Dr Z
Wednesday February 2nd, 2005

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

Special Teams
Adam Vinatieri(4)
The NFL's two Pro Bowl kickers are represented here. Both had fine seasons, but Vinatieri already has won two Super Bowls with his foot.
David Akers (2)
Not as high a percentage as Vinatieri has, but Akers has booted one over 50 yards this season, and Vinatieri has not.
Patriots' P Josh Miller and Eagles P Dirk Johnson have roughly the same gross average, but Johnson's net is 37.4 compared to Miller's 33.7. Johnson also has had a lesser percentage of punts returned.
Edge: Eagles
Kick Returns
The Patriots' Bethel Johnson has averaged 24.8, with one TD, giving him the edge on the Eagles' J.R. Reed's 23.1 and none.
Edge: Patriots
Punt Returns
The Patriots' Troy Brown and Kevin Faulk averaged 6.8. The Eagles' twosome of Reed and Reno Mahe are better, at 8.2. Nobody on either team has run one back all the way.
Edge: Eagles
Kick Coverage
Covering kickoffs is a wash... low 23-yard average for both. But the Eagles' punt coverage unit is one of the league's best, averaging 6.5 yards during the regular season and 6.8 in the playoffs. The Patriots' numbers are dismal -- 11.8 regular season, 13.6 playoffs.
Edge: Eagles
TOTAL: Eagles 3-2
OVERALL TOTAL: Patriots 15-11-3

Dr. Z's Pick: Patriots 31, Eagles 20

Dr. Z's Breakdowns: Offense | Defense

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.