The Eagles will face the GOAT on Thursday night, as Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers come to Lincoln Financial Field.
It will mark the third time Brady plays in Philadelphia and his first time doing so as a member of the Buccaneers. The Eagles have yet to beat Brady at home, going 0-3 in those matchups. This obviously isn’t a predictive measure. I’d say most teams have done poorly against Brady in the last decade regardless of where the game was being played!
The two biggest Eagles games of my lifetime have come against Brady both in the Super Bowl. While the Birds fell in Jacksonville to the Patriots 16 years ago, they got their sweet, sweet revenge on February 4, 2018.
Brady has faced the Eagles seven times in his career. Here’s how he’s fared in those games:
2003, Week 2: Patriots 31, Eagles 10
The 2003 Eagles had a disastrous start to the season. They opened up the season against the reigning Super Bowl champion Buccaneers, the team that embarrassed them in the NFC Championship Game that previous January. In the first game ever at Lincoln Financial Field, the Eagles fell to the Bucs 17-0.
The schedule didn’t get any easier from there. Brady and the Patriots, who had won the Super Bowl in 2001, but didn’t make the postseason at all in 2002, convincingly beat the Eagles 31-10. Brady threw for 255 yards and tossed three touchdowns passes as the Pats cruised to a victory.
2004/05, Super Bowl XXXIX: Patriots 24, Eagles 21
A game that sent my 10-year-old self crying home after a Super Bowl party at @Lolarsystem’s house.
This was the first Super Bowl that Brady won where he wasn't named Super Bowl MVP, an award that went to receiver Deion Branch. Brady was still efficient as ever, throwing for 236 yards and passing for two touchdowns. It was a sharp contrast to the three-interception performance that Donovan McNabb turned in.
2007, Week 12: Patriots 31, Eagles 28
This game came during the Patriots’ undefeated regular season (how miserable was a Patriots-Giants Super Bowl for Eagles fans that year?). Give the Eagles some credit. They were up against a juggernaut and only lost by three points. That was tied for the Patriots’ smallest margin of victory that season.
Brady out-dueled A.J. Feeley, assuredly one of the biggest accomplishments of his life. Brady threw for 380 yards, one touchdown and zero interceptions. Feeley was slinging it with 345 passing yards and three touchdowns of his own, but in a familiar turn of events, it was Feeley’s three interceptions that did the Eagles in.
2011, Week 12: Patriots 38, Eagles 20
The 2011 Pats were a spiritual successor to that 2007 team, as Brady led one of the greatest offenses ever. New England entered the Super Bowl that season on a 10-game winning streak before losing to the Giants once more.
The Eagles, however, didn’t put up a fight like they did back in 2007, losing by multiple scores. Improbably, Vince Young, the man who coined the dreaded “Dream Team” name, threw for 400 yards in the loss.
Brady, predictably, played excellent with 361 passing yards and three touchdown tosses.
2015, Week 13: Eagles 35, Patriots 28
HEY! A WIN!
I’m sure I speak for a lot of Eagles fans when I say this is one of my favorite regular season games ever.
A loathsome 4-7 Eagles team in Chip Kelly’s final year as head coach headed up to Foxboro to face the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots. What ensued was a wild contest that saw the Eagles have three-straight return touchdowns.
Chris Maragos blocked a punt that Najee Goode recovered and scored on that tied the game up at 14 just seconds before halftime:
In the third quarter, Malcolm Jenkins returned a Brady interception 99 yards to the house to give the Birds their first lead of the game:
Former Ohio State DB Malcolm Jenkins picks of former Michigan QB Tom Brady and takes it back 99 yards for the TD! pic.twitter.com/O56vsr65s2— The Buckeye Nut (@TheBuckeyeNut) December 7, 2015
To cap off the madness, Darren Sproles scored on an 83-yard punt return:
Darren Sproles # of days until regular season football. This is Darren competing (very well) against the New England Patriots while playing for the Philadelphia Eagles.— DelcoDelphia (@DelcoDelphia) July 25, 2018
There's a twist though.
The Eagles not only beat them in this game, BUT also in the Super Bowl last year. pic.twitter.com/7MySU94w5y
I remember watching that game in my college house. My housemates were pretty evenly divided between New Englanders and people from the greater Philly area. We had two separate watch rooms. While those Pats fans were completely unfazed about anything, having just watched their team win their fourth Super Bowl the year prior, we lost our shit going crazy.
That summed up Philly sports at the time: little moments that didn’t lead to legitimate big moments.
That all changed during the next meeting between Brady and the Birds...
2017/18, Super Bowl LII: Eagles 41, Patriots 33
Brady broke a Super Bowl record when he threw for 505 yards that night in Minnesota, but there was one specific play where he didn’t come up clutch as he had done an infinite amount of times before:
Strip sack of Brady by Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett recovers. Eagles have a chance to finish now. pic.twitter.com/cp8l0aKvA9— Ian Wharton (@NFLFilmStudy) February 5, 2018
2019, Week 11: Patriots 17, Eagles 10
The Eagles fell in their first post-Super Bowl rematch against Brady and the Patriots, but I was in a wedding in Florida during the game and could only watch on my phone, so it technically doesn’t count as a real loss. I don’t make the rules!
I have severe doubts that the Eagles will improve their all-time record against Brady to 3-5 on Thursday night, but just as that electric road win in 2015 taught Birds fans, anything can happen.