It’s 2005 all over again, as the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots are set to meet again on the biggest stage in professional sports. And in typical friendly, yet competitive nuance, Brandon and I don't necessarily see eye to eye about who will come out on top for Super Bowl LII this Sunday.
According to Chymere A.:
It’s easy to look at the Philadelphia Eagles, see a franchise that has never felt the rush of a Super Bowl win, and automatically conclude that they don’t stand a chance against a team that has won 5 with their current quarterback. It’s a fair argument, however, this wouldn’t be the first time in Super Bowl history that a team as polarizing as the New England Patriots has been defeated by the underdog. Think back to Super Bowl XXXII when the AFC Denver Broncos claimed victory against their more favored opponents, Green Bay Packers, even though they had never won a Super Bowl title. An even better comparison, which looks more along the lines of what we’ll be tuning into this Sunday, is Super Bowl XLII in 2008 when the 10-6 regular season Giants defeated the undefeated Patriots and hadn't won a playoff game in the 7 years prior.
Who expected that to happen?
That leads me to discuss why my choice hasn’t wavered, pretty much since week 11. Even as the team considered to be the worst team in the playoffs and underdogs in their own stadium, the Eagles have something special coming into this year’s Super Bowl. The biggest contention I’ve picked up on is that Philly just doesn’t know what it’s like to be in that position, let alone go up against a team with as many SB accolades as the Patriots. I do think that the Eagles are fully aware of who they are going up against. I also believe they are prepared to not only face the challenge but surpass all the expectations that has been laid before them all playoffs. Although I don’t think it’ll be a complete blowout, I definitely see the Eagles securing the win. And we should all know by now that there’s a first time for everything.
According to B. Braxton:
It's definitely déjà vu...and a couple times over for New England. The Patriots are back in the Super Bowl and the world (outside of northeast of America) have joined together in praying for their demise. I’ve got some bad news for a lot of people: The Patriots are winning this Sunday. The offense is clicking, ranking in the top five in points per game, total yards and passing yards. Unlike earlier seasons, the running game is solid this year, ranking in the top ten per game.
But I’m going to be honest, the numbers don’t even really favor the Patriots. The defensive numbers for the Patriots look ok at surface (top five in points allowed) but a deeper dive shows that they are bottom dwellers in terms of yards allowed in every category. And even with that, there is one huge reason I’m riding with the Patriots this Sunday: the dynamic duo of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. You can prepare for a football game all you want, but you can’t casually prepare for the biggest football game of the year. The Super Bowl is an experience and the magnitude of the moment has a way of taking even the most seasoned veterans and leaving them rattled. Doug Pederson and Nick Foles will be making their debuts in the big game and there isn’t a guarantee that they’ll adapt to the pressure. But Tom and Bill have been here seven times. They know what it takes to win, and they know how it feels to lose. This game also has some historical impact on the line. With a win, the Patriots would have the magic number of 6 championships, tying the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most championships in league history.
As much as I would love for the Eagles to win this year and be able to rub it in the faces of a certain Texas based football team’s fanbase, I’d have to be crazy to bet against not one, but TWO G.O.A.T.s.
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