PHILADELPHIA (WPRI) — For once, it looks like the past means something to the New England Patriots.
Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, two all-time greats who almost never reference prior games and seasons, both addressed their Super Bowl LII loss to the Eagles earlier this week, saying it still hurts and that parts of the game film are still worth looking at ahead of Sunday’s clash in Philadelphia.
The Patriots, fresh off their first loss of the season two weeks ago in Baltimore, look to jump right back into the win column and keep their firm grasp of the top spot in the AFC.
In the meantime, the Eagles are coming off a bye week of their own. They’ve won two straight, beating the Bills on the road and the Bears at home. Philadelphia is currently tied for first place in the NFC East with the Dallas Cowboys; both teams are 5-4.
Sunday’s game is scheduled to start at 4:25 p.m. and will air live on WPRI 12. Beforehand, make sure to tune into Fox Providence at 11:30 a.m. for Eyewitness Sports’ New England Nation pregame show. Yianni Kourakis, Ruthie Polinsky, Morey Hershgordon and Andy Gresh dissect the matchup and preview the game. Then, at 3 p.m. head WPRI.com or your WPRI 12 App for New England Nation: Game Day Live. Yianni Kourakis will be in studio and Morey Hershgordon will be live from Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia bringing you the sights and sounds of the atmosphere leading up to kickoff. After the game, stick around for a complete postgame show, New England Nation: Patriots Wrap at 11:15 p.m. on WPRI 12.
Below are some notes and quotes from this past week at Patriots headquarters leading up to Sunday’s game:
1. Since 2001, the Patriots are 94-13 when they don’t turn the ball over and 92-2 with a positive turnover margin.
2. The Patriots defense leads the NFL in points allowed per game (10.9).
3. Tom Brady has never lost a regular-season game in Philadelphia.
James White on if the bye week fell at the right time: “Get refreshed, get a little healthy and come back ready to go. The back stretch of the season – we’ve got some important games coming up, so we’ve got to be ready to go from the start.”
Bill Belichick on how the extra time during the bye week can help players like WR Mohamed Sanu get caught up: “It definitely gives those guys a chance to catch up a little bit. There’s no game plan, per se – getting a better foundation on terminology, fundamentals, some nomenclature, some basics. It’s a good chance to go back and get those and it’s a little bit less of a cram than it is on a regular weekly preparation schedule where it’s Wednesday and it’s blocks on Thursday, and then blocks on Friday and Saturday, and then you get to the game and you start over again. It’s a little bit of a chance to catch up but you can’t put 14 weeks into four days either. It’s good, but there’s still a long way to go. But he works hard at it and he’s a smart kid. He’s picked up a lot in a short amount of time, so that’s been good.”
Devin McCourty on what makes the Eagles offense unique: “I think they use two-tight end sets more than really any football team. The two types of tight ends they have, both those guys are 4.7, 4.6 guys, they run great routes, they split out wide. Whether you call it 12 with two tight ends or is it 11 with three receivers, they have that kind of versatility. When you put in [Mack] Hollins and [Alshon] Jeffery, those are two big receivers now. So, it’s definitely a bigger group and I think because of their size and their skillset, they’re able to do a lot of different things from a versatility standpoint that you don’t see from a bunch of teams.”
Eyewitness Sports reporter Morey Hershgordon is making the trip to Philadelphia and will have reports from Lincoln Financial Field both on-air and online.