|Why To Watch|
The Super Bowl XXXIX matchup pits familiar versus new, as the Patriots, headed to the title game for the third time in four years, look to defend their title against an Eagles team making its first appearance in the championship game in 24 years.
Injuries will occupy much of the pregame hype. The Patriots know they will be without both starting cornerbacks, Ty Law and Tyrone Poole, but the status of standout DE Richard Seymour still looms. The even bigger question surrounds the health of Eagles star WR Terrell Owens and it isn't likely to be answered until kickoff Feb. 6.
Patriots QB Tom Brady is 8-0 in the postseason, and he leads a much more balanced attack into this Super Bowl than a year ago, thanks mostly to the presence of RB Corey Dillon. In reality, though, the most highly anticipated matchup is on the other side of the ball, where two of the NFL's brightest offensive minds (head coach Andy Reid and coordinator Brad Childress) try to crack the code of defensive gurus Bill Belichick and coordinator Romeo Crennel.
After watching the Patriots generate four interceptions while allowing fewer than 500 total passing yards against Pro Bowl QB Peyton Manning (Colts) and NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Ben Roethlisberger (Steelers), Eagles QB Donovan McNabb has to be feeling some pressure as his team game-plans this week. If the Eagles don't do a better job of protecting the football than the Patriots' last two opponents, the city of Boston will be holding its second championship parade (Red Sox) in four months and its third in four years for the Patriots.