By Kevin McGuire
The Philadelphia Eagles will face the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI in Minnesota. When they take the field on Sunday, the Eagles will be facing just the 53 men in Patriots uniforms. But leading up to the game, they are facing the Patriots knowing they have a chance at winning the first Lombardi Trophy in Eagles’ history in a game that could begin the downfall of the NFL’s most recent dynasty.
Because this is the Super Bowl, this is not just any other opponent for the Eagles. Philadelphia is going up against a defending Super Bowl champion with arguably the NFL’s best quarterback of all time coached by arguably the best coach in NFL history. The Eagles have an opportunity to begin their own run of success while bringing the Patriots’ dynasty to a close. It is quite the David Vs. Goliath matchup.
Here is a closer look at the New England Patriots, champions of the AFC, as they look to capture their sixth Super Bowl championship to tie the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most in NFL history.
Record: 13-3 regular season, 2-0 postseason
The Patriots have won no fewer than 12 games in each of the past eight seasons, and they have a streak of 15 consecutive seasons with at least 10 wins. They truly have been the gold standard of the NFL over the course of their incredible run. This year, the Patriots took the top seed in the AFC playoffs after going 13-3 in a run that included a critical victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers to gain the edge in the AFC playoff seeding. To reach the Super Bowl, the Patriots handled Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Divisional Round and then rallied at home to top the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC Championship Game.
This will be the Patriots’ third Super Bowl appearance in the last four seasons, with two wins including last year’s comeback against the Atlanta Falcons. The Patriots beat the Eagles in the 2004 season on the strength of a 10-7 advantage in the fourth quarter after the game was tied at 14-14 after three quarters. The Patriots have also won their two most recent games played in Minnesota by a combined score of 61-14 (30-7 vs. Vikings in 2014, 31-7 vs. Vikings in 2006), although the Eagles did win their last postseason game played in Minnesota with a 26-14 victory in the NFC Wild Card Round in 2009.
Patriots on Offense
When discussing the Patriots offense, the conversation starts with one of the best quarterbacks of all time. Tom Brady continues to impress…