The Eagles came out swinging against Minnesota, earning a 38-7 victory and the right to represent the NFC in Super Bowl 52. After using two weeks of preparation, Philadelphia looks to take down the vaunted New England Patriots who are making their 8th appearance in the big game during the Tom Brady era. Can the underdog Eagles earn their first Lombardi Trophy in franchise history? Here is the crew’s predictions for the game:
MATTHEW SCOTT (15-3)
This matchup between the Patriots and Eagles has been analyzed from so many different angles. Underdog vs Dynasty is the theme in Super Bowl 52 and rather than bore you with over analysis I’ll cut to the point. The Eagles must jump out to a huge lead. The Patriots have shown they can go down in the first half but come back in the second. However, what most teams don’t do when they get a huge lead is run. Go up big then run the clock in the second half. I think the birds will be able to do that and they’ll come out on top for their first super bowl win.
Final Prediction: Eagles 28, Patriots 24
TYLER EDGERTON (14-4)
What a ride it’s been. The Eagles have far exceeded expectations with Nick Foles at the helm and find themselves playing in the final game of the year. In order to bring the trophy to the City of Brotherly Love, a few things will need to occur. Aside from winning the turnover battle and controlling the clock, the Eagles must continue to have success in their Run-Pass-Option style offense. Foles has used this with great efficiency in the playoffs and New England will look to stop it. If Foles can throw for 2 touchdowns and not turn the ball over, I like the Eagles chances.
Defensively, the Eagles will look to stop the run and create pressure up the middle to get Brady moving. Expect the Pats to have Brady work out of the shotgun and still back up five steps, often dumping off to the underneath receiver or running back. I firmly believe the Eagles have the better all-around roster and can win this game, especially if they hold the Patriots to 20 points. However, because I have picked against them the last two weeks and it’s worked, ill stick too it hoping the opposite occurs.
Final Prediction: Eagles 23, Patriots 27
TYLAR POMROY (14-4)
If the Eagles want to win the Super Bowl they need to pressure Tom Brady early on. It’s almost impossible to win without sacking Brady because of his combination of experience and confidence. Eagles defensive end Chris Long is experienced and knows the Patriots’ offensive line having won a Super Bowl with the team last year. But it’s not only Chris Long who will be put to the test. The rest of the defensive line needs to put together a performance similar to how the Broncos attacked Brady in the 2016 AFC Championship (sacking him 4 times). On the offensive end, the main priority should be staying on the field. After putting up 38 points against the best defense in the league it seems as if scoring won’t be the issue. A key to success for Philadelphia’s offense will be keeping the New England secondary guessing throughout the game. Having a motion offense to trip up the Pats early could be enough to outsmart their coaching staff.
One problem that got the best of Atlanta last year was entering the second half. Whether they lost their momentum after the halftime show or not, the Patriots dominated the second half and came back from a 28-3 deficit to win the Super Bowl. Historically, New England is a fourth-quarter football team and it was most visible two weeks ago when they rallied against the Jaguars after being behind the entire game. These two incidents alone are enough evidence that the Eagles need to sustain their confidence on both sides of the field. Predicting this game has been harder than any other this season because of how unpredictable both teams wins have been all season long. New England may have the advantage but never count out the underdog. This game won’t be high scoring but expect an unbelievable outcome.
Final Prediction: Eagles 21, Patriots 17
JOHN PURIFICATO (14-4)
The Eagles have fought since training camp to make it to this game and through all the injuries, they will still represent the NFC and the city of Philadelphia on Sunday night. The will need to play a perfect game to beat the defending champion New England Patriots. The keys for the Eagles will be controlling time of possession on offense as doing so keeps Brady on the sidelines. Running the ball effectively is a must, helping to set up the RPOs and play actions as the Patriots corners will bite on play action. Nick Foles must protect the ball like he has done all postseason.
On defense, it’s all about knocking Tom Brady off his sport. The Eagles must force Tom to move side to side or backward, not allowing him to step up in the pocket. Jim Schwartz must get his pressure from the line without blitzing as the Patriots thrive against the extra man. On the back end, the Eagles corners must be disciplined against the Patriots wideouts who are very good route runners and can make the double move at any time. Eagles must watch the Patriots running backs catching the ball in the flat, something that Eagles struggled against in the playoffs.
All this being said, the Eagles have the better team on paper but with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, nothing comes easy. I truly believe this is the Eagles game, all week I have been going back and forth, but I can say this is not the fan in me talking, Philadelphia celebrates their first Superbowl.
Final Prediction: Eagles 24, Patriots 20
Brett Santos (11-7)
Playing against the best Quarterback and Coach in the history of the NFL is the hardest test the Eagles have faced this season in what happens to be the biggest game in team history. If the Eagles want to win this game, they will likely need to win both the turnover battle and make a big play on special teams. The difficulty comes in the fact that Tom Brady does not often throw interceptions and New England’s running backs rarely fumble the football. Brady is also one of the most dangerous quarterbacks to blitz against. This is a plus for the Eagles as they do not often blitz and are able to create pressure rushing four men. This game will be won or lost by how the Eagles defense performs.
I see the Eagles coming out and quickly building a lead on Patriots in the first half. While early leads are always a plus, Tom Brady’s ability to play from behind is second to none. I think the Patriots will make second half adjustments after being behind and come out of the halftime extended break strong. Do not expect this game to be a blowout on either side. The Patriots previous Super Bowl appearances have consistently resulted in close games win or lose. Personally, I find it very hard to pick against the Patriots in a game of this caliber.
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Final Prediction: Eagles 23, Patriots 27
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