam
I then sat in section 110 and watched Tom Brady and the Patriots score 38 of the next 41 points on their way to a 38-20 win over the Birds. Young actually had a good game (26/48, 400 yards, TD, INT; 6 rushes for 40 yards), especially by his standards. But despite out-gaining the Patriots, 466-457, and only turning the ball over once, the game was pretty much over in the third quarter.
To recap: I was in the parking lot getting my wallet during the only exciting part of the game for an Eagles fan. At least my girlfriend -- now my fiancee -- was able to enjoy it. Good times.
This time, I don't expect the result to be all that different, even though the location and pretty much the entire Eagles roster has changed.
The 10-1 Patriots are coming off their first loss of the season, while the 4-7 Eagles have lost three-straight games to teams that were in last place when they met. And although New England has more injuries than you can count, they're still a huge favorite (9.5 points) over Sam Bradford and the Birds.
If Chip Kelly and his team hope to salvage their season and hold on to their fast-fading hopes of a playoff birth, they're going to need to pull off a major upset Sunday evening in Foxborough.
Here's what you need to know about Sunday's matchup at the Linc.
TV: FOX (Thom Brennaman, Charles Davis) | RADIO: 94.1 WIP
SPREAD: Eagles +9.5 | TOTAL: 49.0 (via topbet.eu)
For the first time this season, the entire Bleeding Green Nation staff is picking against the Eagles -- get ready for A LOT of that this weekend. And over at the Philadelphia Inquirer, both Jeff McLane and Zach Berman think the Patriots will beat the Eagles on Sunday, but only one of them think the Pats will cover.
As for the national outlets, here's how they see the Eagles' Week 9 matchup playing out...
• All 12 of the ESPN.com analysts like the Patriots this week.
• Elliot Harrison of NFL.com is predicting a 24-14 loss for the Eagles.
• It's more of the same over at CBSSports.com, where all eight of their writers are going with New England.
• And if you want to go by the numbers, Nate Silver and the FiveThiryEight crew think the Eagles should be a 14-point underdog and gives them just a 12 percent chance of winning. 12 percent.
And now, our staff picks:
The one thing that makes me think the Eagles have a semblance of a chance in this game is the strange activity on the betting line. This game opened with the Patri*ts being favored by 13, and has since moved all the way down to 9.5. I get that the Patri*ts will likely be without TE Rob Gronkowski and WR Julian Edelman, with WR Danny Amendola likely playing at somewhere less than 100%. However, has anyone watched the Eagles lately?
Over the last three weeks, the Eagles haven't been able to throw, catch, block, tackle, or cover. If they can fix those things, they're a nice, average team.
Give me the cheaters, all day.
The Pats are likely going to be without Rob Gronkowski, a major break for Bill Davis’ defense. Everyone is generally in agreement that he and J.J. Watt are the most impactful non-quarterbacks in the league, right? Maybe I am missing someone else, but Gronk is obviously a game-changer. I am not sure his absence is going to matter all that much, though, not with New England coming back home after their first loss of the season.
The argument for the Eagles making this one competitive is basically that they were able to pick up some rest after playing on Thanksgiving. Still, they did just give up 45 points in consecutive games to Tampa Bay and Detroit. Even with Tom Brady and the Patriots decimated by injuries, I just don’t see how the Birds keep this one close.
The other argument for the Eagles is that the NFL can very often make little sense. The Delaware Valley wouldn’t mind for it to not make sense at 4:25 on Sunday in Foxboro. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Whenever the entire sports world thinks something is going to happen -- especially in the NFL -- I can't help but think that the exact opposite is going to happen. This, however, is not one of those cases.
The Patriots are banged up, but honestly, it doesn't really matter who plays on Sunday. Haven't we seen Brady beat better teams than the Eagles with far less than what he'll have Sunday? And on top of that, New England is second in the league in scoring (31.5 PPG) and fifth in points allowed (19.3 PPG). They're also second in yards per game, with an average 402.3 each week.
If the Eagles had looked any type of competent the last few weeks, I'd say that they had a chance to pull off the upset. But they've looked the opposite of competent. I'm not sure what that word is, because incompetent still seems too kind. To expect them to suddenly turn all that around in one week -- let alone on the road against one of the best teams in the NFL -- is just crazy.
After allowing 90 combined points to the Lions and Bucs, there's no telling what Brady will be able to put up on the Birds. But I have a feeling it isn't going to be pretty.
Follow Matt on Twitter: @matt_mullin