by Alex Kimble
It is arguably the biggest sports event of the year. People who don’t watch or like football tune in for the event. Whether anyone likes it or not, the New England Patriots are back in the Super Bowl. They are back as the defending champions and looking to win their third Super Bowl in four years.
A Super Bowl win would have the franchise tie for the highest number of Super Bowl championships with the Pittsburgh Steelers. To say they are the favorites is an understatement. They are facing the Philadelphia Eagles, a team that has never won a Super Bowl in franchise history. This Super Bowl could be looked back on as a “Rocky” story with a Philadelphia Eagles victory. Whatever the narrative, Super Bowl LII will be a wild ride.
The Patriots are everything the Eagles are not. The Patriots are in the championship race every year, and are consistent favorites to not only to win their division, but to win the Super Bowl. This is the eighth Super Bowl appearance with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick leading the way. “Experts” on T.V. actually ignore them going undefeated before the season began based on the talent on their football team. The combo of Brady and Belichick have won more championships than any other combination of quarterbacks and head coaches. They have had a lot of playoff success. The world has been placing bets on them to win the Super Bowl every year in recent memory.
The Philadelphia Eagles are the complete opposite despite having great success during the regular season. Second year starting quarterback Carson Wentz was having a year for the ages until he went down with an injury that would sideline him for the season. Everyone counted them out from that point forward. Despite all the odds stacked against them, they finished the regular season with the top seed in the NFC. The Eagles had home field advantage, but the “experts” continued to doubt them. The Eagles Twitter posted a screenshot of ESPN “experts” picking the Falcons to beat the Eagles in the divisional round of the playoffs. This actually inspired Chris Long of the Philadelphia Eagles to wear a dog mask after the victory over the Falcons. In the NFC championship game, they blew out the Vikings 38-7. They are motivated underdogs with a great defense.
The Eagles are similar to the early 2000s Patriots. Patriots starting quarterback Drew Bledsoe went down with an injury during the regular season. Tom Brady went and led the team to a Super Bowl Championship. Eagles starting quarterback Carson Wentz went down with an injury and Nick Foles took over. He kept the team from stumbling, winning home field advantage and leading them to their first Super Bowl since 2004. He has a chance to lead the franchise to its first Super Bowl like Tom Brady did with the Patriots. You have to wonder how can you bench Nick Foles for Carson Wentz after Nick led the franchise to their first Super Bowl Championship. Tom Brady kept the starting job for his whole career despite a number of victories other quarterbacks have had when Tom was injured or suspended.
The Eagles certainly have a shot of getting the job done thanks to their great defense. Rob Gronkowski may be out or limited in the Super Bowl thanks to the concussion he sustained in the AFC Championship game. The Eagles defensive line is probably the best in the game right now, and will be key in the Super Bowl. You have to put pressure on Tom Brady to win games against the New England Patriots. The New York Giants had great defensive lines in the Super Bowls that they won. The difference will be quarterback play. Nick Foles will have to limit his mistakes as he has done in recent victories. Will experience play a factor? Will Nick Foles be able to handle the big stage of the Super Bowl?
In Super Bowl LII, Tom Brady will be the oldest player to ever compete at a non-kicker position. Winning another Super Bowl at his age would be pretty remarkable. Tom could be announced the MVP for his regular season performance this year. A Patriots victory could cement the legacy of Belichick and Brady. On the flip side, rumors of a possible retirement by Tom Brady happening after the event. We could witness another Miracle in Minneapolis this year if Eagles pull off an upset. One thing is for sure, this Super Bowl is going to be historic. You won’t want to miss this.