Three key guys you should know and must come through for Eagles and Patriots in the Super Bowl
Here are three key guys you should know and three guys who must come through for the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots in Super LII:
EAGLES YOU SHOULD KNOW
A rookie signed off Cincinnati’s practice squad after an injury to Caleb Sturgis, Elliott has been especially effective from long range. He kicked a team-record, 61-yard walk-off field goal to beat the Giants in Week 3.
A fierce tackler acquired in a 2016 trade with Buffalo, Bradham led all Eagles linebackers with 99 tackles and a career-high seven tackles for loss. He and Mychal Kendricks form the two-linebacker set.
Ertz is often the go-to guy when Philadelphia needs a clutch catch. He’s the Eagles’ answer to Rob Gronkowski, creating a matchup headache. He led the team with 74 receptions and scored eight TDs.
EAGLES WHO MUST COME THROUGH
The 6-foot-4, 310-pound Cox anchors Philadelphia’s defensive front and could be particularly effective against the Patriots by caving in the pocket and bringing pressure up the middle against Tom Brady.
Darby, acquired in a trade with Buffalo, suffered a dislocated ankle and missed most of the regular season. Since Darby’s return in Week 11, teams have thrown his way frequently. The Patriots figure to do the same — until he makes them pay.
Vaitai had a tough task this season, replacing injured nine-time Pro Bowl tackle Jason Peters. But he has improved by the week and was solid in the first two playoff games. Remember, Nick Foles isn’t as elusive as Carson Wentz.
PATRIOTS YOU SHOULD KNOW
Kyle Van Noy
The versatile Van Noy has taken over the role of the injured Dont’a Hightower. He plays middle and outside linebacker, blitzes, drops back in coverage ... he’s all over. He was second on the team with 51/2 sacks.
Burkhead is a good short-yardage back and slot receiver who also contributes on special teams. He scored eight TDs and could follow in James White’s footsteps and become an out-of-nowhere Super Bowl hero.
Bill Belichick regards the hard-hitting Chung, a former Eagle, as one of the best in the league. The Patriots put him in the box to play linebacker on running downs. He covers running backs and slot receivers.
PATRIOTS WHO MUST COME THROUGH
With defenses keying on Rob Gronkowski, Amendola needs to step up. He had a career-high 11 catches in the playoff win over Tennessee, and two fourth-quarter touchdowns in a comeback against Jacksonville.
Flowers is New England’s best pass rusher, and the Patriots need to pressure quarterback Nick Foles. Flowers led the team with 61/2 sacks this season. In last year’s Super Bowl victory, he had a team-leading six tackles and 21/2 sacks.
The Patriots’ all-time leading scorer after replacing Adam Vinatieri, Gostkowski missed an extra point in the Super Bowl last year to force some two-point conversions. New England Super Bowls are always down to the wire.
Follow Sam Farmer on Twitter @LATimesfarmer
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