Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/26/11

This may not be the best Patriots team the Eagles have faced over the past decade, but this years edition of the New England Patriots is still pretty darn good. The shorthanded Eagles better come in with a master game-plan, or this game could get ugly by the end of the third quarter.

On the injury front, Michael Vick has been officially listed as questionable, but sources close to the team said that it is unlikely that Vick will play. The same goes for Dominic Rodgers-Cromartie and Jeremy Maclin. Nnamdi Asomugha hyper-extended his left knee during Thursday’s practice; he is also listed as questionable.

Eagles Offense vs. Patriots Defense:

If healthy, the Eagles would certainly have an advantage over the Patriots defense; but injuries in key positions have made me weary to guess they will have an advantage. Michael Vick has not had a great season, however, he still gives the Eagles the best chance to win. Vince Young will have to step up once again if the Eagles want to have a chance to win this game.

The Patriots secondary has been average at best this season. It is clearly the weakness of this whole Patriots team. Unfortunately for the Eagles, it appears  that Jeremy Maclin will not play, so the focus will turn squarely on DeSean Jackson. Look for Riley Cooper to be Young’s primary target the whole game.

If the offensive line can get a push, LeSean McCoy should be able to do some nice things on the ground. That is, if the Eagles ever choose to run the ball.

Edge: Even

Eagles Defense vs. Patriots Offense

Kurt Coleman and the rest of the Eagles secondary prepare to face their toughest test of the season

The best defense for the Eagles will be a good offense. Juan Castillo and the Eagles defense have made improvements, but it still won’t be enough to slow down Tom Brady and the powerful Patriots offense. Not having Cromartie and possibly Asomugha certainly does not help their cause. The best the Eagles can hope for is that the offense takes huge chunks of time off the clock during scoring drives. The defense will have to do their best just to slow down the Patriots.

Edge: Patriots

Coaching:

Simple, Bill Belichick and the Patriots have three Super Bowls, Andy Reid and the Eagles have zero. One of those championships came in Super Bowl XXXIX against the Eagles.

Edge: Patriots

Prediction: Patriots 34 Eagles 20

The only way to beat the Patriots is to out-score them. I just don’t think the shorthanded Eagles have enough to win this one.

If the Eagles lose, they will drop to 4-7 and be pretty much eliminated from the playoff hunt.

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