QB TOM BRADY LB JAMIE COLLINS CB STEPHON GILMORE
ONE FINAL CHANCE TO SEE TOM BRADY AT LINCOLN FINANCIAL FIELD?
BY CHRIS McPHERSON
2019 PHILADELPHIA EAGLES GAMEDAY MAGAZINE 11
PHILADPEHLILPAHDIAE LEPAHGILAE ES AGGALMEESD GAAYM MEADGAYA ZMINAEGAZINE19111
When the regular season kicks off in 2027,
New England Patriots quarterback Tom
Brady will be 50 years old. The longevity
of Brady’s Hall of Fame career is already
stunning. At 42 years old, Brady has
completed nearly 65 percent of his passes
for 2,536 yards with 14 touchdowns
against only five interceptions for a 93.1
But unless the NFL changes the scheduling
formula, this will be the final time that the
Eagles will battle Brady as a member of the
Patriots at Lincoln Financial Field.
The Patriots have been a model of
consistency for the past two decades. New
England has won at least 10 games in 16
consecutive seasons entering 2019 and the
Patriots are just two wins shy of extending
the streak. They’ve made the playoffs
every year since 2009.
The players have changed over the years,
but Brady remains the constant, ever since
taking over as the starting quarterback
in 2001. He’s been to nine Super Bowls,
winning six. One of the wins was against
the Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX. And, of
course, Brady’s most recent Super Bowl
loss came at the hands of the Eagles in
Super Bowl LII.
But the Patriots rebounded to capture
their sixth crown last season and are on
track for another postseason run.
Offensively, Brady leads a unit that by most
metrics across the board is in the middle
of the pack in the NFL, except in two key
categories. The Patriots are second in the
league in points per game (30.0) and have
the best turnover differential (+17).
Wide receiver Julian Edelman is Brady’s
go-to weapon in the pass game, but the
Patriots have been trying to solidify the
other options for the quarterback. The
Patriots took chances on talented, but
troubled, receivers Antonio Brown and Josh
Gordon to no avail. Finally, New England
traded for wide receiver Mohamed Sanu at
the deadline. In the running game, former
first-round pick Sony Michel is the focal
point, while James White is the receiving
option out of the backfield.
Head coach Bill Belichick and the Patriots’
defense have allowed for an efficient
offense to be more than enough with one
of the stingiest units in the game. Football
Outsiders ranked New England’s defense as
the NFL’s best entering Week 10 and the
other stats bear that out. This defense is
a veteran unit with four players who have
generated at least 4.5 sacks this season,
led by linebacker Jamie Collins who has six.
And the pass defense, featuring shutdown
cornerback Stephon Gilmore, is outstanding
and opportunistic. The Patriots have 19
interceptions on the year, with safety Devin
McCourty pacing the team with five.
The Eagles are coming off the bye week,
but the Patriots are as well, so there’s
no advantage there. The Eagles won
consecutive games to get over .500
entering the break. The Patriots are
smarting after losing their first game of the
year to Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore
Ravens in humbling fashion. And, of
course, this is the first meeting since the
Super Bowl following the 2017 season.
Today’s Patriots-Eagles showdown is a
perfect way to kick off the second half of
the year and a march to the playoffs. It’s
also a chance to acknowledge what will
likely be the last time one of the greatest
players in NFL history graces Lincoln
Financial Field. Let’s fly!