Philadelphia Eagles' starting quarterback Carson Wentz was out of the spotlight when they faced the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII as he was sidelined with an ACL injury at that time. When the Eagles hoisted the Vince Lombardi trophy following a 41-33 win over the Patriots, Wentz watched as backup quarterback Nick Foles basked in the glory of his Super Bow MVP win following a three-touchdown performance against the Patriots.

With Foles now with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Wentz has all the attention when he takes on the Patriots for the first time in his career.

In an interview, the 26-year-old Wentz said he relishes the chance to share the Lincoln Financial Field turf with the 42-year-old veteran quarterback Tom Brady on Sunday. “It will be cool to compete on the same field with him,” said Wentz, adding that he has a ton of respect for Brady and for his accomplishments in his 20-year NFL career.

In nine games this season, Wentz completed 190 of 303 passes for 2,060 yards and 15 touchdowns and four interceptions for the 5-4 Eagles. Brady, for his part, has thrown for 2,536 yards and 14 touchdowns and five picks this season for the Patriots, who lead the AFC with an 8-1 mark.

Wentz excited to face Patriots’ defense

Wentz said he’s just as excited to compete and face the Patriots' defense on Sunday, calling them one of the best in the league. "The track record of the Patriots, who they are and where they’re at, especially this season – they’re one of the best in the league, and they’re up there for a reason,” said Wentz, the second overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. Wentz will go up against the Patriots’ defense, the No. 1 in the league in terms of total yards allowed per game (249.3) and passing yards allowed per outing (143.8).

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Both Eagles coach Doug Pederson and center Jason Kelce acknowledged the challenges that they will face against the stout Patriots defense. “It’s a brand of defense where they just smother you. They just corral you,” said Pederson. Kelce, for his part, said the Patriots have consistently looked for ways on how to attack the opponents’ best players and to limit their production and impact on the game. Aside from the Patriots’ defense, the Eagles would also have to deal with Patriots’ offense powered by Brady, who drew praises from Pederson for his consistent plays this season despite his age.

Eagles could play Patriots sans Jeffery

The Eagles might face the Patriots on Sunday without their top wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, who missed two straight practices on Wednesday and Thursday due to ankle injury. This season, Jeffery has caught 34 passes for 353 yards and three scores. If Jeffery can’t play, the Eagles will rely on Nelson Agholor, Jordan Matthews, Mack Hollins, and rookie J.J. Arcega Whiteside as targets for Wentz. The Eagles will also rely on tight ends Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert and rusher Miles Sanders.

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