Patriots to reunite with Chris Long, LeGarrette Blount as Super

  • FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots cornerback Eric Rowe was watching the NFC Championship Game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings when he had a bit of déjà vu.

    When veteran Eagles defensive end Chris Long recovered a strip sack of Vikings quarterback Case Keenum in the second quarter -- which sparked what was to quickly become a rout for Philadelphia -- the first thing Rowe thought of was a play that Long made last season as his Patriots teammate.

    “It looked like the end the first Jet game last year,” Rowe said.

    Indeed, the plays were similar, although Long’s role was a bit different. It took Long’s strip sack of then-New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick on a blindside rush late in the fourth quarter to secure a 22-17 victory on Nov. 27, 2016, as defensive end Trey Flowers recovered the fumble.

    In Sunday’s NFC Championship Game, it was defensive end Derek Barnett with the blindside rush and Long with the fumble recovery.

    With 13 days to highlight myriad Super Bowl storylines, the presence of Long and running back LeGarrette Blount on the Eagles’ side -- one year after they helped the Patriots to a Super Bowl LI title -- was a hot topic on Monday after Patriots players went through a meeting filled with Super Bowl logistics