New England Patriots at Washington Redskins 08/28/09

Can Eagles Defense Find Success Against Brady?


How Can The Philadelphia Eagles Find Success Versus Brady?

The Philadelphia Eagles’ toughest task awaits them on Sunday night. To win the first Super Bowl in Eagles franchise history, Philly will have to slow down one of the best quarterbacks of all time. Ever since Tom Brady became the starter for the New England Patriots, the Eagles and Patriots have met a total of five times. In those five meetings, the Eagles are just 1-4. The Eagles’ only win against the Patriots came during the 2015-2016 season in Foxborough. The Eagles defeated the Patriots 35-28 in wild style. Looking to Sunday what can the Eagles do to have similar success versus Brady?

Philly Has To Force Turnovers Against New England

The most important battle the Eagles must win on Sunday is the turnover battle. Back in Super Bowl XXXIX, the Eagles lost the turnover battle. Philly lost the ball over four times while the Patriots turned it over just once. In the 2015-2016 matchup, the Eagles intercepted Brady twice with safety Malcolm Jenkins returning one of the interceptions for a 100-yard touchdown. Three of the Eagles’ five touchdowns that night were produced by the defense and special teams. The Eagles turned it over just one time and were able to pull out a tight win at the end. In the last five meetings between these teams the team winning the turnover battle has won the game.


Bend But Don’t Break

In the Eagles victory against the Patriots two seasons ago, the Patriots had double the amount of the Eagles’ offensive yards. The Patriots gained a total of 427 yards on offense compared to the Eagles’ 248. Brady threw for 312 yards and three touchdowns. Numbers like that would usually result in a Patriots win. The Patriots also ran 28 more plays than the Eagles and possessed the ball for nearly nine more minutes. While this isn’t the ideal way to take down the Patriots, it worked on this night. Down by 14 early the Eagles defense and special teams turned this game around and guided the Eagles to the upset.

Start Fast Finish Strong

The Eagles jumped out to a seven-point lead back in Super Bowl XXXIX and then the turnovers changed everything. In 2015 it was the Patriots leading 14-0 midway through the second quarter. The Eagles held a 35-14 lead and held off a tough Patriots comeback. It will be critical for the Eagles to get off to a strong start. Teams such as the Atlanta Falcons, Seattle Seahawks and just last Sunday the Jacksonville Jaguars held double-digit leads against the Patriots in the fourth quarter. These teams have had success versus Brady for three quarters but couldn’t finish the job. The key is Philly has to play all 60 minutes to win the Vince Lombardi trophy.


Super Bowl Sunday

Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, safety Malcolm Jenkins, linebacker Mychal Kendricks and defensive end Brandon Graham were on that 2015 defense that slowed down Brady and the Patriots offense. The Eagles will come into Sunday with the NFL’s 4th ranked defense while the Patriots come in with the NFL’s top offense regarding yards per game. The Patriots list second in points and passing yards. The Patriots defeated the league’s top-ranked pass defense last week and they will face another tough task this week against the Eagles. The defense that can force the most turnovers and make the most plays has a great chance of winning the big game. The old cliche of “defense still wins championships” applies here. If the Eagles defense can find success versus Brady, there will be a party on Broad Street.


Photo by Keith Allison

Article originally posted on Tha Sports Junkies 101