Slow starters: Pats have no 1st quarter SB points with Brady


By JOSH DUBOW - AP Pro Football Writer



FILE - In this Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018, file photo, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second half of the AFC championship NFL football game in Foxborough, Mass. The Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles are set to meet in Super Bowl 52 on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

FILE - In this Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018, file photo, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second half of the AFC championship NFL football game in Foxborough, Mass. The Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles are set to meet in Super Bowl 52 on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)


New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady answers questions during a news conference Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018, in Minneapolis. The Patriots are scheduled to face the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFL Super Bowl 52 football game Sunday, Feb. 4. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)


New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady answers questions during a news conference Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018, in Minneapolis. The Patriots are scheduled to face the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFL Super Bowl 52 football game Sunday, Feb. 4. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)


PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (15-3) vs. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (15-3)

Sunday, 6:30 p.m. ET, CBS

OPENING LINE — Patriots by 6 ½

RECORD VS. SPREAD — Eagles 10-6, Patriots 11-5

SERIES RECORD — Eagles lead 7-6

LAST MEETING — Eagles beat Patriots 35-28, Dec. 6, 2015

LAST WEEK — Eagles beat Vikings 38-7 in NFC championship game, Jan. 21; Patriots beat Jaguars 24-20 in AFC championship game, Jan. 21

AP PRO32 RANKING — Eagles No. 5, Patriots No. 1

EAGLES OFFENSE - OVERALL (7), RUSH (3), PASS (13)

EAGLES DEFENSE - OVERALL (4), RUSH (1), PASS (17)

PATRIOTS OFFENSE — OVERALL (1), RUSH (10), PASS (2)

PATRIOTS DEFENSE — OVERALL (29), RUSH (20), PASS (30)

STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES — Patriots beat Eagles 24-21 in Super Bowl to conclude 2004 season. This will be sixth Super Bowl rematch in NFL history. In last three rematches, team that won first game also won second game. … This is third Super Bowl in which each team ranked in top five in both points scored and fewest points allowed. Eagles were third in points scored (28.6 points per game) and fourth in points allowed (18.4). Patriots ranked second in points scored (28.6) and fifth in points allowed (18.5). … Eagles are 0-2 in Super Bowl. Eagles haven’t won NFL title since 1960. … Philadelphia has have seven players on active roster who’ve won Super Bowl. … Eagles are missing offensive, defensive and special-teams captains: QB Carson Wentz (knee), LB Jordan Hicks (Achilles tendon), S Chris Maragos. … LT Jason Peters (knee), RB Darren Sproles (knee) and K Caleb Sturgis (hip) also sustained season-ending injuries. … Eagles QB Nick Foles is 72 of 96 (75 percent) for 793 yards, five touchdowns, zero interceptions, and 116.3 rating in three playoff games. His rating is highest in postseason history, minimum 90 attempts. … Foles is only QB in team history to throw for 300-plus yards and three-plus TDs in postseason. … Foles and Joe Montana are only two QBs with consecutive playoff games completing 75 percent of passes. … RB LeGarrette Blount won two Super Bowls with Patriots in past three seasons before joining Philly. Blount has 10 TDs rushing in 10 playoff games. … Eagles DE Chris Long won Super Bowl with Patriots last season. … None of four players who’ve combined to score Eagles’ six TDs in playoffs was on team last year. … RB Jay Ajayi has 127 yards rushing in two playoff games. … WR Alshon Jeffery has nine catches for 146 yards and two TDs. … TE Zach Ertz has 11 catches for 125 yards. … WR Torrey Smith has eight catches for 108 yards and one TD. … Eagles haven’t allowed point in second half this postseason. … CB Patrick Robinson had 50-yard interception return for TD vs. Vikings in NFC title game. … Patriots are appearing in Super Bowl for 10th time. They are 5-4. … With sixth ring, New England would tie Pittsburgh for most in Super Bowl era. … Patriots can become ninth team in NFL history to repeat as Super Bowl champions and first since they won back-to-back titles for 2003 and 2004 seasons. … On 53-man active roster Patriots brought to Minnesota, 32 players have combined 60 games of Super Bowl experience…. Brady led NFL with 4,577 yards passing this season. No player to lead NFL in passing yards has won Super Bowl in that season (0-5). Brady, Peyton Manning, Rich Gannon, Kurt Warner and Dan Marino all lost in Super Bowl after leading league in passing yards. … Brady has played in seven Super Bowls and has 5-2 record … Brady and coach Bill Belichick will be making eighth Super Bowl appearance together, most NFL title games for any head coach and quarterback duo in league history. Their five victories together are most by coach and quarterback combination. … With victory, Belichick would pass Vince Lombardi and tie George Halas and Curly Lambeau for most NFL championships by coach in league history. … RB James White has scored six touchdowns (four rushing, two receiving) in his past three postseason games. Over past two postseasons (2016 and 2017), White leads NFL with seven total touchdowns and 44 points scored. … TE Rob Gronkowski has 10 career playoff TD receptions. He trails only Jerry Rice (22) and John Stallworth (12) for most in NFL playoff history. … Gronkowski’s 856 yards receiving and 10 TD receptions are most ever by tight end in NFL postseason history. … Patriots have 11 sacks in postseason, most in NFL. Eight players have at least one sack in this year’s playoffs, most by any team. … Three Patriots defensive ends — rookies Adam Butler and Deatrich Wise Jr., and Geneo Grissom — have two sacks apiece in this postseason. … LB James Harrison has 11 career postseason sacks, tied for fifth in NFL since individual sack became official statistic in 1982.

