The Patriots faced their stiffest competition so far this season in Baltimore, and they were clearly not up for the challenge. This looks like they might be more human than we thought, and the Boogiemen are no more. The bad new for the Eagles, is that the Pats don’t lose 2 games in a row. Even worse, you do not want to face Bill Belichick when he has 2 weeks to gameplan, and when Tom Brady has a vendetta out because he still sees Super Bowl 52 in his nightmares. Last week may not have been pretty, but this is not looking good for Philly.
The Patriots defense got exposed against Lamar Jackson. You can bet that every team from here on out is going to include designed QB runs into their gameplan because of it. It might not be the play scheming, as much as how talented of a runner Lamar Jackson is. Carson Wentz can move, but after two knee injuries he will not get put in harms way. The Patriots key on defense will be to get pressure on Wentz, and negate Zach Ertz. Ertz absolutely killed them in the Super Bowl, and the Eagles receivers have struggled this season. Gilmore will have no problem locking up Alshon Jeffrey, and Nelson Agholor will most likely cover himself by dropping the ball. The wild cards in this game will be Dallas Goedert, and the RBs. The Patriots had a hard time covering all of the Ravens TE’s last week, and if they put too much attention on Ertz, you can easily forget about how good Goedert is. Not to mention they have been absolutely gouged by backs like Mark Ingram and Nick Chubb, and Jordan Howard would fall right in that same category. They need to keep him under 100 yards to redeem themselves, and also negate Miles Sanders, who has come on of late as a great change of pace back. This will be a huge redemption game for the Boogiemen.
If the defense got exposed, the offense was even worse. Brady has something to prove this week, and its the legitimacy of his longevity. If he can only have good games against bad teams, then what’s the point? You aren’t going to play the Jets in the AFC championship. The good news is that he and Mohammed Sanu are on the same page, and if that continues this week then the Eagles are going to have a hard time. The Eagles secondary has been horrible, so you already know that nobody can cover Edelman. Add in Sanu, and a solid 5 catches from Dorsett and this defense will get shredded. We can only hope and pray that we get the debut of N’Keal Harry this week. Against a weak secondary, this is the perfect time to unleash him and let him have a hot start to his NFL career. We will most likely see some heavy James White dosage, and hopefully they do not abandon the running game so early this week. Michel did not look bad last week and they just gave up after 4 carries. A good mix should keep a bad Eagles defense out of position and result in some heavy scoring.
The Pats have a tough mix of teams coming up to round off this season, and they already started off on the wrong foot. They are going to need to bounce back hard in this game, and I think they will. 34-21 Pats.
-Jake Kobierski (@TheRealKobe83)