Dr. Z's Positional Breakdown: Special Teams
|Dr. Z's Positional Breakdown|
|How the Patriots and Eagles match up for Super Bowl XXXIX|
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.
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.
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.
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.
TOTAL: Eagles 3-2|
OVERALL TOTAL: Patriots 15-11-3
Dr. Z's Pick: Patriots 31, Eagles 20
|Dr. Z's Breakdowns: Offense | Defense|