It’s been one interesting season in the NFL, but we have finally made it. I will admit, I never thought the Eagles would make the Super Bowl. The Patriots though? Who else was going to make it? The Raiders remembered they’re the Raiders this season, and the Steelers forgot how to play defense. I would have loved for the Jags make it, but this is the outcome from the AFC everyone saw coming. Let’s move on to the actual preview though, and make the pick of who will bring home the Lombardi Trophy.
The Eagles Take Flight
Nick Foles hit another level yesterday against possibly the best defense in the NFL. He missed just 7 passes on his way to 352 yards and 3 touchdowns. This is the Nick Foles that the Eagles were hoping they’d be getting. The Eagles also are absolutely stacked with receivers. Zach Ertz, Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith, and Nelson Agholar all have the potential to be #1 receiving options any given game. This is going to be the primary way to attack this Patriots defense, that while is improved from earlier in the year, is their weakness.
The Eagles other big advantage is in shutting down their opponent’s running game. This Eagles front 4 is devastating, and they will be key in making the Patriots go one dimensional. The Patriots are lacking a go to running back that can get tough yards on short down situations this season, and this very well could be the difference if it wasn’t for a certain mongoloid Tight End. The Eagles also sport a very ball hungry secondary. Plan on the Eagles also sending blitzes to supplement their defensive line, and trying to force Brady to make bad throws.
Gronk Strikes Back
Rob Gronkowski is going to be the difference maker in this contest. The Patriots are going to struggle to run the ball. It’s just how they are set up. I highly doubt Dion Lewis puts on 20 or 30 pounds and morphs into LeGarrette Blount in 2 weeks. Brady is going to have to find his mismatches in this game to bring home the win, and that means going to Gronkowski early and often. Don’t be shocked if Gronk sees 15 or so targets in this game. Brandin Cooks will look to take the top off the Eagles to open up space for Chris Hogan and Danny Amendola as well. Expect James White to see a ton of action too. He will probably get 10+ touches if he ends up getting covered by linebackers most of the game. Belichick is the ultimate mismatch artist, and this game is definitely going to put him to the test.
The Patriots defense is going to decide the outcome of this game. They are missing many big players from last year’s team, and it while it may not always show in the score, the stats tell the story. Blake Bortles almost hung 300 yards on this defense. Nick Foles hung over 350 on a vastly superior defense. Do the math. This could end up getting ugly if the Eagles get out in front early, and their OC doesn’t forget rudimentary time keeping logic like Kyle Shanahan did last year. The Patriots were 2nd to last in passing defense this season, and 20th in rushing defense. This isn’t the typical bend but don’t break Patriots defense we usually see.
Jake Elliot is god
Eagles: 31 Patriots: 27
It’s simple. Defense wins championships. Last year was the exception to the rule with the most horrific play calling ever in a Super Bowl. The Eagles will look to strike early and get out in front, and unlike the Falcons they will look to make the second half the shortest second half of football of all time. The Eagles have a better running game with Jay Ajayi and Blount, and the Pats D won’t be able to stop them. Brady will make things interesting, but time will not be on his side.