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NFL · 25 days ago

Eagles vs. Patriots Preview: Can New England Contain Jalen Hurts?



Eagles vs. Patriots Preview: Can New England Contain Jalen Hurts?

As the NFL season kicks off, the Philadelphia Eagles gear up to face the New England Patriots on what’s been dubbed “Tom Brady Day.” And though the Patriots might be trailing in terms of recent performance, the game promises much more than what’s on paper.

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First, addressing the elephant in the room: the Patriots haven’t exactly painted a picture of prowess. Their performance last year and during the preseason could be best described as underwhelming. However, the narrative is a bit different when we turn our attention to the Eagles. Offensively, they’ve turned heads. Even after facing setbacks on the defensive front and losing five starters, their offense remains a force to be reckoned with.

The spotlight of this game will undoubtedly be on Christian Gonzalez. The rookie is set to face a trial by fire as he might end up being paired against the Eagles’ ace, AJ Brown. This matchup gains more prominence considering Jalen Hurts tendency to target Brown on a staggering 35% of his pass attempts against man coverage. The Patriots, under Bill Belichick, have a penchant for man coverage, making this an inevitable clash to witness. Gonzalez versus Brown is set to be a highlight reel on its own.

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Moreover, the Patriots’ reliance on man coverage might play into Hurts’s hands. With the defensive backs often turning their back to the quarterback, mobile QBs have usually found success exploiting this setup, and Hurts might cash in with his dual-threat capabilities.

But where does the betting community stand? Surprisingly, the tide seems to be shifting towards the Patriots. Introducing a new offensive coordinator might be the breath of fresh air they need, allowing for a more diverse playbook, which was sorely missing last year under Matt Patricia. The idea is that with a more open play-action strategy and deeper passes, the Patriots might bring in an element of unpredictability.

On the other side, while the Eagles have a revamped defense, there’s bound to be some settling time required. New players and a fresh defensive coordinator all point toward potential growing pains, which might be the loophole the Patriots are banking on.

This Week 1 clash isn’t just about two teams playing football. It’s about strategy, legacy, and potential. The Eagles, with their formidable offense against the Patriots, trying to rebuild their dynasty. The stakes are high, and the anticipation even higher.

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