Doug Pederson: Seems like Patriots keep getting better

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  • By Grant Gordon NFL.com
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When last Doug Pederson manned a sideline across from the New England Patriots, he was able to coach the Philadelphia Eagles to their first (and only) Super Bowl championship.

Since then, the Eagles returned to the playoffs, rekindled a bit of magic and then fell short in the NFC Divisional Round.

The Patriots, however, returned to the Super Bowl and won it all once again last season. Thus, since he saw the Patriots the last time, Pederson believes they're an improved bunch this season.

"It's one of these things where you keep watching them and it seems like they keep getting better," Pederson said Friday via team transcript. "It's a good football team."

Pederson's Eagles (5-4) face the Patriots (8-1) on Sunday in a Super Bowl rematch more than a year in the making.

The Eagles, who followed up their Super Bowl win with a playoff berth that included a win over the Chicago Bears, are currently coming off another victory over the Bears in Week 9. Hence, Pederson and his staff have been afforded the luxury of two weeks' worth of preparation for the Patriots, who sit atop the AFC East.

"The thing is as coaches, I think we spend so much time watching tape and diving into the X's and O's, that sometimes you can start second-guessing yourself as a play-caller on certain things, decisions you're going to make in this football game," Pederson said. "You just take it with a grain of salt really and just continue to pour over the tape. Maybe there is one last thing you might see or find that you can help your team on gameday."

Of course, the last time the Eagles had two weeks to prepare for the Patriots, they ended up doing something the franchise never had done before or since.

Said Pederson: "You get to know your opponent pretty well with two weeks of study."

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