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Bruschi's Breakdown on Pats-Eagles

11/24/2011

Every week during the season, Tedy Bruschi and Mike Reiss team up to preview the Patriots' upcoming game in "Bruschi's Breakdown." This week's piece is now posted and Bruschi sees the Patriots facing a desperate team.

Bruschi thinks playing without quarterback Michael Vick might have actually helped the Eagles last week.

"They had a renewed sense of urgency. One of their leaders was out, so all the other players felt they needed to step up. That's probably the attitude they should have had the entire season, but it looks like they're possibly figuring things out. When your quarterback goes down, sometimes it helps your team open its eyes and say, 'Let's stop looking to him to make plays, he's not there anymore, so I have to do more with my game.'"

Defensively, Bruschi sees cornerback Asante Samuel as the Eagles' top playmaker.

"He's still making plays, although a lot of times I watch him and think to myself, 'I still wish you caught that interception in the Super Bowl against the Giants!' It's no hard feelings, I love Asante, but it's just 'I wish you could have squeezed one more interception in there.' He's a gambler, not really a shutdown man corner who is going to follow a receiver from left to right. He's one of the best in the league at reading a quarterback and understanding where he needs to be in zone coverage, deciphering route combinations. When receivers threaten his area, and he sees a quarterback favoring his side of the field with his eyes, those playmaking abilities come out."