On the forefront, Sunday’s rematch of Super Bowl LII between the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles might seem like a revenge game for Bill Belichick and company. But the real goal for New England this week is to avoid dropping consecutive games.
The Patriots are hoping to rebound from a dreadful loss in Baltimore two weeks ago that made its defense, once thought of as historic, look below average at best. Offensively, New England uncharacteristically played in 11 personnel for an entire game but found success in the no-huddle offense.
They’ll look to build on that success against an Eagles team that has been known to blitz early and often this season. But the Eagles’ secondary has been anything but solid, marred by inconsistent play and vulnerability against the deep ball.
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Philadelphia’s offense has taken blows as well with injuries threatening to sideline its four top skill players. Zack Ertz will be the real issue for New England after struggling to contain the Ravens trio of tight ends two weeks ago.
New England Patriots vs Philadelphia Eagles
Sunday, November 17, 2019 at 4:25 p.m.
Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
*All odds and betting info courtesy of OddsShark and originally posted by BetOnline
Spread: New England (-3.5 at -110)
Over/Under: 45 (-110 either side)
New England Patriots
The Patriots are historically good in games following losses under Bill Belichick. This Sunday could be no different for the Patriots. New England’s passing arsenal is as strong as it has been in a while. With the potential of adding N’Keal Harry to the mix, New England could add a dynamic element in their vertical game as well.
Harry, who spent the first eight weeks of the season on injured reserve, was added to the 53-man roster two weeks ago but was inactive against Baltimore. His NFL debut could mark the introduction of one of the league’s top deep threats.
Defensively, the Patriots will be tasked with trying to contain Ertz. With two top receivers out for Philadelphia, that could require star corner Stephon Gilmore to cover the Eagles’ tight end in a must-see matchup.
In order to take down the Patriots, the Eagles will need a strong outing from its secondary as well as its typical limiting of the opposing running game. Philadelphia is fourth in the NFL this season in rushing defense and should thrive against a Patriots’ team that struggles to move the ball on the ground.
Offensively, Carson Wentz will face New England for the first time in his career and could struggle against one of the league’s most aggressive secondaries. The Patriots may try to test the Eagles rushing game with Jordan Howard banged up and a potential debut for Jay Ajayi who could show signs of rust.
The Patriots are coming off a bye week and, although the Eagles are in the same boat, an extra week for Belichick to prepare for Philadelphia could mean an incredibly thorough game plan for the week.
Belichick took it upon himself following the loss in Baltimore, saying they needed to coach and play better. He’ll look for retribution from Super Bowl LII, but his main focus is on getting his team primed for making a run to Super Bowl LIV.
Pick: The Patriots struggle out of the gate but pull away out of halftime in a victory over the Eagles. Take the Patriots to cover the spread and the teams should hit the over. New England wins 28-20.