Tonight, the NFL season officially comes to a close when the New England Patriots take on the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII. Kickoff time is scheduled for around 6:30 PM ET. Here is my official prediction for the game:
Super Bowl Game Information
Game: Philadelphia Eagles vs. New England Patriots
Date/Time: Sunday, February 4, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. ET
Location: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Television: NBC - Al Michaels & Cris Collinsworth
Odds: The Patriots are 4.5 point favorites, with the over/under at 49 points
National Anthem: Pink | America the Beautiful: Leslie Odom Jr.
Halftime Show: Justin Timberlake | Prop Bets
Post-Super Bowl Show: This is Us
Patriots vs. Eagles - 3 Storylines to Watch
1. The Underdog Eagles and Their QB: The Eagles finished the regular season at 13-3 and the No. 1 seed in the NFC. After getting a first-round bye, they survived a defensive battle against the defending NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons. Then, they obliterated the Minnesota Vikings, a team that had been the epitome of consistency throughout the year. When you look at their whole body of work, the team has earned their way to the Super Bowl.
The big reason they are underdogs is their starting quarterback, Nick Foles, who had big shoes to fill in taking over for the injured Carson Wentz at the end of the regular season. Foles had one fantastic season in his career back in 2013, when he threw for 27 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Things were rocky after that as both a starter and a backup between a couple of teams. This postseason, and particularly last week, he came alive. In two games, he’s completing 77.8% of his passes and has only taken 2 sacks without a single turnover. Can he keep it up, though, on the biggest stage of them all?
2. Nothing May Go as Expected: Who would have ever thought that the New England Patriots would be down 28-3 mid-way through the third quarter to the Atlanta Falcons last year? And then who could’ve seen the Patriots storming back to tie it at 28-28 with under a minute to go in regulation before putting the final dagger into the Falcons in overtime? Atlanta will forever be associated with 28-3 memes.
But a clear message by head coach Bill Belichick to his team this week must be to do whatever possible to avoid digging the hole they were in a year ago. If Plan A goes wrong, the Patriots will have Plans B through Z to work through to stop the bleeding. Will it work, though, against an Eagles defense that is playing better and faster than ever?
3. Brady & Belichick: Tom Brady has been to 8 Super Bowls, winning 5 of them, along with Bill Belichick. They are going for their 6th Super Bowl championship today, and neither one is past their prime despite how long they’ve been at it. But, is there any chance there is truth to the rumor that both of them will retire following tonight’s game?
Right now on @espn NFL Countdown it’s brought to light about what many in the league have been hearing which this game could possibly be both Bill Belichick and Tom Brady’s final games. Both could be hanging it up. Post game could be incredible tonight if this becomes truth.— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) February 4, 2018
For what it’s worth, Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen are both saying that Brady and Belichick will be back. None of this off-the-field noise has effect them too adversely, and I think that the Patriots will benefit from having been in a competitive game against a defensive team in the Jaguars during the AFC Championship. The added benefit? Rob Gronkowski is back for New England now.
Talking as a Browns Fan
There are plenty of former Browns players, coaches, or front office people on both teams, which you can review here. My main argument against the Patriots is that I’d hate to see Kenny Britt get a ring. I don’t have a rooting interest against New England, as I feel more of a respect vs. a disdain for them getting their so often. Part of me is rooting for the AFC too.
Something just feels wrong about Nick Foles being the one to win a Super Bowl for Philadelphia. I see him having a very pedestrian performance here, while the Patriots’ offense gameplans for some unforeseen weakness in the Eagles’ defense to neutralize them and take control of the game early.
New England Patriots - 27
Philadelphia Eagles - 20
Additionally, I’ll take Brady to be the MVP, the post-game poured drink to be clear, and for the pre-game National Anthem to last 2:15. Be sure to submit your own picks in our DBN Pick’em.