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BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (AP) — Tom Brady has accomplished just about everything when it comes to playing in the Super Bowl.

His five titles and four Super Bowl MVPs are more than any other quarterback. He has posted the two biggest comeback wins in Super Bowl history, including last year’s rally from 25 points down to beat Atlanta. He has thrown for more yards or touchdowns than any quarterback on the biggest stage.

Perhaps the only accomplishment missing seems like a relatively simple one: leading a first-quarter scoring drive.

In one of the more surprising Super Bowl stats, the Patriots have failed to score a single point in the first quarter in their seven Super Bowl trips in the Brady-Bill Belichick era.

“We’re trying to score every time we take the field,” Brady said. “There’s a little caveat to that in my opinion. In 2007, it was our first drive of the game, it just happened to be the first play of the second quarter.

“But it was the first time we touched it. So we did score when we got it first. But I’d love to score 21 points in the first quarter if we can but obviously this defense can make it really tough for us.”

The Patriots did score on that first possession in their first meeting against the Giants. But because New York held the ball for 9:59 to open the game with a field-goal drive, Laurence Maroney’s 1-yard run came on the first play of the second quarter.

The first-quarter scoring woes in the Super Bowl led to a memorable moment from an NFL Network documentary about last year’s title of linebackers coach Brian Flores addressing a banquet to honor the team.

“Coach Belichick, prior to the game, looked right at Tom Brady and goes ‘Tom, we’ve been to six Super Bowls together, and we’ve never scored a point in the first quarter. Can we get that done?’” Flores told the crowd. “I look around and I go, ‘Man, we’re going to score 30 points in the first quarter.’”

Instead it didn’t happen. It was another first-quarter shutout as the Patriots went three-and-out the first time they had the ball and then stalled near midfield following two sacks on the second drive. The third drive ended when LeGarrette Blount fumbled on the second play of the second quarter.

Brady has been on the field for a first-quarter score when his intentional grounding penalty in the end zone against the Giants in 2012 led to a safety for New York. That was one of four scores in the first quarter against the Patriots in their seven trips with Belichick and Brady.

“Look, we try to score in every game,” Belichick said. “I know that’s probably hard to understand, but we try to go out and score and keep the other team from scoring. That’s our goal every game.”

It’s not as if slow starts are a chronic problem for Brady and the Patriots. Since his first season as the starter in 2001, New England leads the NFL on first-quarter scoring with 5.7 points per game.

The Patriots are only a tick behind that at 5.5 points per first quarter in the playoff rounds prior to the Super Bowl with Brady at quarterback.

But for some reason that all changes on the biggest stage, even though it hasn’t stopped the Patriots from winning five Super Bowl titles.

“I would say that’s the emphasis every week,” receiver Phillip Dorsett said. “We play better when we start fast, and that’s a big emphasis every week, not just in the Super Bowl but in the weeks prior to this. I mean, we have a better record when we’re playing fast and we get out to a good start, when we get points on the board on that first drive. So, we always like to do that.”

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AP Sports Writer Kyle Hightower contributed to this report

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

FILE – In this Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018, file photo, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second half of the AFC championship NFL football game in Foxborough, Mass. The Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles are set to meet in Super Bowl 52 on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)
http://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2018/02/web1_119779698-6235d6b706254232830f785ddf59004c.jpgFILE – In this Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018, file photo, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second half of the AFC championship NFL football game in Foxborough, Mass. The Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles are set to meet in Super Bowl 52 on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady answers questions during a news conference Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018, in Minneapolis. The Patriots are scheduled to face the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFL Super Bowl 52 football game Sunday, Feb. 4. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
http://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2018/02/web1_119779698-911ca3c2b536456685bfbfe6b3579411.jpgNew England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady answers questions during a news conference Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018, in Minneapolis. The Patriots are scheduled to face the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFL Super Bowl 52 football game Sunday, Feb. 4. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady answers questions during a news conference Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018, in Minneapolis. The Patriots are scheduled to face the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFL Super Bowl 52 football game Sunday, Feb. 4. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
http://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2018/02/web1_119779698-93abfb79a5ba4af997db78e8d2ff4b39.jpgNew England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady answers questions during a news conference Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018, in Minneapolis. The Patriots are scheduled to face the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFL Super Bowl 52 football game Sunday, Feb. 4. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

