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Eagles must keep season alive vs Patriots

By Barry Wilner

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, Nov. 24 2011 3:06 p.m. MST

Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson (22) sits on the bench with his leg taped during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2011, in Miami. The Dolphins defeated the Bills 35-8.

Lynne Sladky, Associated Press

The final six weeks of the season could be a real treat for the New England Patriots.

Tied with three other teams for the AFC's best record, the Patriots face their toughest foe on the remainder of the schedule when they visit Philadelphia on Sunday. And the Eagles are 4-6, the most disappointing team in the league this year, on the verge of falling out of contention in the NFC.

So the prospect of the Patriots once again having the conference's best record is very real. No, they won't be the dominating 14-2 they were in 2012, but a sweep of the last half-dozen games will land them at 13-3, even if it isn't quite as impressive a performance.

After the Eagles, New England plays the Colts, Redskins, Broncos, Dolphins and Bills. Not a winning mark among them.

As is their wont, the Patriots are looking at every opponent as if they were, well, the 2007 Patriots — the undefeated Pats.

"I think that we need to play really well, certainly better than we've played the last few weeks," Tom Brady said. "There're a lot of people on our team and our offense that have really taken the challenge that our coaches have given us and are going to go out there and try to play our best. I think we need to do that. This is the time of year when it's most important. There aren't a lot of games left. When you play a tough team on the road, that came off one of the biggest wins of their season, we have everything we could ask for. We're going to go out there and try to play our best."

Philly beat the Giants 17-10 on the road last Sunday night behind one of the best drives in the league for any team: 18 plays, 80 yards to a winning touchdown pass. Vince Young led it, and he might be at quarterback again with Michael Vick's ribs still tender.

"Anytime you go into a game with a guy who hasn't really played yet, and you come out with a win like that, especially late in the game when you persevere through it, that breeds confidence in his abilities," center Jason Kelce said. "I don't want to say that I was ever not confident that Vince could do it, but I'm definitely more confident now, having been through the (Giants) game."

The holiday weekend began on Thursday with the traditional Thanksgiving Day games at Detroit, where unbeaten Green Bay beat the Lions 27-15, and at Dallas, with Miami visiting the Cowboys. The night game was the first between head-coaching brothers in NFL history, with Jim Harbaugh's San Francisco 49ers at John Harbaugh's Baltimore Ravens.

On Sunday, it's Denver at San Diego, Chicago at Oakland, Pittsburgh at Kansas City, Houston at Jacksonville, Minnesota at Atlanta, Carolina at Indianapolis, Buffalo at the New York Jets, Cleveland at Cincinnati, Tampa Bay at Tennessee, Washington at Seattle, and Arizona at St. Louis.

The Monday night game features the New York Giants at New Orleans.

Packers 27, Lions 15

Aaron Rodgers threw two touchdown passes and the Packers built a big lead in the third quarter, taking advantage of Ndamukong Suh's ejection.

The defending champion Packers are 11-0 for the first time in franchise history and have won a team-record 17 straight, including the playoffs.

The Lions fell to 7-4 — losing a franchise-record eighth straight Thanksgiving game — and added to their misery in ugly fashion.

Suh was tossed for stepping on Evan Dietrich-Smith's arm in the third quarter and Matthew Stafford threw three interceptions.

New York Giants (6-4) at New Orleans (7-3), Monday night

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