The Eagles have reveled in their underdog status throughout the NFC playoffs and nothing apparently is going to change during the endless run-up to the Super Bowl, where the Patriots currently are sitting as 5.5-point favorites. Philadelphia right tackle Lane Johnson captured the thinking of the team’s locker room after the Eagles ambushed the Vikings in the NFC title game on Sunday night.

“I know,” Johnson said when told of the point spread, per ESPN’s Tim McManus. “Hey, Tom Brady. Pretty boy Tom Brady. He’s the best quarterback of all time, so, nothing I’d like to do more than dethrone that guy.”

Johnson wasn’t even of driving age yet when the Patriots beat the Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX after the 2004 regular season, yet the loss still seems to linger in his mind even though he watched the game from afar. He wants payback for a team he had nothing to do with.

“For what they did to us in 2004, to get payback, there would be nothing sweeter than that,” Johnson said. “I remember watching that game when I was 14 years old. I was hoping the Eagles would win. Just coming up short, you could feel the pain, and you could also feel the passion of what this city wants. And we’re here, so it’s right at our fingertips.”

This is a team that clearly will not be cowed by the guy with five Super Bowl rings.

“Greatest quarterback of all time, but that doesn’t mean that he’s unbeatable,” safety Malcolm Jenkins said of Brady. “We’ve got a destination that we’re geared to. No matter who’s in front of us, we’ve got somewhere to go.”

The Patriots have reached the point in their dynasty where they are actively disliked by just about everyone except their own fans, so the Eagles hardly needed any help in becoming America’s Team for at least the next two weeks. But they’re off to a good, fun start.

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