There is a rich history of preseason football between the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots, one that extends back to the days when the two teams held forth in rival leagues. The NFL's Eagles and the AFL's Boston Patriots originally clashed on the gridiron during the second year of inter-league preseason play on Sept. 2, 1968. The Eagles edged the Patriots 22-20 in a game that was played before 31,404 at Harvard Stadium in Cambridge, Mass.
Overall, the series between these two teams is deadlocked at 11 wins apiece, though lately, it's been almost all Patriots. New England is 9-2 straight up in the last 11 meetings dating back to 1996. At home, although the Patriots are 5-2 during this stretch of success, they've lost two of their last three home preseason games to the Eagles. Curiously, both Philadelphia victories ended in identical 27-17 decisions. The Patriots also beat the Eagles 27-17 in a 1974 home preseason game, so there seems to be something about that number.
In The Nick Of Time - The first time Nick Foles put a beating on the Patriots, it probably didn't hurt as much as his most recent win. The MVP of Super Bowl LII after passing for 373 yards and three touchdowns, as well as catching a TD pass of his own in the Eagles' 41-33 victory, QB Foles also engineered Philly's last preseason win against the Patriots in 2012. He passed for two touchdowns in a 27-17 victory at Gillette Stadium, the lone win by the Eagles in their past four preseason games against New England.
Oh, They Will Score - The 41-33 Eagles win in Super Bowl LII was about par for the course when it comes to Eagles-Patriots showdowns. There generally is no shortage of points on the board when these team teams meet. In two Super Bowl clashes between Philly and New England, the total has averaged out to 59.5 points. The total has gone over in five of the last six Eagles-Patriots games, and it's also gone over in eight of New England's last 12 home games, and in 16 of Philly's last 21 road games.
In the preseason, there's also been points galore for the most part. In their most recent meeting in 2014, New England outscored the Eagles 42-35. The average total in the last five Patriots-Eagles preseason contests is 54. At least one team has scored 24 points in each of the last seven meetings between these two teams. The Patriots have scored 73 points in the last two games. The Eagles have accounted for 136 points over the course of the past five preseason games with the Pats, an average of 27.2 points per game.
Home-Field Disadvantage - Though their long-term history at New England isn't all that good - the Eagles are 2-3 there all-time in the regular season and 5-7 on the road against the Patriots in preseason play - indications are that the Eagles are unearthing a path to victory at Gillette Stadium. They've won two of their past three there in the preseason, both by 10-point margins. And in the regular season, they've also won two of the last three, and by an average margin of victory of 14 points.
More On Super Bowl Rematches - NFC teams maintain a slight 11-9 advantage when partaking in Super Bowl rematches in the preseason immediately following the game. AFC teams playing host to the rematch game own a 6-4 edge on the field. Teams that came out on the losing end of the Super Bowl are 5-1 in the last six preseason rematch contests and 6-2 in the last eight. Five of the first six preseason Super Bowl rematches also found that the vanquished team on Super Bowl Sunday emerged victorious in the preseason rematch.
Three's A Charm - While the Pats and Eagles have met twice in Super Bowl history, the Patriots winning 24-21 in Super Bowl XXXVIII in their first clash, most online sportsbooks are calling for history to be made and a rubber match staged in Super Bowl LIII. The Patriots are the odds-on choice in the Super Bowl LIII future books at Bovada (+650), BetOnline (+625) and TopBet (+600). If so, the Patriots would join the Buffalo Bills (four) and Miami Dolphins (three) as the only NFL teams to play in at least three Super Bowls in succession.
Meanwhile, TopBet (+800), BetOnline (+800) and Bovada (+850) all see the Eagles as their second choice to reach the Super Bowl, even though there's never been a Super Bowl rematch in consecutive seasons. Only the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers have clashed three separate times in Super Bowl games. The Eagles-Patriots, Cowboys-Bills, Dolphins-Washington Redskins and Patriots and New York Giants have all squared off in a pair of Super Bowl games.
Staying On Top - The Patriots have won nine straight AFC East Division titles, 14 of the last 15 and 15 of the past 17, so it should not come as any surprise that TopBet lists New England as the overwhelming -650 favorite to capture the division crown again in 2018. The Patriots are also TopBet's +250 choice to win the AFC Championship for the third successive season. TopBet also puts the Eagles in the NFC driver's seat again. Philadelphia is the -165 favorite to repeat as NFC East winners, and the +450 choice to top the NFC.
Number Two - TopBet puts Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, the reigning champion, and Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz as co-second choices in their NFL MVP future book at +600, behind only Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers (+500). That wager would be a real roll of the dice on Wentz. He was most certainly a top contender for the award last season until a knee injury ended his campaign. It's uncertain whether Wentz will be 100 percent healthy in time for the regular season.
BetOnline lists Wentz as the third choice in their MVP future book at +1000, as does Bovada, but at odds of +850. Wentz's replacement, Super Bowl MVP Foles, is listed at +12500 by Bovada, and is completely off the board with BetOnline and TopBet, although you could wager Foles as part of the field at TopBet and get odds of +800.