Eagles vs Patriots Game Preview
A Super Bowl rematch awaits as the Patriots look to exact some measure of revenge against the Eagles. The Pats lost a few key pieces and are likely not playing Tom Brady but this game will still be competitive as the reserves jockey for starting bids.
The second week of preseason usually sees more snaps for the starters but it’s not always the case with the Patriots as they look to rest their ageing and oft-injured core.
No team has repeated as Super Bowl champions in almost 15 years but the Eagles could soon break that streak. The reigning champions didn’t lose too many key pieces and added more weapons during the offseason.
The majority of their key pieces are either in their prime or still young and thanks to general manager Howie Roseman’s shrewd moves, the Eagles bolstered their team for both the short and long terms.
New England Patriots
There are some worries and unrest in New England. Superstar tight end Rob Gronkowski has lamented about retirement, Brady is 41, and the team Malcolm Butler (CB), Nate Solder (OT), and Dion Lewis (RB) among many others. Fortunately, the Pats are playing in a rebuilding division.
Death. Taxes. The Pats winning the AFC East. Despite all their losses and whatever drama the media tries to stir up, you can count on New England to win at least 12 games and clinch a top-2 seed in the playoffs.
There will be meaningful football through all four periods despite the starters only playing for one or two. The Patriots will look to regain some dignity following their Super Bowl defeats and they should deliver in front of their fans.
Eagles vs Patriots Head-to-Head Records
Since 1873, the Pats and Eagles have met 14 times with New England holding a slight 8-6 edge. They have won four of the last six although the Eagles won the last two with the most recent coming in the grandest stage of all: the Super Bowl.
The underdog Eagles pulled off one of the all-time great upsets. Backup quarterback Nick Foles put on a performance of a lifetime as Philadelphia dropped 41 points on New England, the most they have ever given up in the championship game. Brady still posted a 115.4 QB rating but it was all for nought.
They don’t usually meet but when they do, high-scoring is guaranteed. Their last six meetings have all had a combined score of 41 or over with their last four scoring at least 58. Four of their last five were also decided by a touchdown or less.
Presently, both franchises are on top of each conference. But when they next meet (outside the preseason), things could be radically different especially if Brady and Bellichick have moved on from football.
Philadelphia Eagles Recent History
The Eagles’ Super Bowl victory seemingly came out of nowhere. They were in their second season under Doug Pederson, a rookie head coach in 2016. His hiring came under much scrutiny and the Eagles only finished 7-9, no better than their 2015 record under Chip Kelly.
The Kelly experiment ended abruptly despite back-to-back 10-6 seasons and a playoff appearance. Before this, the Eagles were perennial playoff powers during the Andy Reid era beginning in 1999. They finished with five straight seasons winning at least 11 games including their first Super Bowl appearance in 2004.
Philadelphia has consistently been a formidable team and their recent Super Bowl win will only inspire more confidence. Acquiring talented veterans and key draft picks during the 2018 offseason only adds to what could be the NFL’s newest dynasty.
New England Patriots Recent History
Few sports franchises have achieved as much as the Patriots since the beginning of the new millennium: five Super Bowls in eight appearances, 12 conference finals, and 15 consecutive seasons with at least 10 victories. And it starts with coach Bill Bellichick who has consistently made the Pats much better than the sum of their parts.
Brady has been the face of the franchise for so long he’s become synonymous with football in Massachusetts. The three-time MVP isn’t slowing down despite his age. He has posted three consecutive seasons with a QB rating of over 100 including leading the league in passing yards in 2017.
So long as Bellichick and Brady are driving the bus, the Pats will be a Super Bowl contender. But that may not be for too long and when they retire in a few seasons, it will feel like a new era in the NFL.
Philadelphia Eagles Outlook
Super Bowl hero Nick Foles might get traded and long-time tight end Brent Celek was cut. Philadelphia is currently still making tweaks and adjustments to its roster but under Roseman, expect this team to consistently be a threat in the playoff picture.
Among the newest Eagles are former Seahawk Michael Bennett adding depth to the pass rush and Corey Nelson boosting the linebackers. On offence, Philadelphia is taking a flyer on the speedy Mike Wallace to add more weapons for their passing attack. They are taking back offensive tackle Jason Peters who can be a mentor for rugby superstar Jordan Mailata.
Pederson brandished his spectacular playmaking last season including during the Super Bowl. But there could be more in store as he and the coaching staff starting to warm up. This team is better than individual superstars, which is why they will remain a perennial contender for many years.
New England Patriots Outlook
It’s easy to dismiss everything the Patriots lose thanks to their iconic duo. But the Pats arguably lost the most during the 2017 offseason. Defensive coordinator Matt Patricia left for the coaching job in Detroit. They are bereft of linebackers, have no pass rush, and Butler left a big hole in the secondary.
And that’s only on defence. Their offensive line continues to have issues and just lost Solder, Brady’s bodyguard. The loss of Lewis will also hurt although the Pats drafted Sony Michel who will make an immediate impact.
Outside Michel, the Pats didn’t do too much in the NFL Draft. They reached for Isaiah Wynn at tackle and Duke Dawson will be hard-pressed to replace Butler. But these are all theoretical. If the Pats have done anything consistently, it’s turning average players into solid players. That might be the case here.
Brady may get a few reps in but Brian Hoyer will handle most of the workload for the Pats at quarterback. Hoyer is an experienced veteran at the position. Joining him on the reserves are running back Jeremy Hill and receivers Cordarrelle Peterson and Kenny Britt making this one of the league’s best second units.
The Eagles will counter with Nate Sudfeld at quarterback and will give receiver Markus Wheaton (WR) and top pick Dallas Goedert (TE) some burn. Mailata is extremely raw and still understanding how football works but it won’t be shocking to see him play a few snaps especially during garbage time.
When guys like Bennett and Chris Long are leading the second unit, it just shows how stacked the Eagles are on defence. This isn’t even counting all the draft picks they took. The Patriots likewise have talented defenders but have nowhere near the depth Philly has particularly at linebacker.
While the Eagles are the better team all-around, Hoyer is the better quarterback, the Pats have a score to settle and they are playing at home. All these little factors will add up leading to New England completing their pseudo-revenge game.