How you feeling? Eagles-Patriots

November, 27, 2011
11/27/11
10:50
AM ET
As you get ready for Sunday afternoon's home game against the New England Patriots, here's one reason for Philadelphia Eagles fans to feel good and one reason for concern:

Feeling good: No matter what dramas, injury-related or otherwise, ensnare the Eagles' high-profile stars from week to week, the No. 1 reason the Eagles and their fans have to feel good is the ability the team has demonstrated to win its physical battles in the trenches. The offensive line has excelled at opening holes for LeSean McCoy to run through and dominate in the run game, and last week against the Giants it did an excellent job of giving Vince Young enough time to throw. And the defensive line has shown an ability to get to the quarterback from the inside or the outside, which will be key to stopping Tom Brady in this game. As long as they keep winning up front, the Eagles will be in every game they play, as they have been all year. They just need to make sure they finish.

Cause for concern: Beyond the defensive line, the Patriots create matchup problems for the second and third levels of the Philadelphia defense. Wes Welker is as skilled a receiver as there is in the league at finding seams and getting open, and the Eagles' linebackers are likely to find themselves overmatched against him and tight end Rob Gronkowski, who's a physical mismatch for just about any linebacker or defensive back in the league. If Nnamdi Asomugha were fully healthy, it'd make some sense to put him on Gronkowski a lot, since his size would at least give him a fighting chance. But the knee injury Asomugha suffered in practice Thursday leaves us to wonder what kind of impact, if any, he'll have on this game. If the Eagles don't get to Brady quickly, he'll be able to find gold downfield against them.

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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