The Patriots will have to be prepared both offensively and defensively when they travel to Philadelphia on Sunday because the Eagles have talent on both sides of the ball, which makes their poor 4-6 record even more shocking.
Michael Vick‘s status for Sunday is uncertain, but there’s no doubt he’s one of the most athletic players to ever play in the NFL, even if that hasn’t translated into Super Bowl glory. His ability to use his arm and his legs was frequently put on display last season, and though he’s battling injuries and has failed to live up to the hype in 2011, you can never count him out because of his immense talent.
When Vick’s not airing it out or using his legs, it’s usually LeSean McCoy who’s making life difficult for opposing defenses. McCoy leads the NFL with 1,019 rushing yards and is tied with Adrian Peterson for tops in the NFL with 12 touchdowns. It’s safe to say he’s become one of the league’s premier running backs.
Wide receiver DeSean Jackson, meanwhile, remains a threat both in the passing game and on special teams. Jeremy Maclin actually has more receptions and receiving yards than Jackson this season, but there’s no denying the blazing speed and fantastic hands that Jackson has. He’s eclipsed the 1,000-yard receiving mark in each of the past two seasons, and you simply don’t know when he’s going to break a big gain or take it to the house when returning punts.
And as far as the Philadelphia defense goes, Nnamdi Asomugha remains one of the game’s few shutdown cornerbacks. Tom Brady has the ability to pick apart defenses, but he’ll have to work hard in order to beat Asomugha and Co. on Sunday.