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Dr. Z's Positional Breakdown: Offense

Dr. Z's Positional Breakdown
How the Patriots and Eagles match up for Super Bowl XXXIX

Offense
PatriotsEdgeEagles
Tom Brady (12)
Best of this era. Will lift the level of his game proportional to the raising of the stakes. The most accurate long passer today.
QB
Donovan McNabb (5)
"I wish I could do the things he can do," Brady says. What McNabb can do is run with power and elusiveness, buy time, complete all manner of passes and compete with great courage.
PatriotsEdgeEagles
Corey Dillon(28)
No running game, no play-fake; no play-fake, no passing game. Dillon has solved all that by his thundering presence. Total yardage, running and receiving: 1,738, with 13 TDs. Spelled by Kevin Faulk (33), a good receiver and darting type of runner.
RB
Brian Westbrook(36)
Assumed tremendous importance when Terrell Owens (81) was lost. Will line up as a set back, in the slot or on the flank. Runs with a burst and has a wideout's receiving instincts. Rushing and pass catching totals: 1,515 yards, nine TDs. Dorsey Levens (25), who has recovered some of his old zip, relieves him, but can also line up in the same backfield.
PatriotsEdgeEagles
David Givens (87)
Powerful 215-pounder. Works the short zones. Good at getting off the bump and getting separation. Pats' leading receiver.
SE
Todd Pinkston (87)
A washout as the go-to receiver last year, he fit in OK when he was No. 2 behind Owens this season. Can be muscled but 18.8-yard average is impressive.
PatriotsEdgeEagles
Deion Branch(83)
Brady's favorite receiver. Killed the Steelers with the two bombs he caught. Added strength makes him effective in the slot. Quick and elusive on the end-around.
FL
Freddie Mitchell(84)
Decided to become a personality in the postseason. Until then fairly quiet, but his 17.1-yard per catch average means he has to be taken seriously.
PatriotsEdgeEagles
Extra Wideouts
Can go five-deep. Troy Brown (80) is the crafty guy working the zones, David Patten (86) is explosive, in and out of his cuts. Bethel Johnson (81) is the fastest player on the team.
WR
Extra Wideouts
So what's your opinion on Owens (81)? Mine is that if he finds his way onto the field at all, it will be as a half-speed decoy, as Randy Moss was against Philly. Watch speedy Greg Lewis (83), though, as a deep threat.
PatriotsEdgeEagles
Daniel Graham (82)
Bright early season prospect, seems to have been phased out of offense recently, but Charlie Weis could make him a factor on Sunday.
TE
L.J.Smith (82)
Came on as the mid-range threat, while Chad Lewis remained the short-yardage man. Now Lewis is out and Smith will get more attention.
PatriotsEdgeEagles
2nd TE/FB
Christian Fauria (88) is the usual starter. Good position blocker, will come up with one key catch per game. Patrick Pass (35) is a fair blocker and receiver (28 catches)
TE/
FB
2nd TE/FB
Jeff Thomason (85), signed off a contruction lot after Chad Lewis got hurt, will see about 15 plays, Andy Reid says. Josh Parry (49) is seldom used. My guess is that third WR Greg Lewis (83) will see most of the action in this spot.
PatriotsEdgeEagles
Matt Light (72)
A finesse tackle who can be overpowered by bull-rushers but should match up well with Philly's 266-pound Derrick Burgess.
LT
Tra Thomas (72)
Multiple Pro Bowl selection. Surprisingly light-footed when he first came up. Starting to slow down now. Can be beaten by quick inside move.
PatriotsEdgeEagles
Joe Andruzzi(63)
Tough guy. Battler. Hustles on traps and lead plays. Emotional leader of the front five.
LG
Artis Hicks(77)
Powerful 320-pounder. Third-year vet and least experienced of Eagles' O-linemen, but held firm against Falcons' inside stunts in NFC title game.
PatriotsEdgeEagles
Dan Koppen(67)
Fifth round draft choice last year. Showed tremendous intelligence right away. Good range, good reach blocker, keeps things together.
C
Hank Fraley(63)
Started as an overachiever, worked his way in as the solid man on Philly's front five. Heart and desire. Good instincts.
PatriotsEdgeEagles
Stephen Neal(61)
Former wrestler. Strongman who's still learning the game. Has become a serious drive blocker. First year as a starter.
RG
Jermane Mayberry(71)
Has been hurt but when he's right, he's skilled in all phases. Former Pro Bowler. Shut down Atlanta's sack specialist, Rod Coleman.
PatriotsEdgeEagles
Brandon Gorin(76)
Became a starter at midseason. Eagles like the Jevon Kearse-Gorin matchup, but if there are problems, he'll get help from second TE Christian Fauria or a back.
RT
Jon Runyan(69)
Nursing a sore knee. Powerful, slightly lead-footed, hog-type blocker who had a rough time chasing the Falcons' Patrick Kerney last game. I'd guess the Patriots will test him with Willie McGinest.
TOTAL: Patriots 7-3-2.
New England's offense gained 5,722 yards and scored 44 TDs this season, Philly's numbers were 5,619 and 42.

Dr. Z's Breakdowns: Defense | Special Teams
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