For the past two seasons, the Eagles and New England Patriots have held joint practices prior to meeting in the preseason.
This year, the two sides will battle in a regular season showdown at Gillette Stadium to kick off the month of December in a nationally televised affair. The Eagles will be coming off of their Thanksgiving feast in Detroit with a few extra days to let the stuffing and pie settle before heading to Foxborough.
The Patriots are the defending Super Bowl champions after rallying from behind with 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter and relying on Malcolm Butler's storybook interception to capture the franchise's fourth Super Bowl championship.
There are so many savory subplots to this matchup.
The 2015 schedule for the Philadelphia Eagles has been announced. The schedule features six nationally televised games and a second consecutive Thanksgiving Day game ...
Head coach Chip Kelly is a native of the New England region and a good friend of Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. In fact, Kelly has been compared to Belichick and the Super Bowl champion head coach has lavishly praised the program that is being built in Philadelphia.
The biggest reason why Belichick has won four Super Bowls in New England is Tom Brady, the future Hall of Fame quarterback who at 37 years old remains one of the best in the game.
The challenge for defensive coordinator Bill Davis' defense will be two-fold. First, can the Eagles come up with a way to disrupt Brady's timing? Second, how do the Eagles defend Rob Gronkowski? The 6-6, 265-pound All-Pro tight end is a mismatch nightmare all over the field. He hauled in 82 receptions for 1,124 yards and 12 touchdowns last season. In fact, Gronkowski has at least 10 touchdowns in four of his first five NFL seasons.
The Patriots will have to come up with some answers of their own after losing both starting cornerbacks - Brandon Browner and Darrelle Revis - in free agency. New England signed former Eagle Bradley Fletcher and he is in the mix to be a starter. Belichick is a defensive genius and the battle of wits against Kelly will be fascinating in itself.
The Eagles have had a taste of the Patriots in each of the past two years, but now get to test themselves against the defending Super Bowl champions ... in a game that counts. !