Eagles defensive end Chris Long was involved in one of the biggest plays in the NFC Championship Game when he recovered a fumble caused by Derek Barnett in the first half to end a Vikings scoring chance and set up a touchdown that put the Eagles up 21-7.
Patriots cornerback Eric Rowe saw the play and said it reminded him of one that Long made during the 2016 season. Long stripped Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick on a sack to secure a win. That would be a Patriots win, of course, as Long played for New England last season and won a Super Bowl before moving to the Eagles as a free agent.
Left tackle Nate Solder said he’s preparing to square off against his former practice antagonist.
“In practice, he always played hard, never made it easy for me,” Solder said, via ESPN.com. “I fully expect his best and look forward to the opportunity to play against him. I need to watch the film now. I haven’t seen a lot, but I know he has plenty of power, plenty of speed; he’s crafty, intelligent and understands the game.”
Running back LeGarrette Blount is also going to be matching up with his former team — as will Rowe, who was traded from the Eagles to the Patriots in September 2016 — and Solder said he’s happy for both of his former teammates for making it this far. That won’t make him try to beat them any less, but it should make for at least a few pleasantries before things get too heated on the field.