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The New England Patriots only lost three times during the regular season. Their last defeat was against Miami Dolphins on Dec. 11, 27-20.
the Patriots have won their last five games,Since then, including playoff victories against the Tennessee Titans and the Jacksonville Jaguars en route to their 10th Super Bowl appearance.
their Super Bowl opponent,What can the Philadelphia Eagles,
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, take away from the Dolphins win back in December?
One thing to know about the Patriots is they led the league in first downs during the regular season with 389. The Eagles have to be able to force the Patriots into third-and-long situations. If the Eagles are able to get a lot of three-and-outs early on,
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, that will keep their defense fresh for the second half when the Patriots are usually at their best.
but he struggled against the Dolphins. Brady was 24-for-43 as he threw for 233 yards,
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, one touchdown,
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,Tom Brady is arguably the greatest quarterback of all time, two interceptions as he finished the night with a passer rating of 59.5.
Despite having only two sacks on the night, the Dolphins defensive line was constantly in Brady’s the entire game. Eagles will need to create pressure with their defensive line because Brady is great at seeing and exploiting teams when they blitz often.
Second-year corner Xavien Howard played the best game of his career against the Patriots as he recorded two interceptions against Brady. While the Patriots have many receivers who can make plays,
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, the key for the Eagles will be to limit Brandin Cooks and Rob Gronkowski’s production.
Another factor that was key to the Dolphins’ upset over the Patriots was running back Kenyan Drake. In that game, Drake rushed for 114 yards. Drake also led the Dolphins in receiving yards as he had 79 on the night along with five receptions.
Dolphins did a good job mixing in quick passes, and their receivers were able to break tackles to keep the chains moving.
In the end,
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,the Dolphins won the time of possession battle by having the ball nearly 13 more minutes than the Patriots. They also had more first downs (21 to 14). The Eagles will need to keep the Patriots off the field by establishing their ground game early.
no one thought the Dolphins,
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, who were 11-point underdogs at home,
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,Although virtually no one is giving the Eagles a chance on Sunday,
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, would beat the Patriots almost two months ago. While the task will be tough,
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, the Eagles can defeat the Patriots if they studied some of the things the Dolphins did back in December.
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