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Three reasons why the Patriots will win in Philadelphia, according to an Eagles writer

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Related: Asking Bleeding Green Nation: Patriots defense needs to stop Zach Ertz, running game

Super Bowl LII - Philadelphia Eagles v New England Patriots Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Later today, the New England Patriots will get their chance at partial revenge for their defeat in Super Bowl 52: the team, which recaptured the Vince Lombardi Trophy the very next season, will travel to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles. While the 8-1 Patriots are sitting atop the AFC and are in prime position to earn a first-round playoff bye and maybe even the number one seed in the conference, their opponent is currently on the outside looking in at 5-4.

Nevertheless, the Eagles are expected to be formidable challenge on the road for the Patriots — but one that is certainly beatable as Bleeding Green Nation’s Brandon Lee Gowton pointed out while talking with Pats Pulpit earlier this week. The Eagles reporter offered the following three main reasons why the team he is covering could lose in the highly anticipated matchup between two of the league’s premier franchises:

  • There isn’t much hope for Philadelphia’s passing attack.
  • Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz’s unit is poised to get shredded.
  • The Eagles might not be a very good team after all.

Brandon also revealed his rationale behind pointing out the three reasons why New England could win on Sunday:

1.) There isn’t much hope for the Eagles’ passing attack

The Eagles arguably have the worst group of wide receivers in the NFL. They can’t create separation. They don’t make contested catches and they drop the easy ones. It’s real frustrating to watch in the year 2019 when passing is king.

The bad news for the Eagles is that their passing attack might be even worse against the Patriots with Alshon Jeffery missing this weekend’s game. The Eagles will be facing the Patriots with four wide receivers who’ve combined for 15 receptions, 127 yards, zero touchdowns, and one fumble over the last six games. I don’t think the quarter of Jordan Matthews, Nelson Agholor, Mack Hollins, and JJ Arcega-Whiteside exactly have New England’s No. 1 ranked DVOA defense shaking in their boots.

With the Eagles’ receivers struggling so much, the Eagles should be looking to Zach Ertz in order to move the ball through the air. But the Pats should be able to take him away by focusing extra attention on him. I’d recommend New England having Stephon Gilmore simply shadow Ertz in coverage and dare someone else to step up.

The Eagles’ best bet for offensive success is getting their run game going. If the Pats can stop the run, there’s probably no hope for Philly to win this game because it’s not like the passing attack is going to step up.

2.) Jim Schwartz’s defense is poised to get shredded

As the great Rich Hill once pointed out, Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz doesn’t have a great track record going up against his former mentor.

In six meaningful matchups against Bill Belichick since 2003, Schwartz’s defenses have allowed the Patriots to score an average of 35 points per game. That’s including the Pats’ 33 point and 613 yard effort in Super Bowl LII, a game in which the Eagles’ defense didn’t force a single punt.

The Eagles’ defense has looked better in recent weeks. The secondary has stabilized to some extent with Jalen Mills, Ronald Darby, and Avonte Maddox all returning to the starting lineup. Philly’s pass rush has also stepped up after a slow start; the Eagles have the second most sacks since Week 5.

But Tom Brady is much better than the last two quarterbacks the Eagles have had to face. He could easily have success against an Eagles secondary that’s experienced too many miscommunications this season.

3.) The Eagles might just not be very good

The Eagles are 5-4.Their wins have come over the following quarterbacks: Case Keenum, Aaron Rodgers, Luke Falk, Josh Allen, and Mitchell Trubisky . With the obvious exception of Rodgers, that’s a pretty bad group.

Their losses have come to the following quarterbacks: Matt Ryan, Matthew Stafford, Kirk Cousins, and Dak Prescott. Those are passers who can actually be counted on to do some damage.

The Eagles have won two in a row, yes, but they were outscored 75 to 30 in their two games prior to that. It’s not crazy to think the Eagles could suffer another decisive defeat to a high quality opponent like the Patriots.

Especially when the Patriots are angry coming off a Week 9 loss to the Ravens and having a bye week to prepare. Not to mention the whole revenge angle for the 2018 Super Bowl loss.