The 2017-18 NFL season comes to a close on Sunday night as the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles face of in Super Bowl LII. The game is slated to start at 6:30 p.m. and can be found on NBC.
The Patriots come into the Super Bowl coming off a 24-20 comeback win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC Championship game. With 14:52 left in the fourth quarter, the Patriots trailed 20-10 following a Josh Lambo 43-yard field goal. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady then led the team on two touchdown drives, both ending with Brady finding Danny Amendola for a touchdown. The game-winner was a 4-yard Brady touchdown pass to Amendola with 2:48 remaining, sealing the second Super Bowl appearance in as many years for New England.
In the win over the Jaguars, Brady completed 26-of-38 passes for 290 yards and two touchdowns. Danny Amendola led the way in receiving , catching seven passes for 84 yards and two touchdowns. Against the Jaguars impressive defensive front, the Patriots failed to cement the run game, rushing for just 46 yards on 19 carries. The Eagles defensive front is just as impressive, so that could a place that Philadelphia could slow down this methodical New England offense on Sunday.
The Eagles come into Saturday’s game following a 38-7 blowout win over the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship game. After the Vikings scored on their opening possession, the Eagles scored 38 unanswered points to stamp their spot in the first Super Bowl since 2004.
In the win over the Vikings, Eagles quarterback Nick Foles had the game of his career. He completed 26-of-33 passes for 352 yards and three touchdowns. Zach Ertz led the team in receiving, catching eight passes for 93 yards. Jay Ajayi led the strong rushing attack, rushing for 73 yards on 18 carries. The ability to run the ball effectively helped the Eagles passing game open up. For the Patriots to be successful against this Eagles offense, they will need to slow down the Eagles run game and force Foles to beat them.
The key for the Patriots in this game will be slowing down the Eagles defensive line, especially Fletcher Cox, from getting pressure on Brady. Cox has combined for 26 tackles and 5.5 sacks this season while seemingly disrupting every offense he has faced this postseason. Brady has had trouble with interior defensive lineman that have have able to move the pocket back in the past. Brady’s favorite move to make in the pocket is to step up into it and if an interior defensive lineman is able to disrupt that, it will give Brady fits. If the Eagles are able pull off the upset, it will have to be behind the strong play of Cox.
New England will have its hands full on Sunday, facing one of the most motivated teams in recent history. Despite being the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs, the Eagles have been underdogs in each of their playoff matchups. Once again in Super Bowl LII, the Eagles are 4.5-point underdogs.
When: 6:30 p.m. EST
Where: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Odds: Patriots (-4.5)
— Use this as your open thread for the game.