Well it’s that time of year again, a time for hot wings, funny commercials, and a game where nearly all of America is tuned into one television station. Millions of sports fans have watched the Patriots face whatever team happens to be matched with them.
Sure, New England is a name synonymous with February football, but can a strong Eagles offense be enough to stop a powerful four quarter appearance by the greatest QB in the world?
New England is not going to be the primary focus of this article.
We already know a lot of constants about their team. We have seen them so much in the post seasons of past years, that at some point, numbers, strategy, players, they all start to be meaningless when you consider the expert coaching by Belichick, and the excellent play calling from offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, and Matt Patricia.
They are a constant team, if they win, the organization will still be regarded as the best in the world. If they lose, they will still have much to brag about. Brady is 40, and it’s still remarkable that he can still play to this level. Despite his age, he has still shown that when Belicheck needs him, he’s there.
When you’re down by 20+ points, Brady is there. When you need to score 19 points in one quarter, and a touchdown in overtime, Brady is there, and at 40, he shows no signs of leaving.
The Eagles on the other hand, they are the exciting team to watch.
Nick Foles is an exciting player. After taking the reins following starter QB, Carson Wentz’s ACL injury, Foles has been nothing but clutch in the post season. He threw for 352 yards against a contending Vikings team, and he is certainly hitting his marks completing 26 out of his 33 passes.
Foles has shown he has the arm, he has the power, and he has the nerves to compete on a national stage in front of a loyal fan base. No one should count him out. He could definitely play against a New England defense, that nearly lost against the Jags in the AFC Championship game.
The Eagles definitely have a chance to win this one in Minnesota. When playing against the Pats, there are certain win conditions that must be achieved in order to hold them of and win. They have to ignore the scoreboard, and just play high-caliber football in all 4 quarters.
There is no lead safe from New England.
They have to capitalize off of mistakes by the Patriots offense. Brady rarely throws interceptions, but anything is possible on any given Sunday. After any turnover, they have to go deep. The defense is tired because they have just come off the field and they aren’t in rhythm. So throw the ball downfield, you might get a pass interference, or a big gain. Lastly, you have to eat the clock. Drives should be long-lasting.
The way you beat New England is by keeping #12 on the bench. The eagles have a decent run game, they’ve run about 100 yards between their games against the Vikings and the Falcons. Running will consume the clock, which is just what Philadelphia needs. They can utilize their tools on offense to keep Brady on the bench and score some points on offense. The Eagles can win this game, if they just play stellar football for 4 quarters. They need to play consistently well for 60 minutes and not a minute less.
Do I personally want the Eagles to win? Sure. Do I care? Not really. The Eagles have more to gain than the Patriots, but I also believe that the best team will win this game. Whether its New England or Philidelphia.
Let’s put this in baseball terms. The Yankees, going into the American League Championship Series, were picked as the favorites. They are arguably the most accomplished organization in all of sports, much like the Patriots legacy. The Astros were the underdogs that showed some promise, much like the Eagles. Eventually the ‘Stros outlasted the Yankees over 9 innings to go to the Championship game. I see a pattern here…
Note from the Editor: Schreiner will be hosting a SuperBowl Party Sunday at the Lion’s Den. Bring your A-Game and lucky charm to root for your team alongside other students, faculty, and staff.