Super Bowl weekend is upon us and there are only two teams left in the hunt. The New England Patriots are fighting for ring number six when they take on the Philadelphia Eagles, who will be playing for their first Super Bowl trophy.
The Eagles’ victory over the Vikings will go down as one of the greatest in the franchise’s history. While Nick Foles is no Tom Brady, Foles shocked me with a trio of touchdown passes in the NFC Championship game against, what I believed, was the best defense in the NFL.
Yes, I couldn’t have been more wrong about the conference championship games. I never expected the Jaguars to give the Patriots that kind of problem in Foxboro. But when the dust settled, the annoying Pats were right where everyone thought they’d be.
So, what kind of game do I expect on Sunday? That answer is mired in the combination of Tom Brady’s offense in Super Bowls and the Eagles’ defense when they fly away from Philadelphia. TB12 plays somewhere between well and out of this world in Super Bowls. His worst statistical performance was 266 yards, 1 touchdown, 0 interception, 82.5 rating in a 2007 loss to the New York Giants. His highest rated Super Bowl was a 110.2 – ironically against Philly in 2004. Like him or not, Tom Brady is going to play well on Sunday and the Patriots are going to score.
The Philadelphia Eagles defense was 1 of the very best during the season. Maybe defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz got sick and tired of hearing about the Vikings D leading into the NFC Championship game. I don’t know.
Here’s what I do know: Take the Eagles out of Lincoln Financial Field in 2017 and points are scored against them. In fact, on the last road trip that the Eagles experienced, Eli Manning threw for 434 yards and the anemic Giants tallied 29 points. (Manning’s 2 best games in a forgettable season were against Philadelphia – 366 yards on September 24.) Seven days earlier, the Rams struck for 35 against the Eagles in Los Angeles. Throw in Philip Rivers’ 347-yard outburst in LA and a Kirk Cousins 300+ yard game and you see the point. Tom Brady and the Patriots are going to score with perfect conditions in the Minneapolis dome. They just are.
Will Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles’ offense be able to match them? Maybe… for a while.
Mitch’s Silly Prediction: Patriots 34 Eagles 24
(Since I don’t believe in parlays, give me a 3rd of my bankroll on the Patriots minus 4 ½, a 3rd on over 48 total, and a 3rd on the Patriots money line at minus 200)