Patriots-Eagles Preview: Another Must Win Situation by Lloyd Vance

CBS Sports video preview of the Eagles-Patriots game in Week 12

In a highly anticipated game, the Philadelphia Eagles (4-6) will further try to keep their flickering playoff hopes alive when they take-on the AFC East-leading New England Patriots (7-3) at Lincoln Field this Sunday.  The game will be the CBS featured afternoon match-up as a national viewing audience will be tuning in at 4:00 PM EST to see if the underdog undermanned Birds and their beleaguered head coach — Andy Reid fighting for possibly his job — can pull off a miracle.

The Eagles must continue the momentum that they gained from a solid workman-like win over the NY Giants in Week 11.  But Philadelphia will be facing long odds — have lost 7 of their last 8 home games — and a New England line-up full of  stars including former 2010 NFL MVP quarterback Tom Brady, young breakout TE’s Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, and a defense led by former Eagles DB Kyle Arrington — leads the NFL with 7 INTs.

Did I also mention that more than likely the Birds could be without starters Michael Vick (more than likely out with broken ribs), Jeremy Maclin (seperated shoulder and hamstring), and Nnamdi Asomugha (injured his knee at Thanksgiving practice).

We will see if back-up Vince Young, NFL-leading rusher LeSean “Shady” McCoy, and a newly resurgent defense led by sackmen Trent Cole and Jason Babin can pull off the Herculean task of making Brady and the rest of Belichick’s Super Squad look mortal.

The Eagles may indeed be facing “Mission Impossible”, but you never know as the Buffalo Bills showed that an underdog home team can sometimes spell disaster for Brady and Company.

5 keys for the Eagles against the Patriots

1) Pressure on Tom Brady (many sacks needed and double-digit hits needed on the NFL’s Golden Boy)

2) Run McCoy at least 25 times (Needs to have at least 30 touches)

3) Limit Turnovers (V.Y can’t afford 3 picks as Brady is not Eli Manning and will cash-in if given a chance)

4) Big Special Teams Play (Need to recover an onsides kick and/or have a return for a touchdown)

5) Make the Patriots into a running team (Press their smallish receivers thus making Brady audible into running plays)

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