The New England Patriots will be embarking on the 2023 season against the Philadelphia Eagles. For the 4:25 pm eastern time start, there will be a lot of discussion about one certain quarterback. That man is not named Mac Jones or Jalen Hurts. It is Tom Brady, whom the Patriots will be honoring on Sunday. The greatest player in NFL history has retired from the NFL for the second time, and Gillette Stadium will have a standing ovation for him. There will surely be many champion guests to honor the former Patriots and Buccanneers quarterback.
However, can the Patriots step up against the defending NFC Champions? It will not be easy for a New England team that has not proved itself since Brady retired. New England is just a four-point underdog, though. While the books think that the Patriots can keep this game close, there is a decent chance that the game will get away from Bill Belichick and company. New England brings a strong defense into this contest, but the Eagles’ tremendous offense seems to be matchup-proof.
New England Patriots vs. Philadelphia Eagles Pregame Analysis
The last time the Patriots and Eagles played each other, Doug Pederson was coaching the Eagles. Not many of those players from that 2019 game — a 17-10 Patriots win in Philadelphia — are still with their respective teams. With a very intriguing matchup of Jones against Hurts, this game should be a great one. Belichick has shown confidence in Jones, as he did not see Bailey Zappe or Malik Cunningham as a No. 2 quarterback for this team. In addition, Jones does not have too many injuries in front of him. The hope is that New England’s injury luck continues:
The #Patriots are in great health to start Week 1.
OL Riley Reiff and OL James Ferentz are the only players missing to open practice. Calvin Anderson worked at RT with Mac Jones’ group. pic.twitter.com/iTHUYprp6M
— Andrew Callahan (@_AndrewCallahan) September 4, 2023
The AFC is packed with impressive teams — the Chiefs, Bengals, and Bills, to name a few — and the conference seems to have improved over the offseason. It will be very difficult for New England to make it back to the postseason for the second time in the last four years. Meanwhile, it should be a virtual lock to see the Eagles dominate the NFC again. The only worry is that the Super Bowl loser does not typically bounce back well the following season. A notable analyst is thinking the Eagles will lift the Lombardi Trophy this season, though:
.@peter_king predicts the Eagles to win the Super Bowl and says, “I don’t think there’s a clear weakness on the Eagles … (Jalen Hurts) is about to take his place with (Patrick) Mahomes and Joe Burrow at the very top of the QB pantheon.” 👀 pic.twitter.com/VySPyfacqJ
— Word On The Birds (@WordOnTheBirds) September 4, 2023
The Eagles have changed the running back crew, with D’Andre Swift, Rashaad Penny, and Kenneth Gainwell seemingly working as a three-headed monster. They all have positive attributes and even have Boston Scott as injury insurance. In addition, A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith make up one of the league’s best wide receiver tandems. It does not hurt having Quez Watkins and Dallas Goedert as well. Therefore, it will not be easy for New England’s defense.
All lines and odds courtesy of BetMGM.
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Philadelphia Eagles -190
New England Patriots +155
Philadelphia Eagles -4 (-110)
New England Patriots +4 (-110)
New England Patriots-Philadelphia Eagles O/U 45 (-110/-110)
Picks and Predictions for the New England Patriots vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Over 45 points (-110)
This is not the expected play here because the thought is that Belichick’s defensive crew has a lot up its sleeves. However, the Patriots should be playing catch-up in this game. If so, New England will need to take some chances, and they can go either way. Jones will be airing it out for touchdowns or interceptions. This could be a close Patriots win, but the over might be the better way to go.