Thirteen years after squaring off in Super Bowl XXXIX in Jacksonville, Florida, the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles will take to the field for Super Bowl LII on Sunday, February 4.
The Patriots came from behind to knock off the Jacksonville Jaguars 24-20 in the AFC Championship on Sunday, while the Eagles surprisingly blew out the Minnesota Vikings 38-7 in the NFC Championship.
New England comes into the championship tilt in Minneapolis, Minnesota, as the established dynasty, while Philadelphia has reached unexpected success in Doug Pederson's second year as head coach with backup quarterback Nick Foles at the helm.
Date: Sunday, February 4
Kickoff Time: 6:30 p.m. ET
Location: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Patriots Making 10th Super Bowl Appearance
The Patriots are back in the Super Bowl for the eighth time since the turn of the century. Quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick have been a part of the team for each of those eight trips. As ESPN Stats & Info noted, that total is the most by any quarterback and head coach in NFL history.
The defending NFL champion struggled with the Jaguars defense for three quarters in the AFC Championship before they used a comeback led by Brady and wide receiver Danny Amendola to win 24-20.
Brady's fourth-quarter comeback was his eighth in the postseason, which is a playoff record in the Super Bowl era, per the NFL's official Twitter account.
Brady, who has led the Patriots to five Super Bowl titles, threw the game-winning score to Amendola in the back of the end zone with 2:48 left in the fourth quarter.
Although Brady will receive praise for his play in the fourth quarter, the player who made the biggest play on Sunday was defensive back Stephon Gilmore, who swatted away a fourth-down pass intended for Jaguars wide receiver Dede Westbrook from quarterback Blake Bortles.
Sunday Night Football's official Twitter account provided us with a screenshot of the moment Gilmore tipped the ball away from Westbrook.
The Patriots have faced eight different opponents in the Super Bowl in franchise history, with the New York Giants and the Eagles being the only teams they've squared off against twice.
New England is 1-2 in Super Bowls against NFC East teams, with both of the defeats coming at the hands of the New York Giants.
Eagles Vying for 1st Super Bowl Title
The Eagles are more used to experiencing heartbreak in the postseason than success like the Patriots have achieved.
Philadelphia has won NFL Championships before, with the most recent victory coming in 1960, but it's never come out on top in the two Super Bowls its played in.
Foles led the Eagles into their first Super Bowl since 2004 with an incredible performance in the pocket that was highlighted by a deep touchdown pass to Torrey Smith in the third quarter that helped extend the advantage to 24 points. The NFL's official Twitter account gave us a look at the score.
The backup signal-caller hooked up with seven different wide receivers, with Alshon Jeffrey being Foles' top target, as he caught five balls for 85 yards and two touchdowns.
The Eagles defense also made a massive impact on the NFC Championship, as it forced three crucial turnovers.
Defensive back Patrick Robinson started the scoring for the Eagles with a 50-yard interception return for a touchdown that started on the left side of the field and ended in the right side of the end zone. The NFL gave us a glimpse of the return that ignited the home team at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday.
A forced fumble by defensive end Derek Barnett that was recovered by fellow lineman Chris Long set up Philly's third touchdown before the end of the first half.
On February 4, the Eagles will try to reverse their poor Super Bowl history that features a defeat to the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XV and the heartbreaking 24-21 loss to the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX.
The Eagles will approach Super Bowl LII as underdogs once again like they did in their first two playoff contests. Philadelphia has been cast in that role because of the absence of starting quarterback Carson Wentz, who was lost for the season with a torn ACL against the Los Angeles Rams on December 10.
Statistics obtained from ESPN.com.
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