NJ Native Eagles Set for Pivotal Super Bowl Roles
The entire city of Philadelphia is on cloud nine, as their Eagles have a chance to win their first Super Bowl in franchise history.
Three members of the Eagles have Jersey roots and will play pivotal roles in the big game on Sunday, and they are Malcolm Jenkins, Vinny Curry, and Corey Clement.
Jenkins, out of Piscataway, has been in the league for nine seasons. He has emerged as the leader of the defense. More importantly, he has led the way for the young secondary, consisting of Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby.
The strong safety is entering Super Bowl LII with a, “been there, done that,” mentality. Why is that? Well, Jenkins won Super Bowl XLIV with the New Orleans Saints in his rookie season. In that game, he recorded five total tackles in their 31-17 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.
This season, Jenkins recorded a whopping 76 total tackles, eight passes defended, two interceptions, and one forced fumble.
On Super Bowl Sunday, Jenkins has a rather unenviable task of defending against New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, who has been a matchup nightmare. This season, Gronkowski hauled in 69 receptions for 1, 084 yards and eight touchdowns. The thing is, however, that the tight end has just been cleared from concussion protocol. With that comes the unknown of if Gronkowski can play up to his normal style of play. However, Jenkins has proven to be a force in the middle of the defensive backfield. The Piscataway-native sees the challenge, and will remain unfazed.
The Eagles defensive front has been one of the most impressive in the league. One of those players making a positive impact in their play is defensive end and Neptune, NJ-native Vinny Curry.
Curry recalled his rough upbringing in his hometown, where he learned how to avoid the negative temptations in the city. He set his focus on football in high school, where he later committed to Marshall. In the 2012 NFL Draft, he would be drafted by the Eagles in the second-round.
In his sixth season, he has now reached the promised land, the Super Bowl. This season, he did not necessarily light up the stat sheet. However, it can be attributed to an extremely talented defensive line, which ranks as the best rush defense in the league (79.2 yards/game). Curry has posted 42 total tackles, three sacks, and one forced fumble.
Curry now faces the league’s best offense in New England (394.2 yards/game), where he and his defensive line-mates will look to get to quarterback Tom Brady. Not just Brady, but to stop the Patriots rush attack, which includes Dion Lewis, James White, and Rex Burkhead.
The veteran defensive end not only wants to win the game for the city of Philadelphia, but to bring a positive impact to his hometown of Neptune.
Yes, the Eagles rush attack has the likes of LeGarrette Blount and Jay Ajayi. However, we can not forget about the impact rookie and Glassboro, NJ-native Corey Clement has had on this Philadelphia squad.
Clement went undrafted, but signed on with the Eagles, where he has been used as a chance of pace, dual-threat running back. The rookie has appeared in all 16 games for Philadelphia, where he rushed for 321 yards and four touchdowns on 74 carries. Not only that, but he recorded ten receptions for 123 yards and two touchdowns.
Blount and Ajayi are expected to receive plenty of carries in the big game this Sunday. Yet, there have been fumbling issues for both veterans in the playoffs, particularly in the Divisional Round against the Atlanta Falcons. If that is the case against Patriots, Clement can make an impact in the game.
Let’s not forget that the entire city of Glassboro has his back, who had a pep rally on Friday to support their local hero.
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