Date/Time: Monday August 20, 2012
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Point Spread: Patriots -1
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NFL Preseason Pick – Week 2
The Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots both won their opening game of the preseason schedule by a single point. The Eagles did it with a long field goal as time expired to win 24-23, while the Patriots scored a third-quarter touchdown and held off the Saints 7-6. The teams will meet on ESPN’s Monday Night Football this coming week.
The Eagles win last week was a bigger than a normal preseason win. After Coach Andy Reid went through so much heartbreak, the fan base and the team showed an amazing amount of support to their coach last weekend. The last second win felt like it was a playoff win to the team, even though the actual game didn’t count for anything. Coach Reid said he believes the Eagles are in a much better place this year than they were last season. Philadelphia had such high hopes last year, but the team went only 8-8.
Michael Vick has to stay healthy for this Eagles team to be successful this season, and I don’t expect him to play much in this one. Nick Foles was moved up to the backup quarterback spot this week, and he should get a lot of snaps on Monday night. On the defensive side, Nnamdi Asomugha may not play after a scary collision in practice earlier this week. The Eagles defense must step up if this team is going to make a run in the season ahead.
New England was just a play or two away from winning another title last season. No doubt this team will be driven by that near miss. The Patriots starters will likely see at least a couple series in week two of the preseason. Julian Edelman was the most targeted receiver in last week’s game, and I think the Patriots are making a concerted effort to get Edelman into the offense. He is a guy that could really help this team moving forward. Shane Vereen was impressive in the Patriots win over New Orleans last week, and he is pushing for more time in the backfield. Vereen averaged nearly six yards per carry in the team’s first preseason contest.
The Patriots showed how committed they are to getting better on the defensive side of the ball in the draft. New England used its first six picks in this year’s draft on defensive players. The Patriots need to defend the run better this season. The teams that beat the Patriots last year did it by controlling the clock and moving the ball on the ground.
New England actually has a pretty good record under Bill Belichick in the preseason. I think the Patriots defense will be out to prove a point here on the national stage. Look for a lower scoring game than expected.
New England 17 Philadelphia 13
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