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Sunday, February 06, 2005

Super Bowl XXXIX Diary (Part IV)

It hasn't been the best played Super Bowl of all time, to be sure, with penalties and turnovers not take advantage of, but it is two well-matched teams, clearly the best the NFL had to offer. This is, amazingly, the first Super Bowl in history knotted through three quarters.

Tied, 14-14: The stalemate briefly resumed as the New England defense held up one drive, holding the Eagles to one first down, but the Eagles macthed them deep in New England territory. And then the secondary looked like the weakness it is again, especially without Eugene Wilson; they couldn't do anything as the Eagles marched up the field as if the defense wasn't there. The pass rush was blitzing but McNabb still had time to make every throw, and he made most of them.

New England 14-7: Way to make a statement on the opening drive. The Eagles defense found an answer for Dillon, but their blitzes were ineffective at getting to Brady on that drive, and Brady and the receiver corps made them pay. We'll see if the defense can keep the momentum on the Patriots' side.

The Eagles' kick and punt return guys have been pretty good. Special teams is what won the Patriots their first Super Bowl three years back, so we're especially wary of seeing a standout play on special teams turn things around. The Eagles have marginally outplayed the Pats in special teams.

The Patriots are marching up the field as the quarter ended - with the feeling that a score was imperative given how easy the Wilson-less secondary looked to throw on over the course of the last drive.


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