Tom Brady and the New England Patriots will be facing the Philadelphia Eagles for the first time since their last battle in Super Bowl LII.
The feeling of losing a Super Bowl is something that any player or coach will never get over.
The endless amount of time and effort to get to the biggest game of the season is something that you’ll never get back. Even though the New England Patriots won Super Bowl LIII the following year, the loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII is still far from an afterthought to the Patriots at this point… especially for Tom Brady.
Brady threw for a Super Bowl record 505 passing yards and three touchdowns in the Super Bowl LII loss to the Eagles. Monday morning on WEEI’s The Greg Hill Show, Brady admitted that he’s still not over the loss, and finds himself thinking about it from time to time:
“You assume I’m over it? Come on now. That’s a lot of mental scar tissue from that year. That was a tough game. In a lot of ways we learned from that year and we came back stronger the next year. We won the Super Bowl in ’18. I think everything is a matter of perspective and when you play in that game and you play great teams, you’re not going to win them all. They deserved it that year, and now a couple years later we get a chance to play the organization again. We’ve had a lot of changes, they’ve had a lot of changes. It’s totally different circumstances. Huge game for us. Big game for them. The better team is going to win.”
As Brady mentioned, both teams have made many changes and look decidedly different since they last played each other. Super Bowl LII MVP and “Philly Special” conductor Nick Foles is no longer on the Eagles. Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola has also moved on, and legendary tight end Rob Gronkowski retired.
But as we know in the NFL, what you accomplished in the previous season doesn’t matter anymore this season. It’s a new year, a new team, and the score is zero to zero. For the New England Patriots, it seems likes it’s something you move on from, but also something you can’t ever truly forget.
The Pats will have a healthy Dont’a Hightower this time around (Hightower didn’t play in Super Bowl LII), and Jamie Collins – who is making an early case for Defensive Player of the Year – is back in a New England uniform. Combined with the ever-reliable Kyle Van Noy, this trio of Hightower, Collins, and Van Noy running the defense from the linebacker level has been successful all year.
For the Eagles to stay in this game, Philadelphia QB Carson Wentz is going to have to win the battle through the air. The Eagles will look to beat the Patriots defense with the multiple crossing patterns they love to run. Of course, with the New England defense playing some extraordinary football this year, that task is also easier said than done.