In The Red Zone

This Week

New England Patriots @ Philadelphia Eagles

The New England Patriots visit the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia PA on Sunday at 4:15 p.m.

The Patriots (7-3) are 3-2 on the road, 1-1 against the NFC East and 1-1 vs. the NFC.  The Eagles (4-6) are 1-4 at the Linc, 0-1 vs. the AFC East and 0-1 against the AFC.

The Line/Prediction

As of Thursday the line on the game from Yahoo! Sports has the Patriots at MINUS 3 1/2.  They list the over under at 50 1/2.

My Prediction is Patriots 31, Eagles, 21.  Give the points (Patriots) and take the over.  I am 6-3-1 against the spread and 6 of 10 on calling the over/under in 2011.


The Eagles are reporting the game as a sell out.

Tickets to the game, if available, can be purchased through Ticketmaster.  You can check the availability here.

Getting to the Game

If you’re lucky enough to be going to the game in Philadelphia make sure you check out the links.

Here is the up to date weather forecast from the Weather Channel for Philadelphia PA.

Click for all the game day information including stadium directions, parking and stadium information and a Lincoln Financial Field seating chart.


Here’s a bunch of different tailgating recipes from  There’s something there for everyone and every type of meal or snack.  I’ve tried some of the recipes and they’re very good.

And with tailgating many people enjoy some adult beverages.  With that in mind check out Drink Nation for how to make all sorts of great drinks.  You can look things up by name, ingredient(s) or theme.

Whether it’s at the game, a bar or a friend’s house moderation is always the key to a great time.  Please don’t drink and drive and designate a sober driver.  Remember You Drink, You Drive, You Lose.



CBS in televising the game regionally and Greg Gumbel will do play by play while Dan Dierdorf will provide the game analysis.  You can look here for your local affiliate.

See if you’re getting the game courtesy of J.P. Kirby at

The DirecTV designation is Channel 713.

Here are all the rules on NFL TV broadcasts including explaining the blackout rules, flex scheduling and commercial breaks.


The Patriots Radio Network broadcasts the game from flagship station WBZ-FM, 98.5 the Sports Hub in Boston. Gil Santos handles the play-by-play, former Patriot Gino Cappelletti does the color and new this year Scott Zolak will man the sidelines. It all starts with Gary Tanguay, Andy Gresh and Zolak with the pregame show at 1 p.m. along the network. The post game starts after the final gun and continues for three hours along the network.

If you are outside the broadcast area of the stations on the Patriots Radio Network you can purchase NFL Field Pass, which allows you to listen to any game live.  You can also pick which teams broadcasters you want to listen to.

All NFL Games are also available on Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio also carries all the NFL games under a special additional package.  They usually only carry the home team feed.

The Patriots radio network call is available on Sirius Channel 93 and on SiriusXM Internet Channel 879.

The Eagles Radio network has Merrill Reese calling play by play and former Eagle Mike Quick doing the color via their flagship stations WIP-AM/WYSP-FM.  Their call is available on Sirius Channel 132, XM Channel 231 and SiriusXM Internet Channel 884.

Westwood One will also broadcast the game to a national audience of its affiliates.  Howard David and Tony Boselli will call the game.

Patriots All Access

Patriots All-Access features behind the scenes looks, interviews and breakdowns with head coach Bill Belichick and in depth features on the team.  It’s hosted by Steve Burton of WBZ-TV (Boston) and airs weekly in most New England television markets.

  • Boston MA on TV 38 Friday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 9 a.m.
  • Providence RI on WNAC Friday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 9 a.m.
  • Manchester NH on WMUR Saturday at midnight
  • Portland ME on WMTW Sunday at 5 a.m.
  • Hartford CT on WCTX Saturday at 5 p.m.
  • Springfield MA on WFXQ Saturday at 7 p.m.
  • Bangor ME on WVII Sunday at 11 a.m.

You can also watch it anytime on the teams website in the media section.

To continue reading the New England Patriots @ Philadelphia Eagles Week 12 preview, click on the read more button below if you’re on the home page.

Last Week

The Patriots beat the Chiefs at home 34-3; while the Eagles beat the Giants, 17-10 on the road.


  • The Eagles lead the all-time series 6-5 including one Super Bowl.
  • This is the 7th game in the series to be played in Philadelphia.  There was also one neutral field match up.
  • The Patriots defeated the Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX, 24-21 in Jacksonville FL.
  • This game matches up not only two good friends in Andy Reid and Bill Belichick but also the two longest tenured coaches in the NFL.
  • The two teams last met in 2007 when the Patriots beat the Eagles in Foxboro, 31-28.

