Contributor Predictions: Super Bowl
Karlie Habitz, Sports Contributor, Prediction: Eagles win 30-24
This year’s Super Bowl will for sure be a interesting one to watch. You have hands down one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, Tom Brady of the New England Patriots, going against a usual benchwarmer, Nick Foles of the Philadelphia Eagles. Will the the “greatest of all time” get the title, or the underdog? As always I’m going for the underdog. Not only do I see heart in this kid, I see heart in his team.The Eagles had a come-from-nothing season, and now they are in the Super Bowl.
Foles does not have a lot of experience playing successfully in the NFL but he has Alshon Jeffery at Wide Receiver who was a pick up from the Chicago Bears this off season. Jeffery has been able to come up big for this offense who has 2 TDs and 146 yards so far this postseason. Foles has another big target for his offensive line, Zach Ertz standing at six-feet-five as a tight end. Having his size and Jeffery’s veteran knowledge of the game Foles has people to rely on.
With Chris Long, defensive end, leading the defense for the Eagles there is quiet the intimidation factor. Long has been coming out wearing a dog mask in recent games, calling his D-line the “doghouse.” Much like a dog house you have a defense with a doglike mentality ready to destroy anyone holding their bone (Brady and that football). As the saying goes, defense wins championships, and this defense is championship like.
The Eagles not worrying about their defense won’t be hard with the Patriots’ chemistry falling apart and their big man Gronkowski, Tight End, still out with a concussion. Gronkowski is probable for a return but has been their main driving force all season with the torn ACL from Wide Receiver Julian Edelman in August.
There have also been rumors swirling of power-hungry arguments between Brady and legendary Bill Belichick; how will they be able to perform? Power-hungry and secretive with a mysterious cover up to Brady’s right hand. It has been known that Brady recently had to get stitches; will this also influence his performance?
With the turmoil that seems to be circling the Patriots offense I feel it will be a challenge for them to gain momentum going against one of the best defenses in the league. Not only do the Eagles have a strong defense but their main engine, Long, was also a Patriot last season and knows the Patriots offense. Being able to have insight from an old team and winning a championship with them is extremely helpful to the Eagles.
There is more knowledge and experience in the Super Bowl with the New England Patriots, but like every successful dynasty in history there is a collapse. This year heart will outweigh the brain. The Patriots and their empire will fall and among all the rubble an Eagle will fly high above.
Victor Herrera, Sports Contributor, Prediction: Patriots win 27-24
The New England Patriots are headed to the Super Bowl once again, for the tenth time in franchise history (5-4), eighth in Quarterback Tom Brady’s career (5-2).
They will be going up against the surprising yet underrated Philadelphia Eagles who will be playing in their 3rd Super Bowl in franchise history (0-2).
This Super Bowl is going to be another one for the ages. Both teams carry an electrifying offense, on the ground and in the air, and a stingy defense from top to bottom.
The Patriots offense was ranked 1st in the league in total yards with 394.2 yards a game, 2nd in passing with 276.1 passing yards a game, and 10th in rushing with 118.1 rushing yards a game.
That’s an elite offense considering they were without their #1 WR Julian Edelman the whole season due to a torn ACL and their starting Right Tackle Marcus Cannon who was placed on IR since week 9 due to ankle/foot injuries.
The Eagles, on the other hand, are right up there with the Patriots offense.
Eagles were 7th in total yards with 365.8, 13th in passing with 233.6, and the 3rd best rushing attack in the league, in regards to total rushing yards a game with 132.2.
Coincidentally, both teams are tied for 2nd in points per game with 28.6, and both in the top 10 in 3rd down percentage.
Eagles backup QB Nick Foles has been carrying the torch pretty well since the Eagles lost their starting QB Carson Wentz for the season, with a torn left ACL that he suffered in Week 14.
Patriots have the edge on offense, but probably not on the defensive side of the ball.
The Patriots defense was atrocious the first 4 weeks of the season (allowed 32 ppg), but since then, they have been arguably the best defense in the league, allowing the least amount of points in the NFL with 14.
Based off of total yards allowed, rushing yards allowed, total points allowed (18.4) and 3rd down percentage, the Eagles underrated defense, that no one seems to talk about it, are ranked in the top 5 in each of those categories with only passing yards allowed coming in at 17th. This is where they will be tested going up against the Brady led offense.
As for the Patriots defense, it’s the opposite. Based off of those same categories, they are all ranked under 20th in the league, except for the points allowed category, where they are ranked 5th (18.5).
