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The New England Patriots will be coming off of two blowout victories when they head to Philadelphia for a Sunday afternoon game against the Eagles.
The Eagles were dubbed the ‘Dream Team’ during the offseason after signing Nnamdi Asomugha and trading for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, both pro-bowl CBs. However, the team has struggled this year, and take a 4-6 record into this week’s game.
To make matters worse, starting quarterback Michael Vick broke two ribs two weeks ago in a loss to Arizona, and hasn’t practiced since. Former Tennessee Titan Vince Young started last week against New York, and will likely start on Sunday against the Patriots.
The Patriots have their share of injuries to deal with, as well.
Late in the fourth quarter of last week’s 34-3 thrashing of Kansas City, left tackle Matt Light injured his ankle and is limited in practice. Losing Light would be a huge blow to the Patriot offensive line, which is already missing center Dan Koppen for the season due to a shoulder injury.
Should Light be unable to play, rookie Nate Solder would make his eighth start of the season. Safety Patrick Chung (foot) and CB Devin McCourty (shoulder), who were both inactive against Kansas City, are also limited.
Here are what the Patriots need to do on Sunday to come away from the City of Brotherly Love with a win:
The Patriots did a pretty good job of running the football against Kansas City last Sunday, with BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Danny Woodhead and Shane Vereen combining for 157 rushing yards and a touchdown. The performance was the second best of the season by the backfield-by-committee.
The running backs need to continue their success against Philadelphia, as Tom Brady will need to be able to incorporate the play-action pass against the Eagles stingy secondary.
The Patriots’ pass rush has done a great job in recent weeks of putting pressure on the opposing quarterback. This week, however, Andre Carter, Vince Wilfork, Kyle Love and Mark Anderson will be presented with a unique challenge.
This will be the first time this season in which the front four will have to chase a scrambling-type quarterback. The Patriots must contain Vince Young, and cannot allow him to roll out of the pocket as he is still very accurate while on the run.
This will not be easy, but the Patriots have done it before. (Well, sort of. The Patriots shut Young down during the second half of this game.)