MAX CURTIN, TEDDY AUMAN REVIEW–
Survive and advance.
In many cases, this mantra epitomizes professional sports. Undoubtedly, the final two NFL teams standing this year have withstood more than their fair shares of obstacles throughout the season. To sit atop their respective conferences at year’s end is one thing, but to defend home field advantage throughout the playoffs and reach the Super Bowl is a truly remarkable accomplishment worth being proud of.
Please don’t be mistaken. The New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles are not satisfied with just reaching Super Bowl LII. Each of these teams expect to leave Minneapolis on the eve of February 4 as world champions.
We have already been treated to some unforgettable moments thus far in the preliminary rounds of this year’s playoffs. Regardless of who your allegiances may lie with, football fans around the world ought to prepare themselves for a thrilling match-up when the two best teams in the league finally take the field.
Who better than to preview the matchup than fans of the two teams? We will give you our reasoning for why our respective teams will come out on top. After hearing thoughts, you can decide for yourself which side you will be taking.
Why the Patriots Will Win
You either love them or you hate them. There is no in between when it comes to the galvanizing duo of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, arguably the greatest head coach and quarterback pair of all time.
For years now, the rest of the world outside of New England has sat back in agony, waiting for Brady to slow down, and much to their displeasure, he has only gotten better. A 25-point comeback win over the Atlanta Falcons in last year’s Super Bowl — Brady’s unprecedented fifth championship title — serves as a friendly reminder that you cannot count the Patriots out of any game as long as #12 is still suiting up.
But why is this year’s Patriots team going to capture their third Super Bowl title in the past four seasons?
In Brady’s recently released Facebook Watch Documentary, “Tom vs. Time,” he issues the following warning to his competitors.
“If you’re [going to] compete against me, you better be willing to give up your life…because I’m giving up mine.”
The former sixth round draft pick out of The University of Michigan has spent his entire football career proving doubters wrong. Predictably, sports pundits and football fans everywhere insist that this is the year. Before the season, they all said 2017 would be the year that Brady’s 40 year-old body will finally crumble, and his reign atop the league would come to a crashing halt.
Instead, Brady led the the NFL with 4,577 passing yards along with a staggering 32 passing touchdowns, according to ESPN. It looks like the 40 year-old has all but wrapped up his third regular season MVP award, but that is the last thing on his mind with Super Bowl LII just around the corner.
When all is said and done, the Patriots defense will make just enough plays to keep Brady and the offense within striking distance. And if you know anything about head coach Bill Belichick, you know that the Patriots will be prepared to make plays on special teams.
I will take Brady and the league’s best offense to come out on top over this talented but unproven Eagles team. There isn’t another player on this planet that I would rather have pulling the trigger with the game on the line than Tom Brady, and that is likely what it will all come down to.
Why the Eagles Will Win
The date is February 6, 2004. The Philadelphia Eagles have the opportunity to close out their first ever Super Bowl win. The score is tied at 21-21 late in the fourth quarter against, you guessed it, these same New England Patriots.
As the clock winds down, New England attempts a last-minute field goal. With the swing of a leg, the ball lands perfectly through the goalposts The Eagles have just lost their second Super Bowl.
Over the course of the next 13 years there will be two coaching changes, six playoff appearances and zero Super Bowl appearances.
It is now the 2017-2018 season and this is the year that everything finally changed for the Eagles. With high hopes invested in franchise quarterback Carson Wentz, general manager Howie Roseman decided to make some major offseason acquisitions prior to the season’s start.
One word to describe the story of the 2017 Eagles is “destiny.” This destiny was evident throughout the season after they suffered the loss of superstar quarterback Carson Wentz, veteran running back Darren Sproles and many others that played major roles.
Despite these injuries, the Eagles were still incredibly successful this season. They finished 13-3 during the regular season (a record good enough to secure home-field advantage in the NFC), an NFC East division title, and after two playoff wins, they have finally earned a Super Bowl rematch with the New England Patriots.
If there is a defense in football that can stop Tom Brady, it’s probably Philadelphia’s. They rank second in points allowed on the season. The combination of their pass rush and their strong secondary will definitely put pressure on Brady.
No matter the odds or spread against the Eagles, you can count on this team to come out firing and bring home the city of brotherly love its first championship since 2008.