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Patriots-Eagles game preview

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff  November 27, 2011 02:15 PM

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Lincoln Financial Field

PHILADELPHIA -- We're getting ready for some Patriots-Eagles football here at Lincoln Financial Field.

It's a balmy 62 degrees at the Linc, this morning's sunny skies have turned overcast. It's been a gorgeous, unseasonably warm weekend in the City of Brotherly Love. Patriots fans were popping up all around Philly and the autograph hounds were camped outside of the Patriots hotel last night looking for signatures. Philly fans, and a few Patriots diehards, were already winding up the tailgate scene at 11:30 this morning outside the sports complex.

Michael Vick is inactive for today as expected, so it will be Vince Young getting his second consecutive start for the Eagles. Vick, who broke two ribs against the Cardinals on Nov. 13, did not practice last week. He could return for Thursday night's Eagles game at Seattle. Philly wide receiver Jeremy Maclin and cornerback Rodgers-Cromartie are also out for the Eagles. Philly cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha will start today after hyperextending his left knee Thursday.

Wide receiver Chad Ochocinco will not be playing for the Patriots, out with a hamstring issue. Also out for New England today: safety Patrick Chung (foot), cornerback Devin McCourty (shoulder), Brandon Spikes (knee), Dane Fletcher (thumb), and offensive lineman Dan Connolly (groin).

Without McCourty, expect to see more of Antwaun Molden in the Patriots backfield. Ryan Wendell be at center in Connolly's absence. And wide receiver Taylor Price may see more time on offense with Ochocinco out.

Backup QBs Ryan Mallet and Brian Hoyer were the first out on the field playing catch for the visiting Patriots today.

At 7-3, the Patriots maintain a two-game lead in the AFC East. The Eagles, touted as the Dream Team before the season started, find themselves at 4-6, which puts them in third place in the AFC East.

Today's game is a rematch of the Patriots-Eagles Super Bowl 39 showdown in Jacksonville in 2004 where New England won their third championship in four years with a 24-21 win. Deion Branch, who recorded 133 receiving yards for the Patriots and tied the Super Bowl record with 11 catches, was named the Most Valuable Player. Old friend Asante Samuel is the only player on the Eagles roster who played in that game and will face his former team for the first time today.

The teams have met 11 times, with the Eagles leading the series 6-5. The Eagles are 5-1 when hosting. The Patriots will be looking for their third straight victory over Philly.

Here are the details for today's matchup:

Kickoff: 4:15 p.m.

Season records: Patriots 6-3; Eagles 4-6

TV/Radio info: WBZ-TV Ch. 4 (Greg Gumbel on play-by-play. Dan Dierdorf will provide the analysis); 98.5 FM The Sports Hub (Gil Santos, Gino Cappelletti, Scott Zolak) and nationally on Westwood One Radio Sports (Howard David and Tony Boselli).

Projected starting lineups:

Patriots offense: WR Wes Welker, LT Matt Light, LG Logan Mankins, C Ryan Wendell, RG Brian Waters, RT Sebastian Vollmer, TE Rob Gronkowski, WR Deion Branch, QB Tom Brady, RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis, TE Aaron Hernandez.

Eagles offense: WR Riley Cooper, LT Jason Peters, LG Evan Mathis, C Jason Kelse, RG Danny Watkins, RT Todd Herremans, TE Brent Celek, WR DeSean Jackson, FB Owen Schmitt, RB LeSean McCoy, QB Vince Young

Patriots defense: LE Shaun Ellis, DT Vince Wilfork, DT Kyle Love, RE Andre Carter, LB Rob Ninkovich, LB Jerod Mayo, LB Brandon Spikes, CB Antwaun Molden, CB Kyle Arrington, S James Ihedigbo, S Sterling Moore

Eagles defense: DE Jason Babin, DT Cullen Jenkins, DT Mike Patterson, DE Trent Cole, LB Brian Rolle, LB Jamar Chaney, LB Akeem Jordan, CB Asante Samuel, CB Nnamdi Asomugha, S Kurt Coleman, S Nate Allen

Today's inactives:

Patriots inactives: QB Ryan Mallett, S Patrick Chung, CB Devin McCourty, LB Dane Fletcher, WR Chad Ochocinco, C Dan Connolly, and LB Brandon Spikes

Linebacker Jeff Tarpinian has been placed on IR by New England. He is replaced on the roster by WR Tiquan Underwood.

Eagles inactives: QB Michael Vick, WR Jeremy Maclin, LT King Dunlap, CB D. Rodgers-Cromartie, DE Philip Hunt, DE Brandon Graham, G Julian Vandervelde

Here's a list of Globe reporters to follow on Twitter during today's game:

Christopher L. Gasper (@cgasper); Greg A. Bedard (@GregABedard); Shalise Manza Young (@ShaliseMYoung); Monique Walker (@monwalker);

The Globe's Greg Bedard has his five keys for a Patriots win today. Alen Dumonjic goes deeper inside today's matchup as well.

We also encourage you to check out Boston.com's Patriots Pulse section before, during, and after the game, and to tag your tweets #pulsepatriots to get them to show in this growing feature.

To take a look at the view from the Philadelphia side, take a look at today's stories from Sunday's Inquirer.

And fans can get in on the commentary on today's game in our live game chat.

Enjoy the game.

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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