Each day leading up to Super Bowl LII, we're going to take a look at a key matchup between the Eagles and the New England Patriots.
Today, it's cornerback Patrick Robinson vs. wide receiver Brandin Cooks.
The Patriots acquired Cooks in a trade this past offseason from the New Orleans Saints. The explosive 5-10, 189-pound receiver had 65 catches for 1,082 yards and seven touchdowns in 2017. He is one of just three receivers with at least 1,000 yards and five touchdowns in each of the past three seasons.
He is a big-play threat, averaging 16.6 yards per catch - the most of any player in the Tom Brady era. He caught 17 receptions that went at least 20 yards in the air. His speed will cause defensive backs to get called for interference penalties. He drew more pass interference yards (209) than any player in the league.
Most of his damage comes lined up outside, but the Patriots will move him into the slot. On the second play of last Sunday's AFC Championship Game, Brady hit Cooks out of the slot for a 31-yard gain. Cooks had six catches for 100 yards in the win.
Robinson sparked the Eagles with his second career pick-six in the NFC Championship win over Minnesota. Opposing quarterbacks had a 59.1 passer rating when targeting Robinson in the slot this season. During the regular season, Robinson tied a career high with a team-best four interceptions. He also tied for the team lead with 22 passes defensed. Robinson's teammates marvel at the cornerback's footwork and quickness. They will be needed to defend the two-way options when Cooks is in the slot.