The biggest single game in all of sports with an average audience of over 100 Million people tuning in every year, the Super Bowl. Tell me if you have heard this one before, Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the Patriots are going to be playing in the Super Bowl. Yea I'm sure you have because this is that combinations 8th Superbowl together with a record of 5-2 in the big game so far. On the other side you have the Philadelphia eagles who will be making their third Superbowl appearance ever which if you are keeping track is the same amount of Superbowl appearances by the Patriots in the past 4 seasons.
This should be a classic David vs Goliath story especially since Philly is without their MVP contending QB Carson Wentz. Looking at those polls on twitter and ESPN I would think the consensus would be 85-90% of the people cheering for the underdog Eagles but I don't think it's quite that high. I get the sense that a lot of people got kind of annoyed when they saw the Eagles fans obnoxiousness after beat the Vikings. I think the hatred for the Patriots and people just being tired of them winning all the time will lead more people to cheer for the Eagles but I still think most people think the Patriots are going to win this one. With that being said lets break down the game.
First off lets go with the New England Patriots, the returning champs and the King of the NFL with the best player and the best coach currently and arguably of all time. The first key for the Patriots is to establish the running game early. The Eagles have the number 1 rushing defense in the league while the patriots are just above average at 10th overall. Now we all know that New England isn't going to win this game by running the ball but they still need to stay balanced offensively and as early as possible. If Philly can show that they can stop the run with an extra defensive back or two on the field then New England is going to have a tough time moving the ball through the air.
The second key for the patriots is on the defensive end and that would be to get pressure on Nick Foles. In the NFC championship he was very well protected against a good pass rushing team and as a result he looked like Tom Brady out there. If the Eagles want to continue that they will need to protect Foles and give him time because if the Patriots can get pressure on him consistently then he will look like the backup quarterback that he is.
For the Eagles I think it starts with turnovers. The pick 6 in the first half of the NFC championship really seemed to change the momentum of the game at from that point forward you got the sense that the Eagles were not going to lose. The Eagles are 4th in the league at creating turnovers with 15 interceptions and 12 fumbles taken away by their defense but on the other side the Patriots give the ball away fewer than every other team except one. The Patriots have only lost 4 fumbles and thrown 8 interceptions which are both individually top 3 in the league. The patriots on the other hand are one of the worst teams at forcing turnovers so if the Eagles can end the game +1 or 2 in the turnover category they may be hoisting the Lombardi Trophy at the end of the night.
Another thing I think the Eagles need to do is be aggressive in all phases of the game. I'm not sure I would get too much argument on this but the Patriots are the better team in this game both talent wise and coaching. The Eagles can win this how they won the NFC championship and that is to be aggressive. Run trick plays, maybe a fake punt or an onside kick, be aggressive on defense and force turnovers. The Patriots will make big plays and they will score, giving up a 25 yard pass because you tried to jump the route wont lose you the game but sitting back and letting the patriots do their thing and beat you by marching the ball down the field might.
As I mentioned, the Patriots are the better team here and will probably win because Tom Brady always wins and Bill Belichick always wins but if Philly can be aggressive, knock the Patriots around early and not take their foot off the gas *cough cough Atlanta Falcons* then the Lombardi Trophy may be heading to Philadelphia for the first time ever. I'll go ahead and give my prediction for this and while I really don't want the Patriots to win for the single reason that they always do i'm gonna be pulling for the Eagles but who am I kidding, the Patriots aren't gonna lose this. New England 31-17.