For Blount, Long, Patriots Just Another ‘Faceless' Opponent

Imagine how rare it is to win a Super Bowl with one team, then sign with another team, then wind up reaching another Super Bowl the next year only to face your previous team once you get there.

The Eagles have two guys who've done that.

LeGarrette Blount and Chris Long, two offseason free-agent acquisitions who have meant so much to the Eagles' 2017 run, will face their former team Feb. 4 in Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis a year after winning Super Bowl 50 with the Patriots over the Falcons in Houston.

"Me and L.G., we made a pact," Long said at his locker, long after the Eagles finished off the Vikings 38-7 to reach the third Super Bowl in franchise history (see Roob's observations).

"We talked about it, that we'd travel together. He's one of my favorite teammates I've had. Obviously, he was a big part of so much of their success there and he's brought a lot to this team.

"I signed here first and then I hit him up. I was so excited when he signed. Just in a year there, we got to be pretty good boys and we're traveling companions now."

Blount and Long both played key roles Sunday night, Blount with the go-ahead touchdown, an 11-yarder midway through the second quarter and Long with a fumble recovery after Derrick Barnett strip-sacked Case Keenum deep in Eagles territory, also in the second quarter.

The Patriots have gotten big-time contributions from former Eagles Dion Lewis and Danny Amendola.

Now the Eagles are returning the favor.

"It's extremely special," Blount said of making consecutive Super Bowls with different teams.

"I came here for an opportunity to do something special and we're doing it. We've had a long season, we lost warriors on the way, and we kept grinding and fought through it."

The game was tied 7-all when Blount burst up the middle, trampled Vikings safety Andrew Sendejo and scored to give the Eagles a 14-7 lead.

The Vikings never recovered.

"It was blocked perfectly," Blount said. "Always going to be one guy left for the running back, which was the safety, and you've got to either make him miss or make him make a tackle.

"It gives you a spark on your team, those kind of runs. Just the mentality that we run with, that our running backs run with. A mean mentality with a chip on our shoulders. Runs like that spark a run or the defense getting going. A lot of energy transfers."

Blount's touchdown run was his 10th in the postseason, seventh-most in NFL playoff history behind six Hall of Famers - Emmitt Smith, Franco Harris, Thurman Thomas, Terrell Davis, John Riggins and Marcus Allen.

But don't expect him to get excited about that stuff.

"There's not really enough time to go for a walk down memory lane," he said. "We're going to enjoy this one and we've got two weeks to prepare for a really, really good Patriots team."

Blount spent most of the last four years with the Patriots and is the 10th-leading rusher in Patriots history. But he said facing the Patriots in Minneapolis doesn't mean anything.

"No more special than anyone else," he said. "We play against faceless opponents every week.

"I don't care nothing about that."

Blount is one of those guys who carries a bit of a bad reputation with him. And certainly, there are some things in his distant past he's probably not proud of.

But he's been nothing but an exemplary teammate in this year with the Eagles.

"You hear certain things about everybody but one of the best teammates I've ever had, man," Long said. "He's just got a bad rap a little bit. I love him. Everybody around here loves him, everyone in New England loves him. Everywhere he goes, people love him."

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