The Super Bowl, the most watched event on American television but practically no foreign audience is less than two weeks away in Minneapolis. While many might just be watching the Super Bowl for the commercials or the halftime show, let’s focus in on the main event, the football. After slogging through the 16 week grind of the 2017-2018 NFL Season, 12 teams fought their way past the other 20 and into the playoffs in search of the Lombardi Trophy. This years’ playoffs featured everything from boring blowouts to last second heroics. Finally though, we are down to the final two teams, and I should take a look back at how both teams got here.
In the AFC comes the New England Patriots...yawn. Is anybody surprised that the Pats made their league leading tenth Super Bowl? The Patriots almost sleepwalked their way to a 13-3 regular season record and clinched another number one seed position going into the playoffs. Coming off their first-round bye, the Patriots easily continued on their path to the Super Bowl as the Tennessee Titans put up a lackluster effort in a 35-14 game. After the Steelers’ forgot they weren’t in New England already and collapsed to the Jaguars, Brady led his team on yet another late game comeback after trailing by double digits in the second half (Remember Super Bowl LI vs the Falcons?) against the Jacksonville Jaguars. QB Blake Bortles and the Jaguars played a fantastic game but still fell short to the Brady-Belichick juggernaut. Now, I’m not one for conspiracy theories, but New England was only penalized once in the game for 10 yards. Last time that happened in the playoffs? The 2011 AFC championship game between the Ravens and Patriots, and guess which team only had the one penalty. The sixth (yes sixth) Brady Super Bowl victory may be upon us, may we all hope he retires in the offseason.
The only remaining hope in the world to stop the Patriots, the last line of defense… is the Philadelphia Eagles… and without QB Carson Wentz. Coming off of wins against a mediocre Falcons squad and Case Keenum and the Vikings who came to Philly, laid a giant egg and then ran back to Minnesota to watch the Super Bowl from the stands of U.S. Bank Stadium, the Eagles hopes for a Super Bowl victory ride on QB Nick Foles, the backup who used to be the starter so he's not really a backup but was the backup to Wentz who tore his ACL in week 14 so now he's the starter again. Did you get all of that? The Eagles and Foles proved they can still dominate offensively like they had all year with Wentz against the #1 defense in the league Vikings. Plus, the weak point for the Patriots all year has been their defense, specifically their secondary. If the Eagles can exploit that, they might be able to outpace the Patriots for their first ever Super Bowl victory. Oh, did I not mention the Eagles are 0-2 in Super Bowl appearances? The Patriots, for comparison, are 6-4 in their 10 appearances (5-2 under Brady). With all odds stacked against them, will the Eagles finally do something
So there you have it, the Patriots and the Eagles will play for the Super Bowl February 4th in Minneapolis. While the two fanbases boast about their past successes and become the two most hated fan bases in the NFL (like they already weren’t), the rest of us have the duty to make our choice for who will win the Lombardi Trophy. While I’ll almost certainly be correct anyway, here’s hoping I jinx the Patriots, as I believe the Patriots will beat the Eagles handily 35-21. New England will celebrate again while the rest of the country begs for Brady to retire and never come back. Enjoy the game, everyone!