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Looking Ahead to Super Bowl LII

Photo Courtesy of St. Lawrence QRC
Written by Will Frangules

This Sunday, the Philadelphia Eagles will be heading to Minneapolis to take on the reigning champions, the New England Patriots, in a battle for the Lombardi Trophy. Both these teams were the number one seeds coming out of their respective conferences.

The New England Patriots are seeking their third Super Bowl title in four years and the Eagles will be looking to dethrone the empire of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, who have dominated the NFL since 2001 when the duo won their first title together. They have gone on to win four more titles, and now possibly a sixth.

The Eagles come into this game still searching for the franchise’s first Super Bowl title and revenge for their last super bowl appearance when the Patriots defeated them 24-21 back during the 2004 season.

Both teams have had interesting seasons, as the Patriots fought back against claims during the middle of the season when an ESPN article came out saying that the Patriots trio of Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and Robert Kraft were in the middle of a power struggle. This claim stems from questionable decisions made during the regular season, which include the trading of Brady’s backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and restrictions made towards Brady’s personal trainer Alex Guerrero and his access to the team, imposed by Belichick.

The Eagles season has been plagued by injuries as they lost their starting quarterback Carson Wentz to a torn ACL in Week 14. Other starters who suffered injuries during the season include running back Darren Sproles, starting cornerback Ronald Darby, special teams captain Chris Maragos, offensive tackle Jason Peters, as well as linebacker and defensive leader Jordan Hicks.

Despite these challenges, both teams went 13-3 in the regular season and are going to the Super Bowl. Both these teams have offensive firepower and suppressing defenses that match up evenly. The Patriots offense was ranked second in scoring with 28.7 points per game (ppg) and the Eagles third with 28.3 ppg.

The defenses also match up well, as the Eagles had the second ranked scoring defense, allowing opponents only 17.3 ppg, while the Patriots were fifth having only allowed 18.3 ppg.

The biggest storyline going into this game is the tale of the two quarterbacks. The GOAT Tom Brady, who continues to dominate defenses at age 40 versus Nick Foles, the journeyman backup who torched the No. 1 ranked Minnesota Vikings offense last week for 352 yards and three touchdowns.

Meanwhile, Brady slipped by the No. 1 ranked passing defense of Jacksonville for 290 yards and two fourth-quarter touchdowns to seal the win with another clutch performance. The coaching matchup pits Bill Belichick against second year head coach Doug Pederson, who has turned this Philadelphia team into a championship contender with his smart offensive mindset.

Right now, the Vegas odds have the Patriots as -4 point favorites over the Eagles. After the championship games, the line started at -5.5 but has gone down as many have placed money on the eagles taking the points. There have also been reports of multiple million-dollar bets favoring the Eagles to win the whole thing, which would result in a major payday should they pull an upset.

Will Brady and Belichick capture a sixth title and remain the kings of the NFL? Or will the Eagles dethrone football’s “Evil Empire?” Be sure to wear your team colors, gather your friends, buy lots of snacks, and tune into Super Bowl LII this Sunday, February 4, at 6:30 p.m. on NBC.

About the author

Will Frangules