. PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - JANUARY 21: DeVonta Smith #6 of the Philadelphia Eagles catches a pass against the New York Giants during the third quarter in the NFC Divisional Playoff game at Lincoln Financial Field on January 21, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Just a few more hours and we will have Eagles Football. Later today they finally take the field, when they take on the Patriots in New England at 4:25. The start of what will hopefully be just as good of a season for the Eagles as last year was. Only this time they will try for a happier ending. But before they can get there, they need to win week 1. And as Nick Sirianni loves to say over and over again, this team takes everything one week at a time.

The Eagles were 3.5-point favorites to open the week. That grew to 4-point favorites by Friday, when this article was written. But will they start out the season on a high note? Yesterday we already talked about some of the Patriots players who could give the Eagles a hard time. They have their work cut out for them containing Rhamondre Stevenson, are facing one of the best pass-rushing teams in the NFL besides themselves, and feature a prolific return man threat.

But now that we have discussed the areas of concern, we can get to the matchups that are very favorable to the Eagles. To start, the Patriots’ offense, despite a dangerous back like Stevenson, has struggled to score the last two years. They finished 17th in the NFL last year with 21.4 points per game.  Since Mac Jones joined the team, they are 0-11 when they allow 25 points or more. So a high-powered offensive game would very much benefit the Eagles.

But can the Eagles put up big numbers like that, while also keeping the Patriots off the board? Will they leave week 1 with a win, or are they on upset alert? Let’s find out.

Here are 3 matchups that suggest the Eagles should have a big advantage over the Patriots in today’s game:


  • Jalen Hurts Running Against the Patriots

    Bill Belichick rightfully gets a lot of respect. Winning 5 Super Bowls will do that. But his defense has had one glaring vulnerability, especially in recent seasons. QBs can run on him. Justin Fields ran for 82 yards and a TD against them last year. Lamar Jackson 107 yards and a TD. And Jackson has actually had success most of his career rushing vs. the Patriots. 

    The ‘plan’ is for Hurts to run less. But we know if he sees a hole, instincts will take over. If there is some rust in the offense in week 1, that may be a way for him to get things going. Because speed doesn’t slump. So don’t be surprised if he puts up some big numbers in week 1 on the ground.  

  • Eagles Pass Rush vs a Banged Up Patriots O-Line

    Patriots RT Riley Reiff was put on the IR and will miss the first 4 games. In his place, the Patriots will start Calvin Anderson, who spent the last 3 seasons as a backup for the Broncos. He started 12 games across 3 seasons. So he didn’t have a ton of playing time, but he has usually played okay when in there. He has to block Haason Reddick though. Even with a cast on his hand, Reddick is one of the most difficult guys to block in the league. Good luck with that. 

    To make it worse for them, both of the Patriots’ offensive guards have been limited in practice all week. Mike Onwenu missed camp while recovering from ankle surgery. And Cole Strange is battling a knee injury. Jalen Carter will be looking to make an impact in his first-ever game, and playing against injured Guards will certainly help him do that. 

    The Eagles have the best pass rush in the league. They get to face a banged-up O-Line. That seems like a recipe for Mac Jones having a long day. Take the over on Eagles sacks. 

  • Rookie Corner Christian Gonzalez vs Eagles Elite WR Duo

    Christian Gonzalez was one of the best defensive players in the draft. He is probably going to become a very good NFL. Corner. But his week 1 matchup is the Football equivalent of being thrown into the deep end. Whoever they put him on, it will be a 1000-yard WR. Either he draws AJ Brown, who was one of the best WRs period last year, or Devonta Smith, who most say is ready to be even better than he was last year. 

    That could very well be a welcome to the NFL moment for him. And to make things worse, they will be without Jack Jones who is battling a hamstring injury. Their other corners are Jonathan Jones, and Jalen Mills, who Eagles fans know is susceptible to being beaten by the deep ball. 

    The Patriots allowed 28 passing TDs last season, the 3rd most in the league. Gonalez should help that, but as a rookie, there could be growing pains, and no team is better set up to exploit those growing pains than the Eagles.  

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