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Eagles schedule preview: Patriots

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NFL: Super Bowl LII-Philadelphia Eagles vs New England Patriots Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Hey remember the last time these teams played

When and where: Week 11 at the Linc

Last season: 11-5. Offense: Scoring 4th, Yards 5th, DVOA 5th; Defense: Scoring 7th, Yards 21st, DVOA 16th

Notable additions: Demaryius Thomas, Ben Watson

Notable losses: Trenton Brown, Trey Flowers, Rob Gronkowski, Cordarrelle Patterson

What are they good at?

Always being good. The Patriots lost one of the greatest tight ends in the history of the game to retirement, and in free agency their only player to have at least 5 sacks. And yet they’ll keep on going. To replace Trey Flowers, they traded for Michael Bennett. To replace Gronk, they signed 38 year old Ben Watson, who they’ll probably get a Pro Bowl season out of, or revive Demaryius Thomas’s career. It’s what they do.

What are they bad at?

The Bill Belichick Patriots are never really bad at anything. Sure, they have statistically bad units, like their defense in 2017, but it’s never held them down. They’ve been to the NFL Final Four eight straight seasons, which stretches back to the previous CBA. They’re never bad, they’re just not as good as they have been, or will be.

Why the Eagles will win

You may remember the last time these two teams met, and that Doug Pederson coached the pants off Bill Belichick.

At some point time has to catch up with Tom Brady. He’ll be 42 when the season starts, which is almost unheard of. Only Warren Moon has started over half a season at that age, and that was the last season where he was a serviceable player. And he’s in decline. Last season he was merely really good, which is a step down from the elite status he enjoyed for a decade. Really good is enough to win the AFC East, and enough to win playoff games against an AFC with an ever changing hierarchy, and enough to beat the Rams in the Super Bowl. But really good may not be enough to beat the Eagles. Great wasn’t in 2017. Even without a decline, being very good and not having Gronk may not be enough in 2019.

Also, the Eagles are coming off their bye for this game.

Why the Eagles will lose

Again, at 41 and not at his peak, Tom Brady was still good enough to carry the Patriots to another Super Bowl. Until he shows us that he’s cooked, never count out Touchdown Tom.

Who dropped it.


Who wins the Eagles-Patriots game?

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