The Patriots will be hosting the Eagles this Sunday, after the first loss of the season for the Patriots dealt to them by Denver. The Eagles are coming off a blowout loss against the Lions on Thanksgiving day.
The Patriots look every bit the better team even unhealthy, but here are the matchups to watch that could make things interesting.
1. TE Zac Ertz Vs SS Patrick Chung
Biggest matchup of the game. Ertz has been targeted more times (62) than anybody else on the entire team. He’s their best weapon and Bradford loves to use him. Chung, whose been one of the best covering SS in the entire league will most likely draw this matchup and it makes perfect sense. He’s much bigger than Chung but speed wise and ability they make the perfect match and it will be a battle. If Chung can win this matchup and the Pats stop the Eagles tight ends, their offense won’t move the ball.
2. WR Miles Austin Vs SS Tavon Wilson
The Patriots have been playing musical chairs with the number three corner. Chung, Wilson, and Melvin have been taking turns while Coleman has been out and will probably be out again. I’m not sure which of the three will go against Austin, but whoever gets the matchup will be important on Sunday. Austin has been targeted the most this season of the wide outs (31) and has caught 13 receptions for 224 yards and 1 touchdown. The receptions and numbers for the other wide outs are not much better, just so you know, because those numbers are not overly impressive. I think Tavon Wilson will draw this match they have to shut down Austin. If they keep the safety net away from Bradford and take away the big plays, the passing offense will struggle even more.
3. CB Byron Maxwell Vs WR Brandon LaFell
I see this matchup being between Maxwell a tall guy against tall guy LaFell on Sunday. Maxwell hasn’t played very well this season and after his comment that “Bradford was better than Brady,” I’m sure he will see more than a few targets his way. LaFell needs a much better performance this week than last week to help out his four time Super Bowl winning QB and move the offense. This is a big matchup that LaFell should win. I’m not saying Maxwell isn’t talented, I’m saying LaFell should win this matchup this time, this year. If LaFell wins this matchup the offense will have fewer problems on Sunday. Plus, it’ll be nice to see Brady throw Maxwell’s way all day.