Brady, Patriots look to their experience to top Philadelphia


DaeQuan Fitzgerald, Managing Editor

They say history repeats itself, and the New England Patriots will hope to have history on their side entering Sunday’s Super Bowl matchup. The last time these two teams met in the Super Bowl was Super Bowl 39 in 2005, where the Patriots survived a comeback effort to defeat the Eagles, 24-21.

This was the team’s second consecutive Super Bowl victory and the third in the last four years. They beat the the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 38 in 2003. Prior to that, in 2001, they defeated Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner and the “Greatest Show on Turf,” the coined nickname for the St. Louis Rams, who had one of NFL’s strongest offensive units in history.

Ironically, the Patriots matched up with another unit with a catchy nickname in 2015, the “Legion of Boom” of the Seattle Seahawks who just came off a Super Bowl victory over the Denver Broncos. They earned their nickname for having one of the strongest defensive units in NFL history.

In 2017, the Patriots defeated the Atlanta Falcons in an overtime comeback victory, 34-28. Now, in Super Bowl 52, the Patriots will look to once again collect their third Super Bowl in four years over a familiar foe.

The New England Patriots will rely on their experience in order to top the red-hot Eagles. Head coach Bill Belichick is going into his eighth Super Bowl with the Patriots. Not only is their coach a veteran of the championship game, but 32 players on the roster have experience in a Super Bowl. Comparatively the Eagles have six players. The Patriots are led by Tom Brady and his high-powered offense. Although he is 40 years old, Brady does not seem to be slowing down.

Brady led the league in passing yards and is third in the NFL with 32 touchdowns. He is no stranger to the big dance either, in fact, this will be his eighth Super Bowl appearance as well, which is tied for the most Super Bowls by any other team (the Pittsburgh Steelers and Denver Broncos have eight appearances as well).

In the seven championship games the star quarterback has played in, he has thrown 15 touchdowns for 2,071 yards and only five interceptions, culminating in a passer rating of 95.3. In the 2004 Super Bowl win over the Philadelphia Eagles, Brady posted his highest, Super Bowl quarterback rating of 110.2, going 23-33 for 236 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.

A key factor for the Patriots will be the status of star tight end Rob Gronkowski. The All-Pro athlete suffered a concussion from a hit to the head in New England’s AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Although the Eagles’ defense is ranked second in the league against running backs and third against wide receivers, they rank 28th against opposing tight ends. Gronkowski, over the course of his career, has proven is an anomaly at the position. He  is too fast for linebackers to guard and too strong for even the most athletic defensive backs. His presence will be key for a victory, especially if the Phildelphia offense heats up and the Patriots need to match their firepower.