Breaking news: the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots will face off in Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis on February 4th. Also breaking news: They already played each other in a Super Bowl, XIII years ago. It was played in, ironically, Jacksonville, Paul McCartney left his home at Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum to perform at halftime, and the Pats won by three. Guess who else was there? Tom Brady. There was great speculation over whether or not New England’s offensive and defensive coordinators would stay at the end of the 2004 season, and now Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia are leading candidates for head coaching jobs elsewhere.
Brady’s top target this season has been massive middle schooler/tight end Rob Gronkowski, but he’s done excellent work with smaller targets such as Brandin Cooks, Danny Amendola, and Julian Edelman. Prior to Super Bowl XXXIX, Brady’s leading receiver was David Givens, and Deion Branch, who had 454 receiving yards in the regular season, won the Super Bowl MVP award. They brought on running back Corey Dillon, who rushed for over 1,600 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2004.
Philadelphia’s path to Super Bowl XXXIX was oddly familiar: they beat the Minnesota Vikings and Atlanta Falcons to win the NFC and face New England. They had brought on drama club captain Terrell Owens prior to the season, a move which payed massive dividends as he amassed 1,200 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns.
Just like he will on February 4th, Brady faced a mean defensive line in 2004. Jevon Kearse and Jeremiah Trotter brought the heat to opponents all season, and were expected to do the same against Brady.
The game was close, ending as a 24-21 New England victory, but the biggest storyline after the game wasn’t that the Patriots came away with the win; it was a bit messier than that.
According to various sources, during the fourth quarter of the game, Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb, due to either sickness or poor conditioning or the nerves that come with playing in the Super Bowl, lost his cookies. Now, the issue is that there is no video footage to confirm these claims, however, we do have this from a game earlier in that season, also played in Florida:
These claims make this Super Bowl not only one link in a chain of the Patriots’ dominant history, but also provide one of the greatest urban legends in NFL History.
Between the many connections and similarities between the two games