BOSTON (CBS) — Yes, Bill Belichick is going there. As some prep work for this weekend’s game in Philadelphia, he’ll be rewatching the last time the Patriots and Eagles squared off.
No, we’re not talking about last year’s preseason tilt in Foxboro. Bill Belichick will be taking another gander at New England’s Super Bowl LII loss to the Eagles, as painful as that may be.
“There are some similarities and matchups there. Quite a few differences, but yeah, it’s worth looking at,” Belichick said of that Super Bowl LII game film. “There are always some new things and they have different players, but fundamentally, it’s the same.”
Some of his players may feel a little different about giving that tape another look. Last week, quarterback Tom Brady said he’s still not over that 41-33 loss, even if he has added another Super Bowl ring to his collection over the last two years.
Much of Philadelphia’s defense remains intact from that evening in Minnesota, and Zach Ertz, Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Algholor are still catching passes in their offense. But there’s one big difference between the Eagles team that the Patriots will see Sunday and the one they lost to in Super Bowl LII: quarterback Carson Wentz.
An ACL injury ended Wentz’s MVP-worthy season in December that year, paving the way for Nick Foles to Philly Special the Patriots in the Super Bowl. But Wentz has been slinging the pigskin with success in 2019, completing 63 percent of his passes and throwing just four interceptions while tossing 15 touchdowns. He’s also picked up 14 first downs and another score with his legs.
Preparing for that versatility will be a big part of New England’s work this week.
“Hes a good quarterback, can do it all. Good arm, athletic, can extend plays, tough kid. He runs if he needs to and and make all the throws,” Belichick said of Wentz on Wednesday. “Pretty good at everything, pretty accomplished guy.”
New England’s defensive players will probably be a lot more open to watching film on Wentz than reliving Feb. 4, 2018, when they gave up 538 total yards. But if it may help them come away with a victory on Sunday, perhaps they’ll be a little more receptive to reliving that nightmare one last time.