Patriots Team Notes

Here is the Patriots roster, depth chart and injury report for the game.

2011 Patriots Schedule/Results

The Patriots overall franchise record is 406-366-9.  They have won three Super Bowls (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX) in six appearances.  They last appeared in the playoffs in 2010 when they lost at home to the New York Jets in the AFC Divisional Playoff, 28-21.  They last appeared in a Super Bowl in 2007 losing to the New York Giants 17-14 in Super Bowl XLII.  They won the AFC Conference championship that season with playoff wins over Jacksonville and San Diego.

The Patriots are the defending two-time AFC East Champions; they have won the division 8 times since 2000.

The Patriots are dedicating the 2011 season to the memory of Myra Hiatt Kraft, the late wife of owner Robert Kraft. Every Patriots player and coach will honor Myra’s memory by wearing a patch with her initials on it in recognition of her lifelong contributions to the local and global community and her influence on the charitable mission of the entire Patriots organization. The patch will be worn on the left chest of every player throughout the season.

The Patriots are 1-5 as the road team in the series.

New England is a NFL best 61-15 in games played on or after Thanksgiving since 2001.

Since 2002 the Patriots are 8-2 vs. the NFC East in the regular season.  The losing at Washington in 2003 and to the New York Giants at home this year.

Overall the Patriots are 16-24 against NFC East teams including Super Bowls.

Since 2000 have the Patriots the second best road record in the NFL at 60-33.  Philadelphia is first at 59-32-1.

The Patriots defense has allowed opponents to convert 43.1% of the time on 3rd down, while the offense has a 3rd down conversion rate of 44.2%.

The New England defense has sacked the opponents quarterback 23 times in 10 games.

The Patriots are 4th in the NFL in points per game with 29.3.  While they allow 20.3 points per game good for 10th in the NFL.

New England is PLUS 5 in turnover differential, 8th best in the NFL. The offense has given up 10 INT and 5 fumbles, while the defense has 15 INT and 5 fumble recoveries.

Patriots Staff Notes

This is the link to head coach Bill Belichick’s Wednesday press conference on the Eagles.

Bill Belichick is 4-1 vs. the Eagles in his career.  He is 3-0 against them as the head coach in New England and that includes one Super Bowl (1-0).

Overall in his NFL career Belichick is 169-97 in 16 NFL seasons.  He is 133-53 with New England and 36-44 with Cleveland.  He is 15-6 in the playoffs, 14-5 as head coach of the Patriots in the post season.  When you combine his regular season and post season records he is 184-103.

Belichick’s 184 wins are good for 9th all-time.

He was named NFL Coach of the Year for the 3rd time in 2010.

Belichick is one of five head coaches in NFL history whose father (Steve Belichick) played in the league.  The others are current Kansas City head coach Todd Haley (Dick Haley), former San Francisco head coach Mike Nolan (Dick Nolan), former Cincinnati head coach David Shula (Don Shula) and former NY Jets head coach Joe Walton (Frank Walton).

Patriots Possible Starters


  • LT: Solder
  • LG: Mankins
  • C: Connolly
  • RG: Waters
  • RT: Vollmer
  • TE: R. Gronkowski
  • TE: Hernandez
  • WR: Ochocinco
  • WR: Welker
  • QB: Brady
  • RB: Green-Ellis


  • DE: Deaderick
  • DT: Wilfork
  • DT: Love
  • DE: Carter
  • LB: Mayo
  • LB: White
  • LB: Ninkovich
  • LCB: Molden
  • RCB: Arrington
  • S: Moore
  • S: Ihedigbo

Patriots Players Notes

This Tom Brady’s 12th NFL season he is 3-0 vs. the Eagles including 1-0 in the playoffs.

Overall Brady is 118-34 as a starting QB and is 14-5 in the playoffs for an overall record of 132-39.  Brady is a 6 time Pro Bowl QB; two time NFL MVP and has won 3 Super Bowls while twice being named the games MVP.  He is also listed as the 21st Greatest Player in the History of the NFL according to the NFL Network.

In 2010 Brady won his second NFL MVP and he was the first unanimous winner in league history.

Brady has thrown 25 TD’s and 10 INT’s while being sacked 19 times in 10 games.

Brady has 286 TD passes in his career he is now 8th all-time.  Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas is 7th with 290.

Brady has 118 career wins he is 7th all-time.  Johnny Unitas is 6th with 119 and Fran Tarkenton is 5th with 124.