This team is really considered as the “bend-but-don’t-break” defense, allow a ton of yards but not too many points. Games are decided by points, not yards, and this is where they get their title from, which is something the Patriots have been able to excel at since last year.
Edge on defense, goes to the Eagles, sort of.
Not only are the Eagles going up against arguably the best QB of all time in Tom Brady and the Patriots, they are also going up against arguably the greatest coach of all time, Bill Belichick.
With these two together, they have won the Super Bowl twice in the last three years, and five all together. The most Super Bowls amongst a coach and QB together in NFL history.
Who will win the Super Bowl? At the end of the day, my prediction goes to the Patriots for these three obvious reasons.
One being Tom Brady. Not only does Brady have the most Super Bowl titles by a quarterback in NFL history with five (no other QB has more than four), but he holds almost every record in the Super Bowl, let alone in the postseason.
He leads in most passes completed, most pass attempts, most yards, most touchdowns, most titles, most 4th quarter comebacks and most Super Bowl MVPs in NFL history. Anything else?
Last year, Brady also played in the greatest Super Bowl comeback in NFL history. He has been known as being one of the most clutch QB’s of all time, if he isn’t already.
Second, Bill Belichick. If there is a coach who has the knowledge and is known to be the greatest ever in situational football, it’s Belichick. Belichick’s team tends to make less mistakes than the opposing team more times than not, and when it comes down to crunch time, clock management and having game plans ready for the offense, defense, and even special teams, Belichick prepares his team the best under the most crucial time in games.
With 2 weeks in between the AFC Championship game against the Jaguars (another stellar comeback from the Patriots) and the Super Bowl, that gives Brady, Belichick and the Patriots more than enough time to prepare for the game.
Third and final reason, experience. When it comes down to experience, it is obvious which team has been there, done that more times, and it’s not even close.
Last year, the Atlanta Falcons were the less experienced team in the Super Bowl. In the AFC Championship game this year, it was the Jaguars, and in 2014, the Seattle Seahawks; all resulted in a loss.
This isn’t to say it will also happen to the Eagles, but if history repeats itself, we all know what the outcome will be.
The Eagles haven’t faced a coach like Belichick, a quarterback such as Brady, and a team of the stature of the Patriots.
The Eagles are very underrated and are the underdogs, entering this game, which could help them play harder and better. Many believe this will be a blow out with the Patriots handily predicted to win by 4.5 points. That’s one of the highest predicted point differential in a Super Bowl game in NFL history.
I think it will be a lot closer than that, Eagles are young and hungry and aren’t an easy team to face for the obvious reasons I mentioned, where their offense and defense are ranked high in the NFL.
They have the defense to counter the Patriots offense for the most part, and the run game to possibly milk the clock and try to keep Brady off the field. Their downfall will be the lack of experience in the Super Bowl, by their quarterback Foles and not Wentz, secondary isn’t the scariest Brady has faced (look at the Jaguars D with Jalen Ramsey and A.J Bouye) and they are facing Brady, Belichick and the Patriots clutch factor on defense and offense.
Justin Vigil, Sports Contributor, Prediction: Patriots win 33-30
While the Patriot’s path to Super Bowl LII would definitely appear easier than that of the opposing Eagles, it is hard pick against a team in its second dynasty in less than 20 years.
Quarterback Tom Brady has had impressive starts against a solid Tennessee defense and the surprise of the year Jacksonville defense. Brady does not seem to be missing a beat at age 40 entering his eighth Super Bowl game.
This game should not be a runaway by any means. Philadelphia’s defense has proven strong and stood tall dethroning the reigning MVP Matt Ryan and NFC Champion Falcons as well as an impressive blow-out win against the Minnesota Vikings.
However, the Eagles persevered this year and kept battling after just about everyone counted them out when quarterback Carson Wentz tore his ACL week 14. The pressure now falls on the shoulders of quarterback Nick Foles. The former starter still holds the record for most touchdown passes thrown in a game with seven. Foles has proven he is more than just a serviceable backup in his few games a starter this season and the team’s Super Bowl path has not tarnished without Wentz.
Foles will enter the biggest game of his life Sunday while Brady enters one of the eight biggest games of his Hall of Fame career.
This game will be decided by defenses getting to the quarterback and as good as Foles has been the Eagles line will be put the test as New England’s defense has already registered 11 sacks this post-season while Philadelphia has tallied four.