The Advocate

Patriots. Eagles square off for 52nd Super Bowl

In their last meeting, the Eagles and Patriots played in the 2005 Super Bowl. Tom Brady is set to pass as the Eagles defense tries to get through the initial push of the offensive line for a sack. Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

In their last meeting, the Eagles and Patriots played in the 2005 Super Bowl. Tom Brady is set to pass as the Eagles defense tries to get through the initial push of the offensive line for a sack. Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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Boom! The confetti cannons sound at the end of the super bowl as both teams are congratulated on their effort but only one team is able to take home the historic Lombardi trophy. Fans are screaming, out of their seats and players give hugs to their teammates on an incredible season and the long journey they’ve been on together. Their coach is standing near the edge of the sideline, finally relieved of his duties and responsibilities for the season and finally able to break a soft grin and celebrate with his players what they had accomplished.

Three of his men come from behind with a large orange tub filled with aqueous gatorade, and they lift it over his head and dump it on top of their coach with a splash and a soaking ice cold bath. The team’s pride is showing on their faces as a glow of joy and excitement comes from their faces. They all huddle around their head coach and lift him up over their shoulders as they carry him over to the podium where they will be crowned as the champions of the world.

This moment in time is what every team yearns for this time of year, but only two get the chance to battle for all the marbles. This year those teams will be the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots. The Patriots have been to the Super Bowl in back to back years, last year beating the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in thrilling comeback fashion, even when the Falcons had a 28-3 lead going into the fourth quarter. Moral of the story? Never count out the greatest of all time, or G.O.A.T. as they say today, 40 year old Tom Brady. As Brady has shown us throughout his career, age is nothing but a number. He owns five championship rings, and the most playoff victories of all time. He also has the most wins out of any quarterback to ever play the game.

As for the Eagles, their season has been nothing but successful, except for a week before the the playoffs. In their last game against the Giants, 2nd year quarterback phenom Carson Wentz out of North Dakota State was taken out of the game in a serious injury. Doctors in the area later found out from a MRI that Wentz had torn his ACL. The city of brotherly love was in a frenzy to say the least to hear that their star quarterback would be out for the rest of the season.

Nick Foles and Nate Sudfeld were the only other quarterbacks left on the roster, and the last time Foles played for the Eagles, it was during the Chip Kelly days when they went to the playoffs and lost to the Saints in the first round. From then on, things went downhill for Foles. After Philadelphia, he was signed as a backup to Alex Smith with the Chiefs under old Eagles coach Andy Reid, but that situation backfired after the Chiefs added 10th overall pick Patrick Mahomes in the draft.

After that Foles jumped around to the Rams as well as other places before landing right back where he started. He got his chance to lead the Eagles into the playoffs, and to some surprise, he did not disappoint. In the divisional round against the Falcons, Foles through for 246 yards on 23 of 30 attempts. And if you think that’s surprising, in the NFC Championship Foles torched the Vikings top ranked defense, throwing for 352 yards and 3 touchdowns on 26 of 33 attempts passing. Now, he’s going on to play the game of his life in the Super Bowl, against one of the biggest dynasties that the sports world has ever seen.

The last time these two teams met, it was in 2005 when the Patriots beat the Donovan McNabb led eagles 24-21. The Eagles had the same record that season, 13-3, as they do this season. Maybe with a win they can rewrite the record books.

In this next game, look for the Eagles to come out firing on offense. For the Eagles to win the game, they must keep the Patriots scoring to a minimum offensively and get them off the field as much as possible. For the Patriots to win, they have to be able to disable Nick Foles’ throwing ability down the field and make him make short throws on the sidelines. Chunk yardage is just a recipe for disaster for the Patriots defense. Another thing to look for is if the Eagles get up on the Patriots with a big lead, don’t count them out of the game.

They’ve made comebacks before, most recently against the Jaguars when they were up 14-3 closing in on halftime. The Patriots marched down the field and scored at the end of the 2nd quarter, then trailing 14-10. That scoring drive might’ve been the key play of the game. Last year in the Super Bowl, the Falcons led the Patriots 28-3 going into the 4th quarter, almost impossible to comeback, but in overtime they pulled off the victory 34-28. In any case, look for Tom Brady’s experience to help his team engineer a victory in the clutch of a game. He’s done it before, and even at 40, he can do it again.

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