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Replay: Patriots Postgame Show Mon Nov 23 | 03:00 PM - 11:59 PM

Pre-Game Report

New England (7-6), Philadelphia Eagles (3-11)Sunday, Dec. 19, 1999, 1:00 p.m. ETat Veterans Stadium

Where can you catch the game?

Television:This week's game will be broadcast regionally on CBS (locally on WBZ Channel 4 in Boston). Gus Johnson will provide play-by-play detail alongside broadcast partner Brent Jones.
Radio:WBCN's Rock Radio Network 104.1 FM. Gil Santos, the voice of the Patriots, will call all the action along with Gino Cappelletti, his broadcast partner for 16 years.
Patriots Monday:Patriots Monday, from 4pm-7pm every Monday (WNRB-AM 1510 or through Patriots.com) with hosts Butch Stearns and Jim Donaldson. Guests include Drew Bledsoe, Pete Carroll, Ty Law, Henry Thomas and others.

The New England Patriots (7-6) will play their final road game of the regular season when they travel to Philadelphia to battle the Eagles (3-10) this weekend. The Patriots are 3-4 on the road this year. It is also the fourth and final inter-conference matchup of the year. The Patriots are 3-0 vs. NFC East opponents.

The Patriots need a victory to avoid potential playoff elimination this weekend. The Patriots have not missed the playoffs since 1995 when they finished 6-10. That year, they remained in playoff contention through the 14th game of the season (6-8), but lost their final two games. Since then, the Patriots have qualified for the playoffs in three consecutive years and won back-to-back division titles in the process. Both accomplishments established franchise records. A win would assure that the Patriots remain in playoff contention, but a loss doesn't necessarily eliminate them.

Last week, the Patriots offense effectively moved the ball up and down the field, eclipsing 400 yards of total offense for just the third time all season. But, they proved to be ineffective inside the "Red Zone," where three drives stalled, resulting in field goals.

Defensively, the Patriots have steadily improved throughout the end of the season. Last week, they held the high-octane offense of the Indianapolis Colts to just 178 yards passing and just 287 total offensive yards, the lowest offensive production of the season by the Colts. Two weeks ago, Dallas entered the game with the second ranked rushing offense, averaging over 128 yards per game, and the Patriots held them to just 62 yards, their second-lowest total of the year.

The Eagles have lost four straight games. Their last victory was a 35-28 decision over the Washington Redskins (11/14). Running back Duce Staley has soared to the top of the NFL's rushing charts. He currently ranks third in the NFC and fifth in the league with 1136 yards rushing. But, the Eagles have lacked balance this year, possessing the league's worst rated passing offense. The Patriots will counter with a defensive unit which is ranked ninth against the pass, 11th overall. If the defense continues to improve in the rankings, they will rank among the league's top 10 for the first time since 1993.

East Versus East

This week the AFC East will face off against the NFC East, with four inter- conference clashes scheduled for this weekend. New England (at Philadelphia), Buffalo (at Arizona) and NY Jets (at Dallas) will be on the road, while Indianapolis will host Washington.

The AFC East has fared well this season against the NFC East, winning 11 of 15 games. New England and Indianapolis are both undefeated, with 3-0 records. If the Patriots defeat the Eagles this weekend, it would mark the first time since 1994 that they swept a season series from the NFC. They were 4-0 versus the NFC Central, defeating Detroit, Green Bay, Minnesota and Chicago.

SERIES HISTORY

The New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles will meet for only the second time in the 1990s and only the eighth time overall this weekend. Their last meeting was in 1990 and the Eagles won 48-20. In fact, the Eagles have won the last four games of the series. The home team has also won six of the seven games in the series.

CONNECTIONS

Five current Eagles spent time on the Patriots roster, G Jeff Dellenbach (1995), S Tim Hauck (1990), WR Dietrich Jells (1996-97), FB Kevin Turner (1992-94) and DT Mark Wheeler (1996-98).

Patriots' C Damien Woody played at Boston College with Eagles DE Mike Mamula and G Doug Brzezinski.

Patriots G Todd Rucci hails from Upper Darby, PA and DT Bob Kuberski is from Chester, PA.

Eagles defensive line coach Tommy Brasher coached the same position for the Patriots from 1982-84 and was on the same staff with Dante Scarnecchia and Steve Sidwell.

LAST MEETING

The last meeting between these two teams was on Nov. 4, 1990 and the Eagles were victorious, 48-20. Only one player, Bruce Armstrong, who started in the last meeting remains in either teams starting line-up. (see below)

New England was able to stay with Philadelphia for three quarters, trailing only 27-13, but the Eagles scored 21 fourth quarter points to seal the victory.

New England's back-up quarterback Marc Wilson passed for 233 yards and two touchdowns. His favorite target on the afternoon was Irving Fryar who caught four passes for 115 yards, including a 36-yard touchdown pass.

Philadelphia quarterback Randall Cunningham passed for four touchdowns and ran for 124 yards and another score to lead his team to victory. The Eagles amassed 514 total yards of offense, the fifth highest total allowed by the Patriots in team history. The Eagles gained 304 yard rushing on 43 carries and had two runners gain over 100 yards rushing, Cunningham gained 124 yards on eight carries and running back Heath Sherman totaled 113 yards on 24 carries.

AFC EAST STANDINGS

WLTPct.
Indianapolis Colts1120.846
Miami Dolphins850.615
Buffalo Bills850.615
New England760.538
New York Jets580.385
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