Patriots vs. Eagles: Why Philadelphia's 2011 Season Will Officially End Sunday

Andrew McCluskeyCorrespondent INovember 25, 2011

FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 21:   Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots carries the ball as  Jalil Brown #30 of the Kansas City Chiefs defends on November 21, 2011 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

The 7-3 New England Patriots will be heading to Philadelphia to take on the struggling 4-6 Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field this Sunday. 

The Eagles will most likely be without starting quarterback Michael Vick and top wide receiver Jeremy Maclin come Sunday. Their top two cornerbacks, Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, are also both questionable. 

The Eagles were still able to pick up a victory against the New York Giants last week with Vince Young at the helm, but the Patriots should prove to be a tougher challenge. 

If Philadelphia comes in missing their top two cornerbacks, Tom Brady could make it a very long day for that secondary. The Patriots have too many weapons and mismatches for that Eagles defense that has faced several struggles this season. 

The Patriots defense has faced their own adversity this season. They currently have the worst passing defense in the league. There is no doubt that the secondary is the weakness of this team.

However, they won't be going against a prolific passing game. Young will be a game manager for the Eagles and the offense will most likely be driven through running back LeSean McCoy. 

McCoy has been one of the best running backs in the league this year. He will certainly prove to be a tough test for New England both on the ground and in the passing game. Yet, the Patriots are ranked 12th in run defense so they may be able to limit him if they stack the box. 

This is exactly the approach I expect from Bill Belichick

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 20:  Vince Young #9 of the Philadelphia Eagles looks on from the bench against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on November 20, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

I see the Patriots putting eight guys in the box and daring Vince Young to beat them. Young will have DeSean Jackson to throw to, but whether or not that will be enough to keep up with the Patriots offense we will have to wait and see. 

The Patriots defense has played better in recent weeks, but they also haven't been facing the toughest offenses in the league. The Chiefs and Jets offenses are relatively underwhelming compared to some of the explosive playmakers that the Eagles have. 

Yet, I just don't see Vince Young tearing up the Patriots. 

With the Eagles secondary weakened heading in to this week, I expect this game to be about Philadelphia having to keep up with Brady and Company. Regardless of the playmakers the Eagles have, I firmly believe that Vince Young isn't capable of outscoring the Patriots offense.

With another loss this week, it would likely be the nail in the coffin for the Eagles. The Cowboys and Giants are pulling away in the NFC East. There is just too much depth in general in the NFC for the Eagles to be able to squeak in with a 9-7 record. 

That is assuming that they win out after a loss this Sunday. Even that is hard for me to buy into. 

Injuries and overhyped talent were the downfall of this Philadelphia Eagles team. They were supposed to run through the NFC on their way to a Super Bowl. 

Instead, I believe that another Super Bowl contender in the New England Patriots will be the one to end their season come Sunday.