The Philadelphia Eagles are just a few days away from playing in Super Bowl LII, as of now the line is currently in favor of New England by four points. This once again makes the Eagles underdogs. They were underdogs in divisional and championship round as well. The Eagle players have used this in their favor. They do not think they are underdogs but they use the fact that everyone else thinks they are as motivation to go out and win the big games.
The Eagles are one win away from their first-ever Super Bowl victory, although they won the NFL Championship in 1960 they have not been able to win it all since the Super Bowl was introduced in 1967. This win would mean everything for the city, for years the fans are constantly tormented whenever trying to make any statements regarding any other team. It’s always “How many rings do the Eagles have?” or “Well they still never won a Super Bowl.” This victory would allow fans to no longer need to hear the criticism from either the media while covering the team or other teams fans while trying to debate them.
Sorry Nick Foles, no chance to take this category no matter how good your NFC championship game was. Tom Brady takes this category by a mile. Brady is widely considered the best quarterback of all time. He consistently makes plays and puts the ball right where it needs to be to give his receiver the best shot at making a play. I do have faith that Foles can and will lead the Eagles to victory but he isn’t better than #12.
One of the tougher matchups in this game. Both teams roll with a three-back committee. The Patriots have an extremely well-balanced backfield with three backs that can do it all. Dion Lewis, James White, and Rex Burkhead can all take hand-offs and run or slip out of the backfield and catch. Meanwhile, the Eagles also possess three running backs but they are more diverse in stature. Jay Ajayi is their all-around guy, he catches screens, powers the ball up the middle, or can run outside. LeGarrette Blount is almost exclusively a power back, he is used to running the ball right up the middle. Lastly, Corey Clement is mostly a catching back for the Eagles. I have to give the slight advantage to Philadelphia here as they’re overall talent at the position is better than New England.
Another close matchup in a game with two high powered offenses. Alshon Jeffery, Torry Smith, and Nelson Agholor vs Brandon Cooks, Danny Amendola, and Chris Hogan. Although the Eagles are more diverse in their receiving core than the Patriots the talent is extremely close. Brandin Cooks leads both groups in yards, but Jeffery and Agholor are not too far behind. If the Patriots still had Julian Edelman who they lost earlier in the season to an injury I would give them the edge in this category. But, since they are going to be without him I will give the edge to the Eagles.
This category rests on the shoulders of one person. If Rob Gronkowski clears concussion protocol ahead of the game and is 100% available to go then New England takes the advantage. If he for some reason cannot go and is inactive for the Super Bowl then the Eagles win this category by a landslide. Gronk is a matchup nightmare for the Eagles. Safety Malcolm Jenkins would be tasked with the job of covering the big tight end. Even though Jenkins is a great safety the pure size and skill of Gronkowski will just prove to be too much for Jenkins to maintain on his own. Gronkowski has said that he’ll be ready to go, but as of Wednesday he still had not cleared the protocol.
The Eagles take this one for two reasons. One, Philadelphia just simply has more talent than the Patriots. Three of the five starting offensive linemen for the Eagles are Pro Bowlers and two of those three were First-Team All-Pro. The second reason the Eagles take this category is that the Patriots have to go up against the Eagles defensive line. No team yet has been able to contain all assets on that line.
Another sweep by the Eagles. The Eagles are rated number one against the run this year. They have depth at every position on the line. The fate of this game falls heavily on the backs of the Eagles line. They need to continue what they have been doing and get pressure on Tom Brady. Last game Case Keenum could not get set in the pocket and was forced to throw an interception and also suffered a strip sack.
Neither of these two linebacking cores is particularly spectacular. But I would have to go with the Eagles as Michael Kendricks is had a great season and is having a decent postseason. Nigel Bradham of the Eagles has been so close so many times to making a huge interception. If he is ever going to catch the ball this would be the time. For the Patriots their midseason signing of James Harrison after his release from the Steelers should prove to be useful as he is good at stopping the run.
This is another close matchup, too close to call in my opinion. The Eagles have Ronald Darby, Patrick Robinson, and Jalen Mills. All three are playing really well right now and should be able to control the Patriot wideouts. While the Patriots will lean on Malcolm Butler, Stephon Gilmore, and Devin McCourty to cover the Eagles group of wideouts. Should be a good positional group to watch duel it out.
I mean maybe I might be a little bias here but I truly believe that the Eagles are going to pull off their first Super Bowl victory. I think that the Eagles defense will contain Tom Brady just enough that they squeak out a victory.