Patriots vs. Eagles: 10 telling facts about the Eagles

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Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

8. Jordan Matthews leads the Eagles with 28 first downs

While this doesn’t seem very significant when you first read it, keep in mind that the Patriots boast three pass catchers with at least 28 first downs: Danny Amendola (28), Julian Edelman (37) and Rob Gronkowski (40). With that in mind, it’s clear that the Patriots’ offense is much more efficient when it comes to picking up first downs through the air.

After Matthews, the other main first down-gaining pass catchers are Zach Ertz (19), Brent Celek (15) and Darren Sproles (12).

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7. Jordan Matthews is pretty much the only effective WR

Focusing strictly on the wide receiver position, Matthews is essentially the only threat. Matthews leads the team with 625 receiving yards on 58 receptions; after him, the next-best stat line at wideout is that of Riley Cooper, who has gained just 263 yards on 15 receptions.

This is all to say that the Patriots’ starting cornerback duo of Malcolm Butler and Logan Ryan should have no trouble blanketing Matthews and Cooper, respectively. Butler has succeeded in much harder matchups this season (i.e. Odell Beckham Jr., Sammy Watkins) and Ryan is hot off a huge Week 12 performance shutting down Demaryius Thomas.

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