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Recent posts by Kevin Fishbain
For the third week in a row, the Patriots will trot out a no-name secondary.
CB Devin McCourty and S Patrick Chung are both out, pushing Antwaun Molden and Sterling Moore into starting roles.
C Ryan Wendell will start for Dan Connolly, who was already replacing Dan Koppen at center. LBs Brandon Spikes and Dane Fletcher are out again, meaning more time on defense for WR Julian Edelman and special-teamer Tracy White.
Luckily for New England, the injury bug also bit the Eagles. Vince Young will start for Michael Vick at quarterback, and WR Jeremy Maclin will not play.
The Eagles' defense has not come close to living up to its preseason hype, but DEs Trent Cole and Jason Babin could cause problems for a Patriots O-line that hasn't played its best football this season. This could be a good game for New England to try to ground and pound with BenJarvus Green-Ellis, as the Eagles' run defense has struggled all year.
Asante Samuel and Nnamdi Asomugha will be tough matchups for the Patriots' receivers, but TE Rob Gronkowski should get another favorable matchup, as no one in the NFL has been able to slow him down.
Scoring points isn't expected to be a big issue for Tom Brady's group; it's slowing down Philly and RB LeSean McCoy that will be a challenge, especially with a banged-up back seven.
Look for the Patriots to try to turn Young over and work to keep McCoy from getting open space on screen plays.
This game could be high-scoring, and the Eagles will keep it close against a Patriots squad missing key defensive players. New England still comes out on top against an Eagles team that has yet to find its stride this season.
Prediction: Patriots 27, Eagles 24