superbowl

The Eagles hope to come out on top as they would dread a rematch of Super Bowl XXXIX, when the Patriots won 24-21.

Well, it’s that time of year again where the best team from the NFC faceoffs against the best team in the AFC in hopes of winning the Championship game. This year, we get to see the Philadelphia Eagles go up against the dreaded, New England Patriots in Super Bowl 52. A rematch of Super Bowl 39, the Patriots merely won 24-21 against the Eagles who haven’t made another appearance since then. This game will be highly competitive as Philly hopes to win their first Super Bowl since 1980 and the Patriots hope to win their sixth championship with four-time MVP, Tom Brady. Here are a few things both teams need to watch out for on Sunday:

1) Eagles need to put pressure on Tom Brady

This is easier said than done but it will go a long way if the Eagles defense does this. Being one of the premier QBs, Brady completes 55.5 percent of his passes under pressure with an overall 96.6 QB rating against the blitz. The Eagles will have to rely on defensive ends’ Chris Long, Vinny Curry, and Brandon Graham as well as defensive tackles Tim Jernigan and Fletcher Cox to generate pressure. This season alone, the Eagles’ pass rush sacked opposing quarterback’s 38 times. As long as they get to Brady just as they did with Matt Ryan and Case Keenum, they have a greater chance at winning.

2) TE: Zach Ertz vs. DB Patrick Chung

Pro-Bowler TE Zach Ertz has been a popular target for the Eagles this past season, as he exploded with in the playoffs with over 10 catches for 125 yards against the Falcons and Vikings. But, this won’t be the case in Sunday night’s as Patriots DE Patrick Chung will attempt to isolate him far as possible from Nick Foles. If Ertz duplicates his team chemistry with Foles as he’s done in previous games, there is no doubt that the Eagles can come out on top.

3) Patriots need to keep an eye on safety Malcom Jenkins

This is key for New England as Malcom Jenkins has lined up all over the field from slot cornerback to strong safety to even dime linebacker. The man can play good no matter where he’s lined up, and that includes against Tom Brady and Co. The last time these two teams met, Jenkins was on the Saints. He had a 100-yard pick six after lining up at slot CB, covering Danny Amendola. This game also saw Tom Brady getting sacked twice as he is efficient when it comes to hiding his blitzes.

This game will surely be interesting as the Eagles have had a rollercoaster of a season with QB Carson Wentz tearing his ACL in Week 14. He has over 3,296 passing yards this season alone, which is impressive for not even playing the full season. Backup QB Nick Foles has done a fantastic job at getting his team to where they are now. As for the Patriots, they know how to generate wins. Brady has extensive experience when being pressured and will try to make the most out of every play. Regardless, it should be an exciting game to watch.

ERIK BENSON is a blogger for The Vidette. He can be reached at esbenso@ilstu.edu. Follow him on Twitter @erik_b001.

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