WR Wes Welker now has catches in 92 consecutive games including playoffs, 75 as a Patriot.  The last time Welker did not have a catch in a game was 12/24/05 as a Dolphin.

WR/PR/DB Julian Edelman was the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week after he ran back a punt 72-yards for a TD.

Edelman became the 4th New England player with at least 2 punt return TD’s in his career.  Irving Fryar and Troy Brown have 3 and Mike Haynes has 2.

CB Kyle Arrington had two INT’s last week vs. Kansas City, he now has a league leading 7 INT’s on the season.

TE Rob Gronkowski had 2 TD catches to set a new standard for TE’s with 20 TD’s in his first 26 games.

With back-to-back 10 TD seasons Gronk becomes the fourth Patriots player to record 2 or more consecutive seasons of 10 TD’s or more joining Randy Moss (3 seasons); Corey Dillon (3 seasons) and Curtis Martin.

Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald reports that the Worcester Sharks (AHL) hockey team is going to pay Gronkowski $7500 to spike a puck prior to their game on February 24th.  The $7500 is the amount Gronk was fined for spiking the ball in the face of Jets defender in Week 10.

DE Andre Carter had a half sack last week he leads the team with 9.  DE Mark Anderson has 1.5 sacks he now has 7 on the season, good for 2nd on the team.

Carter leads the defense with 19 quarterback hits, Anderson is 2nd with 9 hits.

Anderson, Wilfork, Carter and LB Jerod Mayo have each forced a fumble this season while Ninkovich, DT Kyle Love and DE Gerard Warren have each recovered an opponent’s fumble.

CB Devin McCourty leads the team in tackles with 61, S Patrick Chung is 2nd with 60.

WR Jackie Slater leads the team in special teams tackles with 13, while LB Tracy White, a former Eagle, has 11.

On Wednesday the following players were held out of practice: LB Jeff Tarpinian (illness); LB Brandon Spikes (MCL) and LB Dane Fletcher (thumb).  10 others were limited: WR Wes Welker (knee); C Dan Connolly (groin); G Brian Waters (knee); S Patrick Chung (foot); LB Gary Guyton (shoulder); S James Ihedigbo (shoulder); WR Taylor Price (hamstring); WR Matthew Slater (shoulder); T Matt Light (ankle) and T Sebastian Vollmer (back).

On Thursday only Spikes and Fletcher missed practice.  The others from Wednesday remained limited.  WR Deion Branch was added to injury report with a hip injury he was limited at practice.

On Wednesday New England released S Ross Ventrone and re-signed former UConn OL Donald Thomas to the 53-man roster.

On Thursday, Ventrone cleared waivers and was re-signed to the practice squad, LB Jeff Tarpinian was placed on IR with an undisclosed illness; WR Tiquan Underwood was re-signed to the 53-man roster and CB Josh Victorian was released from the practice squad.

The Patriots have five New England natives on the roster they are: LB Niko Koutouvides (Plainville CT); TE Aaron Hernandez (Bristol CT); OL Donald Thomas (New Haven CT); S James Ihedigbo (Northampton MA) and DE Ron Brace (Worcester MA).  They have 10 players who played for a New England school or a Big East Conference member.  They are: WR Deion Branch (Louisville); S James Ihedigbo (UMass); C Dan Koppen (Boston College – IR); CB Devin McCourty (Rutgers); NT Vince Wilfork (Miami), OL Donald Thomas (UConn); DE Mike Wright (Cincinnati – IR); DE Ron Brace (Boston College); WR Tiquan Underwood (Rutgers) and DE Alex Silvestro (Rutgers – Practice Squad).

The Patriots have 7 retired numbers: 20 – Gino Cappelletti, 40 – Mike Haynes, 73 – John Hannah, 78 – Bruce Armstrong, 79 – Jim Lee Hunt and 89 – Bob Dee.

Pro Bowl voting is open until December 19th, cast your votes for deserving players.

Eagles Team Notes

Here is the Eagles roster, depth chart and injury report for the game.

2011 Eagles Schedule/Results

The Eagles all-time record is 509-541-26 and they are 19-20 in the playoffs with their last playoff appearance coming in 2010.  The Eagles lost at home to the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Wild Card Game, 21-16. The Eagles last played for a championship in 2008 losing the NFC Championship Game to Arizona, 32-25.  The Eagles have played in two Super Bowls losing both (XV and XXXIX) and previously won 3 NFL Championships (1948, 1949 and 1960) prior to the Super Bowl era.

The lone Philadelphia home loss in the series came in the last game between the two played at the Linc in 2003 when the Patriots won, 31-10.

