The Team That’s Smart Enough to Beat the Patriots

During the Super Bowl, there will be two unusual voices talking in Doug Pederson’s headset.

.. These people are the middle men between Philadelphia’s analytics side and the coaches on the field.

.. “There’s a belief from a lot of the football people that some of the analytics or quantitative people lack the necessary football IQ,”

“In a lot of cases, they don’t trust these guys.”

.. The Eagles’ decision making has drawn praise this season and for good reason: They converted on 17 fourth downs, the most in the NFL during the regular season.

.. Pederson has a security blanket when he makes bold bets. He knows he has support from the person that controls his fate. Earlier this year, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie praised that line of thought and said “smarter teams do it that way.”

.. All of Philadelphia’s five touchdowns in the NFC Championship were scored by players who weren’t on the team a season ago.