It’s a pattern most NFL teams follow every year, including the Eagles -- the starters play the first quarter in the first preseason game, then play a little more in the second and a lot more in the third before not playing at all in the fourth.

This year, the Eagles have changed that pattern, which will benefit a Monday Night Football audience. Coach Andy Reid will play his starters for the entire first half and maybe even longer against the Patriots, even though it’s only their second exhibition. That’s because the Eagles are the victims of the NFL schedule makers -- they play at New England on Monday night and then four days later they play at Cleveland.

Four days isn’t much time to prepare and it’s really half of that, since the Eagles will burn two days traveling. Reid wants to give his starters more time to prepare for their longest stint of the preseason and that’s also why the Eagles will do more game-planning than they did for the preseason opener against the Steelers.

“It’s not quite what you do for a regular season game,’’ Reid said. “You’re still trying to get a few things knocked out that we need to prepare for, but it will be more than what you had last week."

So, quarterback Michael Vick and the first team offense and defense will play at least the first half and perhaps some of the third. Rookie QB Nick Foles will follow Vick and veteran Trent Edwards will mop up.

“I’m really looking forward to getting out there and playing for an extended time,’’ tackle Todd Herremans said. “We didn’t do much (in preseason opener vs. Steelers) and part of that was because we weren’t out there much. This time, we will be.”

For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis on the Philadelphia Eagles from blogger Kevin Noonan, follow@CBSSportsNFLPHI.