Super Bowl LII Preview: Dynasty vs Underdog


Nathan Swaffar, Reporter

The End of the NFL Season is here, and the Super Bowl is set for a rematch of Super Bowl 39 between the Patriots (what a surprise), and the surprise Philadelphia Eagles. Let’s talk about each of these team’s road to the Super Bowl.

The Patriots’ road to glory began in Foxborough on a mild night. They were opening the season vs the Kansas City Chiefs and found out that they weren’t invincible, getting beat by the Chiefs led by Alex Smith and Kareem Hunt. They would get out to a 2-2 start, but would then only lose one more game for the rest of the season. They earned the number one seed in the AFC and were looking good to make their seventh straight AFC Championship Appearance. To say the least; they did it with relative ease. They dominated the Titans, led by Marcus Mariota, by a score of 35-14. Coming into Championship week, though, questions circled around Tom Brady and his hurt throwing hand. He put those rumors to rest though after another typical Tom Brady fourth quarter throwing for two touchdowns and leading the Patriots to their second straight big game.

The Eagles came into the season looking skeptical and maybe at the very most being a Wild Card team. Through eleven games, though, they were easily considered a contender. They got off to a 10-1 start, thanks to MVP candidate, Carson Wentz. Everything was looking bright in Philly until Wentz tore his ACL and Nick Foles had to become the starter. Many Eagles fans became unconfident in Foles to lead them to the promised land. Foles is doing it though even with a rough end to the season. The Eagles had a tough time beating the Falcons looking to avenge their Super Bowl loss the year before, but in the end, they pulled it out. Then in NFC Championship, they faced Case Keenum and the Vikings. Led by their modern day version of the Purple People Eaters, they sure didn’t play like them. Foles torched the secondary with long pass plays that would lead to the Vikes’ downfall and send the Eagles to their third Super Bowl.

Now let’s see how the two matchup. The Patriots have had trouble with defenses who rush four, something that Philly excels at. If the Patriots are to repeat, they must get Foles to turn the ball over on multiple occasions. If they get a positive turnover differential, Bill Belichick led teams are 159-15. A difference maker on the Patriots might not be Tom Brady, but Danny¬†Amendola. Amendola has racked up 196 yards, two touchdowns, on 18 catches this postseason. He could be a problem for the Eagles if they can’t find a way to stop him or rush Tom Brady.

The Eagles may be the biggest underdog in the Super Bowl for since 2009. As mentioned before, the Eagles need pressure on Brady. Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham need to have big games. The biggest player for the Eagles is not Foles or Jay Ajayi, it will have to be Malcolm Jenkins. He will have to cover Rob Gronkowski many times and have to shut him down, while also defending the new found deep passing abilities of Foles.

Now for my predictions. I think this game will be close and will be a defensive game, but in the end, Brady will lead the Pats in the fourth quarter and win his fifth ring.

Patriots over the Eagles 27-17, Tom Brady is MVP.