ST. PAUL, Minn. — During the Bill Belichick and Tom Brady era, the Patriots have been beaten twice in Super Bowls.
And the Eagles are pretty similar to the teams who took them down.
Just ask a guy who was on both.
"Yeah, definitely," said former Giants defensive lineman Osi Umenyiora as he wandered around the floor at Xcel Energy Center during media night.
"They have an outstanding pass rush and a plethora of pass rushes they can throw at a quarterback. If anybody has a good chance of doing it, it's going to be Philadelphia because of the players they have on the defensive line."
Umenyiora played in Super Bowl XLII when the Giants beat the Patriots, 17-14, in 2008 and he played in Super Bowl XLVI when the Giants beat the Patriots, 21-17. On Monday night, he approached Belichick while the coach was on the podium, introduced himself and shook his hand.
Umenyiora wasn't wearing the two Super Bowl rings he won against him.
The Giants sacked Brady a total of seven times in those two games and the pressure they got on the future Hall of Fame quarterback is looked back upon as one of the key reasons they were able to win those games.
"You gotta be able to get to the quarterback without blitzing too many times," said Umenyiora, nearly describing Jim Schwartz's defensive philosophy. "I think Philadelphia has the guys to be able to do that."
In those two Super Bowls, the Giants' strength on defense was their line and they forced Brady into a lot of missed passes. He completed 56 of 89 passes (62.9 percent) during those two games.
Umenyiora said the Giants never saw Brady get frustrated or flustered, but they did see him miss some passes he normally would make. He thinks that was a product of the Giants' pass rush.
"We could tell he wasn't really in the same groove he usually is," Umenyiora said.
The Eagles' sack numbers weren't overwhelming this season, but they have a couple Pro Bowl-caliber players up front and boast a rotation that goes eight or nine deep. In addition to having the best run defense in the NFL in 2017, they also became a nightmare for opposing defenses.
Now 36, Umenyiora watched the Eagles all season and came away impressed with that front four and its pass rush.
"Well, obviously Fletcher Cox is outstanding on the inside, but Chris Long, Brandon Graham, Vinny Curry, those pass rushers they have on the outside are bringing it every single play," he said. "They're quick, they're explosive, they're fast. They have a very good front seven."
When asked if he thinks the Eagles' pass rush will be the key in the game for them on Sunday, Umenyiora said it probably would. But then he turned around, looked at Brady, who was still surrounded by a crowd of media members about 10 deep, and shook his head. With that guy, Umenyiora finished, anything is possible.
Still, he likes the Eagles and isn't ruling them out in Super Bowl LII like many already have.
"Yeah, absolutely [the Eagles] have a chance," Umenyiora said. "They can actually win this game. It's going to be tough. It's going to be the hardest fight of their lives. But they have a chance for sure."