If you’re an Eagles fan and you watch the Super Bowl, you’re going to be emotional. How can you not be?
If you’re Zach Ertz? It’s a little different.
Ertz found himself watching Super Bowl LII this week. Just like every Eagles fan has probably done 1,000 times.
Not to watch his 4th-down catch on the game-winning drive with 5 ½ minutes left or his 11-yard game-winning TD with 2 ½ minutes left.
He watched it to try to better prepare for the Eagles-Patriots game on Sunday.
At least that’s what he claims. With a straight face.
I view it as a game, I don’t view it as the Super Bowl,” Ertz said. “I just view it as more film on them to see what worked for us and see what didn’t. But the awe and mystique of that game isn’t on my mind.
I honestly don’t know how it's possible to take the awe and mystique out of that game. Especially when you were such a huge part of it.
Ertz has the only 4th-down reception on a 4th-quarter game-winning drive in Super Bowl history. And one of only four game-winning catches in the final three minutes of a Super Bowl.
And he doesn’t get emotional?
I just don’t reminisce about things,” Ertz said this week. “The reminiscing will come when I’m done playing. It’s still too early in my career, still have too many good years left, to start thinking about that.
How can you have a pulse and watch that game and not feel SOMETHING?
“Obviously, there’s history there and it was a special year but we’re two years away from that now, much different teams, it’s not something that’s going to be beneficial to us this week,” Jason Kelce said.
The Eagles beat the Patriots 41-33 on Feb. 4, 2018, at U.S. Bank Stadium, and Sunday’s game will be the first rematch since.
The Eagles also beat the Patriots in Foxboro late in the 2015 season with Sam Bradford at quarterback 23 days before Chip Kelly was fired.
The last team to beat the Patriots three times in a row was the Giants -- in the 2011 regular season and in the Super Bowls following the 2007 and 2011 seasons.
There are 28 players still on the Eagles who were with the team in 2017.
It’s the last thing on their mind right now.
“That game is so far in the past,” Ertz said. “I’ve played so many games since then. That game is not even on my register.”
So why watch it? Ertz said he watched a lot of tape of the Eagles-Lions game, since Lions coach Matt Patricia was the Patriots’ defensive coordinator in 2017, but he also watched the Super Bowl just for a refresher on the Patriots’ defensive backs and defensive scheme.
There are plays in the Super Bowl (you can learn from),” he said. “Most of the safeties are the same players that are there now, (Stephon) Gilmore’s still there, so there are things you can take away, but you can’t watch it in light of, ‘This was the Super Bowl.’ It’s more just drawing plays and matchups based off the game. Not, ‘Let’s go watch the Super Bowl and how we won.’ No, let’s go watch how we took advantage of certain things we do and not let’s go back and reminisce.
Twelve of the Eagles’ projected starters Sunday, including seven on defense, started in the Super Bowl.
You have to feel something watching it. No?
“It was two years ago,” Fletcher Cox said. “To me it’s like old war stories. It’s two different locker rooms. This locker room is very different than two years, their locker room is very different. It comes down to good football teams playing each other Sunday.”
If the Eagles really are this focused, it’s a good sign. If they leave the reminiscing to the fans, maybe they’ll have a chance of beating the Patriots again.
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