Super Bowl XXXIX will mark the 10th meeting between the Patriots and the Eagles, and the first playoff clash between the two clubs. New England and Philadelphia last met in the regular season in 2003, with New England taking a 31-10 victory at Lincoln Financial Field. Prior to that game, the Patriots had lost five consecutive games to the Eagles dating back to 1978. The teams have met infrequently in recent years, having played just twice in the regular season since 1990. In addition to their nine previous regular-season matchups, the Patriots and Eagles have met 17 times in preseason play, with the Patriots holding a 9-8 advantage in the preseason series. New England has defeated Philadelphia six consecutive times in the preseason, dating back to 1988. The streak includes victories in each of the last three preseasons, including a 24-6 Patriots victory to open the 2004 preseason on Aug. 13, 2004.
Tom Brady and Donovan McNabb are slated to start against each other for the second time. Brady and the Patriots came out on top in the only previous regular-season matchup between the signal callers, on Sept. 14, 2003. McNabb was injured and did not play in the 1999 clash between Philadelphia and New England, with Koy Detmer taking the starting nod in that game.
The NFL's two winningest head coaches since 2001 will square off in Super Bowl XXXIX. Patriots coach Bill Belichick leads the NFL with a 56-16 (.778) record over that span and Eagles head man Andy Reid ranks second with a 54-19 (.740) mark.
- Patriots QB Tom Brady and Eagles linebacker Dhani Jones were college teammates at Michigan from 1996-99.
- New England's Deion Branch and Philadelphia's Terrell Owens both competed in the 4 x 100 relay on their college track teams.
- Patriots linebackers coach Dean Pees was the defensive coordinator/secondary coach at Miami (OH) University from 1983-86 where Eagles special teams coach John Harbaugh was a defensive back from 1980-83.
- Eagles defensive line coach Tommy Brasher was the defensive line coach for the Patriots from 1982-84.
- Patriots wide receiver Troy Brown was a teammate of Eagles long snapper Mike Bartrum at Marshall and also in New England from 1996-99. The two players organized a one-day football camp at Spring Valley HS in Huntington, W.Va. and a golf tournament the following day to benefit each player's charitable endeavors.
- Eagles linebacker Keith Adams is the son of former Patriots defensive end Julius Adams (1971-85, 87).
- Patriots safety Je'Rod Cherry signed with Philadelphia (09/20/00) and played in 13 regular season games as well as two postseason contests for Philly in 2000.
- Eagles quarterback Jeff Blake and Patriots running back Corey Dillon were teammates with Cincinnati from 1997-99.
- Patriots tight end Christian Fauria and Eagles quarterback Koy Detmer were teammates at Colorado in 1993 and 1994.
- Patriots tight end Daniel Graham and Eagles strong safety Michael Lewis played together at Colorado from 1998-2001.
- New England rookie tackle Vince Wilfork shared his 2001 National Championship at Miami with Eagles defensive ends Jamaal Green and Jerome McDougle.
- Eagles Chairman/Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Lurie was born in Boston, MA. He attended Clark University in Worcester, Mass as an undergraduate, then matriculated to Boston University to earn his master's degree and to Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass for his Ph.D.
- Philadelphia linebackers coach Steve Spagnuolo was born in Whitinsville, Mass., earned his bachelor's degree from Springfield College and got his master's at the University of Massachusetts. He then served as defensive coordinator at University of Connecticut.
THE KRAFT ERA
The Patriots record at home since 1994, including preseason, regular-season and postseason games.
The Patriots' record at Gillette Stadium, including regular-season and postseason games (.889 win pct).
The Patriots' record in preseason, regular-season and postseason games since 1996 (.649 win pct).
The Patriots' regular-season record since 1996 (.632 win pct).
The Patriots' postseason record since 1996 (.786 win pct).
WHAT A RUSH
The number of yards per rush the Patriots averaged in 2004.
The last season in which the Patriots averaged at least 4.0 yards per carry as a team, dating back 19 years to the 1985 team's average of 4.13 yards per carry.
The number of points the Patriots scored this season, a total that ranks second in franchise history, just four points behind the team mark set in 1980.
The number of points the Patriots allowed this season, the second fewest in franchise history for a 16-game season.
The Patriots' total points differential in 2004, a mark that led the NFL and set a new franchise record, besting the 140 mark set in 1976.
The average number of points per game the Patriots allowed in 2004, a number that ranked third in franchise history and tied for second in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles.
The number of times in the 20 seasons since Bill Belichick was first named a defensive coordinator (NYG, 1985) that his teams have allowed fewer than an average of 20 points per game.
The number of consecutive seasons the Patriots have ranked among the league's top two teams in scoring defense. Last season, the Patriots led the NFL by allowing 14.9 points per game.
The Patriots' NFL ranking in total offense.
The Patriots' NFL ranking in rushing offense
The number of seasons since the Patriots had such a highly-ranked rushing offense, dating back to 1985.
The number of years since the Patriots were last ranked in the top 10 in offense, dating back to when they were ranked seventh in 1996.
The Patriots' NFL ranking in total defense.
The number of NFL teams ranked in the top 10 in both offense and defense in 2004 (New England and Denver).
The number of yards rushing Corey Dillon gained this season, setting a franchise record and career high and placing him third in the NFL despite having missed a game due to injury.
The number of games this season in which Dillon has passed the century mark in rushing yards, tying the Patriots franchise record and establishing a career high.
The average number of yards Dillon gained in the 15 games he played in this season, giving him the best yards-per-game played average among all NFL rushers.
The career-high number of rushing touchdowns he had in 2004.
The number of rushing attempts Dillon recorded in 2004, setting a career high and placing him second in Patriots' history.
The average number of points the Patriots allowed at Gillette Stadium this season.
The number of sacks the Patriots registered this season, tied for the second most in the NFL and establishing their highest sack total since also recording 45 sacks in 1997.
The number of Patriots defenders who registered at least one sack on the season.
The number of games this season in which the Patriots held opponents to fewer than 300 net yards.
THE BELICHICK ERA
Bill Belichick's overall record as head coach of the Patriots, including the regular season and the playoffs.
Belichick's record in New England when his team scores 25 points or more.
Belichick's record in New England when his team scores 21 points or more.
Consecutive games in which Tom Brady has started at quarterback.
Consecutive games in which Matt Light has started at left tackle.
Consecutive victories when producing a positive turnover differential.
Consecutive games in which the Patriots have scored in the second quarter.
Consecutive victories at Gillette Stadium (20 games including playoffs).
Consecutive overtime wins (8 games including playoffs).
Consecutive Patriots games televised locally, including preseason, regular-season and postseason games.
Consecutive sellouts in Foxborough, including preseason, regular-season and postseason games.
NOTE: All of the above streaks include regular-season games only, unless noted.