By JOSH DUBOW

AP Pro Football Writer

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (15-3) vs. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (15-3)

Sunday, 6:30 p.m. ET, CBS

OPENING LINE — Patriots by 6 ½

RECORD VS. SPREAD — Eagles 10-6, Patriots 11-5

SERIES RECORD — Eagles lead 7-6

LAST MEETING — Eagles beat Patriots 35-28, Dec. 6, 2015

LAST WEEK — Eagles beat Vikings 38-7 in NFC championship game, Jan. 21; Patriots beat Jaguars 24-20 in AFC championship game, Jan. 21

AP PRO32 RANKING — Eagles No. 5, Patriots No. 1

EAGLES OFFENSE – OVERALL (7), RUSH (3), PASS (13)

EAGLES DEFENSE – OVERALL (4), RUSH (1), PASS (17)

PATRIOTS OFFENSE — OVERALL (1), RUSH (10), PASS (2)

PATRIOTS DEFENSE — OVERALL (29), RUSH (20), PASS (30)

STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES — Patriots beat Eagles 24-21 in Super Bowl to conclude 2004 season. This will be sixth Super Bowl rematch in NFL history. In last three rematches, team that won first game also won second game. … This is third Super Bowl in which each team ranked in top five in both points scored and fewest points allowed. Eagles were third in points scored (28.6 points per game) and fourth in points allowed (18.4). Patriots ranked second in points scored (28.6) and fifth in points allowed (18.5). … Eagles are 0-2 in Super Bowl. Eagles haven’t won NFL title since 1960. … Philadelphia has have seven players on active roster who’ve won Super Bowl. … Eagles are missing offensive, defensive and special-teams captains: QB Carson Wentz (knee), LB Jordan Hicks (Achilles tendon), S Chris Maragos. … LT Jason Peters (knee), RB Darren Sproles (knee) and K Caleb Sturgis (hip) also sustained season-ending injuries. … Eagles QB Nick Foles is 72 of 96 (75 percent) for 793 yards, five touchdowns, zero interceptions, and 116.3 rating in three playoff games. His rating is highest in postseason history, minimum 90 attempts. … Foles is only QB in team history to throw for 300-plus yards and three-plus TDs in postseason. … Foles and Joe Montana are only two QBs with consecutive playoff games completing 75 percent of passes. … RB LeGarrette Blount won two Super Bowls with Patriots in past three seasons before joining Philly. Blount has 10 TDs rushing in 10 playoff games. … Eagles DE Chris Long won Super Bowl with Patriots last season. … None of four players who’ve combined to score Eagles’ six TDs in playoffs was on team last year. … RB Jay Ajayi has 127 yards rushing in two playoff games. … WR Alshon Jeffery has nine catches for 146 yards and two TDs. … TE Zach Ertz has 11 catches for 125 yards. … WR Torrey Smith has eight catches for 108 yards and one TD. … Eagles haven’t allowed point in second half this postseason. … CB Patrick Robinson had 50-yard interception return for TD vs. Vikings in NFC title game. … Patriots are appearing in Super Bowl for 10th time. They are 5-4. … With sixth ring, New England would tie Pittsburgh for most in Super Bowl era. … Patriots can become ninth team in NFL history to repeat as Super Bowl champions and first since they won back-to-back titles for 2003 and 2004 seasons. … On 53-man active roster Patriots brought to Minnesota, 32 players have combined 60 games of Super Bowl experience…. Brady led NFL with 4,577 yards passing this season. No player to lead NFL in passing yards has won Super Bowl in that season (0-5). Brady, Peyton Manning, Rich Gannon, Kurt Warner and Dan Marino all lost in Super Bowl after leading league in passing yards. … Brady has played in seven Super Bowls and has 5-2 record … Brady and coach Bill Belichick will be making eighth Super Bowl appearance together, most NFL title games for any head coach and quarterback duo in league history. Their five victories together are most by coach and quarterback combination. … With victory, Belichick would pass Vince Lombardi and tie George Halas and Curly Lambeau for most NFL championships by coach in league history. … RB James White has scored six touchdowns (four rushing, two receiving) in his past three postseason games. Over past two postseasons (2016 and 2017), White leads NFL with seven total touchdowns and 44 points scored. … TE Rob Gronkowski has 10 career playoff TD receptions. He trails only Jerry Rice (22) and John Stallworth (12) for most in NFL playoff history. … Gronkowski’s 856 yards receiving and 10 TD receptions are most ever by tight end in NFL postseason history. … Patriots have 11 sacks in postseason, most in NFL. Eight players have at least one sack in this year’s playoffs, most by any team. … Three Patriots defensive ends — rookies Adam Butler and Deatrich Wise Jr., and Geneo Grissom — have two sacks apiece in this postseason. … LB James Harrison has 11 career postseason sacks, tied for fifth in NFL since individual sack became official statistic in 1982.

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