The Eagles will play the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl on Feb. 4 after their 38-7 win over the Minnesota Vikings, creating a rematch of Super Bowl XXXIX. The game will be at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis at 6:30 p.m. on NBC.
After rallying around an underdog theme throughout the playoffs, the Eagles will face the ultimate Goliath in New England. The Patriots are the defending Super Bowl champions. They have won five Super Bowls since the 2001 season, including their 24-21 win over the Eagles on Feb. 6, 2005, and will be playing in their third Super Bowl in four seasons.
The Patriots were the top team in the AFC with a 13-3 record and they beat the Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars in the postseason. The Eagles did not play them this season and the teams haven’t met since 2015, when the visiting Eagles won, 35-28, with a different coaching staff and schemes than they have now.
The Patriots are led by future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady, perhaps the best player in NFL history. Coach Bill Belichick has won more Super Bowls than any coach in NFL history and will try to add his sixth. Their offense, which ranked No. 1 in the NFL with 394.2 yards per game, includes top tight end Rob Gronkowski, speedy wide receiver Brandin Cooks, and former Eagle Dion Lewis at running back.
The Patriots ranked 29th in the NFL in team defense this season by allowing 366 yards per game, yet they were No. 5 in scoring defense by limiting opponents to 18.5 points per game. Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz values scoring defense more than yards allowed. The Patriots rely on a secondary that includes safety Devin McCourty and cornerbacks Stephon Gilmore and Malcolm Butler.