The Eagles have lost the last three meetings between the teams, which includes Super Bowl XXXIX.

Philadelphia is 48-27 on or after Thanksgiving since 2001, that’s the 3rd best record in that time period in the NFL.

The Eagles have called 6 stadiums home they are Baker Bowl; Philadelphia Municipal Stadium; Connie Mack Stadium aka Shibe Park; Franklin Field; Veterans Stadium and Lincoln Financial Field.

Their current home, Lincoln Financial Field, is part of the South Philadelphia Sports Complex and sits across the street from Citizens Bank Park (Phillies) and next to the Wells Fargo Center (Flyers/Sixers).  The Linc holds 68,532 (69,144 with standing room).

Since 2008, Philadelphia has the 9th best record in the NFL at 34-23-1 and the 5th most points scored (1521).

The Eagles defense has allowed opponents to convert 36.2% of the time on 3rd down, while the offense has a 3rd down conversion rate of 44.4%.

The Philadelphia defense has sacked the opponents quarterback 29 times in 10 games.

The Eagles are tied for 10th in the NFL in points per game with 23.7.  While they allow 21.3 points per game good for a tie for 16th in the NFL.

Philadelphia is MINUS 8 in turnover differential, 28th best in the NFL. The offense has given up 17 INT and 7 fumbles, while the defense has 11 INT and 5 fumble recoveries.

The Eagles have a Fight Song called “Fly, Eagles Fly”.

Eagles Staff Notes

Read what Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid had to say to the New England media about the match up.

Andy Reid is 122-79-1 in his 13th season as the Eagles head coach.  He is 10-9 in the playoffs for an overall record of 132-88-1.

Reid is the head coach with the longest current reign in the NFL.  He was hired prior to the 1999 season.

Eagles Players Notes

QB Michael Vick is 11-10 in his third season with Philadelphia including 0-1 in the playoffs.  With Atlanta he was 40-30-1 including 2-2 in the playoffs. Between Atlanta and Philadelphia Vick is 51-40-1 overall including the post season.  Vick was the 1st round pick of the Atlanta Falcons in the 2001 NFL Draft (1st Overall) out of Virginia Tech.

Vick, who is a 4-time Pro Bowl selection (2002, 2004, 2005 and 2010) is doubtful for the game on Sunday.

If Vick can not play on Sunday, Reid will once again turn over the reigns to another former first round pick QB Vince Young.

Young is in his first season with Philadelphia and is 1-0 with the Eagles.  He played 5 seasons with the Tennessee Titans who drafted him 3rd overall in 2006 out of the University of Texas.  As the Tennessee starter he was 30-18 including 0-1 in the playoffs.  Overall with the Titans and the Eagles Young is 31-18 including the post season.

Young was the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2006 and a 2-time Pro Bowl selection (2006 and 2009).

Philadelphia CB Asante Samuel was the last Patriots player to league the NFL in INT’s with 10 in 2006.  Currently New England CB Kyle Arrington leads the league with 7 INT’s.

Samuel was a 4th round pick of the Patriots in 2003.  He played in New England for 5 seasons before leaving as a free agent for Philadelphia in 2008.

On Wednesday the following players were held out of practice: T King Dunlap (concussion); WR DeSean Jackson (foot); CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (ankle) and QB Mike Vick (ribs).  1 other was limited: WR Jeremy Macklin (shoulder/hamstring).

During Thursday practice Eagles CB Nnamdi Asomugha was carted off the field with a knee injury.  The Eagles say there’s no damage but he is sore.

Also on Thursday Dunlap, Rodgers-Cromartie and Vick once again did not practice.  Macklin was downgraded from Wednesday and did not practice.  Jackson was upgraded on Thursday to limited participation.

The Eagles captains are: Vick; Jackson; Samuel and Asomugha.

Philadelphia has 7 players who played for a New England school or a Big East Conference member.  They are: FS Nate Allen (South Florida); TE Brent Celek (Cincinnati); DE Trent Cole (Cincinnati); C Jason Kelce (Cincinnati); RB Dion Lewis (Pittsburgh); RB LeSean McCoy (Pittsburgh) and RB Owen Schmitt (WVU).

The Eagles have 7 retired numbers: 15 – Steve Van Buren; 40 – Tom Brookshire; 44 – Pete Retzlaff; 60 – Chuck Bednarik; 70 – Al Wistert; 92 – Reggie White and 99 – Jerome Brown.

Next Week

The Patriots host the Indianapolis Colts next Sunday at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro MA.  Kick off is at 1 p.m. on CBS.

Follow Steve on Twitter @djstevem