Friday, November 25, 2011
ESPN's Patriots-Eagles prediction roundup
A roundup of how ESPN's analysts see Sunday’s Patriots-Eagles game playing out:
* ESPNBoston.com’s Mike Reiss: Eagles 24, Patriots 21. It's a tough one without knowing the status of Michael Vick, as that alters the picture. I'm going to assume he plays and I think this is the type of matchup that could hit at some of the Patriots' defensive vulnerabilities. The speed on the outside is a concern, as is a quarterback who can make plays with his feet after things look broken down. Offensively for the Patriots, some of the protection issues could hurt against an Eagles team that gets after it. I think it's a close game, and with that, I'll lean toward the home club.
* ESPNBoston.com Patriots analyst Tedy Bruschi: Patriots 34, Eagles 24: I'm going to have to disagree with you on that one, Reiss. The Eagles have too many ball security liabilities on the offensive side of the ball. Both quarterbacks are careless and I'm calling for LeSean McCoy's first fumble of the season. The Eagles' defense plays a lot of zone and I see Tom Brady and Wes Welker having a field day against it. Patriots by 10.
* ESPNBoston.com’s Chris Forsberg: Eagles 23, Patriots 20. Even with the easiest schedule in the league, there's going to be one hiccup for the Patriots over their final six games and this one's got danger written all over it. Yes, the Eagles are ailing, but they're a desperate team playing at home in a must-win situation. Unless Vince Young turns the ball over, there's opportunity for the Eagles to score points here and their defense will put pressure on Tom Brady and the New England offense.
* ESPNBoston.com’s Mike Rodak: Patriots 24, Eagles 21. Even without Vick, the Eagles still have explosive elements on offense and could give the Patriots' defense some trouble. This one could be closer than each team's record indicates. The Patriots squeeze out a road win, though, one of their few remaining tests before the playoffs.
* ESPN Boston Radio’s Adam Jones: Patriots 31, Eagles 21. What once looked like a difficult match up now looks like a layup. No Mike Vick would mean another backup quarterback (Vince Young), which likely means another win for the Pats.
* ESPN Boston Radio’s Andrew Brooks: Patriots 31 Eagles 17. I don't care that the Eagles beat the Giants after they lost to the John Skelton-led Cardinals at home. I have no faith in them whatsoever.
* Madden 12 simulation: Patriots 31, Eagles 23. Is Vince Young the answer in Philadelphia? His late-game drive against the Giants certainly opened some eyes, and against New England, he looks even better, throwing for 308 yards and one touchdown as the Eagles hang with the Patriots for four quarters, but eventually fall thanks to Tom Brady's brilliance under center. Brady finished the game throwing for 318 yards and two scores, including a 17-yard strike to Gronkowski with only 1:28 left on the clock to secure the win for the Pats.