Written by: Josh Gutbrod
After what feels like ages of waiting, Super Bowl Sunday is finally here and the long awaited showdown between the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots is now just hours away. For New England, it appears as if it’s business as usual. The winning machines that are Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are simply doing what they do best. Yet the Eagles are not shying away from the moment and are again embracing the underdog role the team has thrived in throughout the postseason.
The matchup is strikingly similar to the matchup in the AFC Championship game, which set a young and aggressive Jacksonville Jaguars team against Brady in the Patriots. The similarities favor the Eagles and a defensive front four that is talented enough to pressure Brady all day without sending extra rushers. The Eagles’ defense is also more experienced as a whole than Jacksonville’s, something which hurt the Jaguars against New England with numerous penalties and allowed the Patriots to climb back into the game. I doubt the Eagles will come out and hand over 98 yards in penalties to the Pats like Jacksonville did when collapsing in the AFC Championship.
The problem for the Eagles is that you really don’t know which Nick Foles you’re going to get tonight. Regardless of how great the Eagles’ defense plays, Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski are going to put some points on the board. Foles showed against the Vikings in the NFC Championship game that he can get this offense going in a hurry but has lacked consistency throughout his career, part of the reasoning behind his back up status before the injury to Carson Wentz.
I’m really cautious about picking against Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. It’s not something smart people make a habit of doing. I love this Eagles’ defense and I think the weapons around Foles can make the quarterback’s job easier. Look for LeGarrette Blount and Jay Ajayi to be factors as the Eagles surely understand the value of using some clock against the Patriots and possibly another Eagles defensive touchdown. With all respect to the GOAT, Eagles win 34-28.