It’s Super Bowl Sunday and this is a most unlikely pairing. Sure, the Patriots being here is no surprise but did any of you think that the Philadelphia Eagles would be here, especially after their starting quarterback was injured? No, you didn’t. This year has been a humbling year for me because I haven’t been right as often as I normally am. I learned that you can’t boycott the NFL and still pick the playoffs flawlessly. Who knew? But I have one more game and we shall see if this game goes according to script.
I will be the first to admit that I have not believed in the Philadelphia Eagles. I didn’t trust their backup quarterback. I didn’t trust their defense or their offense. I just didn’t trust them. But with each win, they have proven me wrong. The Philadelphia Eagles are a physical team. They ravished the Minnesota Vikings. It was an embarrassment. I sat there in utter disbelief. Nick Foles looked like a video game quarterback against Minnesota. It was unbelievable. He didn’t make one mistake. Not one. His passes were crisp. His decision making was brilliant and he looked like the best player on the field. Can he produce that stellar performance again? In the Super Bowl against Tom Brady, can he be the best player on field? There are two men that will be instrumental in helping the Philadelphia Eagles. They are Chris Long and LaGarrette Blount. These two men were on New England Patriots team last year and they understand the grit that it takes to win a championship. They know that you can win a championship by playing every single minute of the game. I expect LaGarrette Blount to have a field day. He will be responsible for at least 6 points.
Tom Brady is not fighting against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. He is fighting against his football legacy. He knows that he can’t play forever and stated he wants “two more Super Bowls.” That number is significant because it gives him one more championship than Michael Jordan. If you don’t think Tom Brady is thinking about his football immortality then you haven’t been paying attention. Brady doesn’t give up his body continually and sacrifice time with his family to squander these opportunities.
We all know the formula to stop Tom Brady. If you can disrupt him and put him on his back, you can beat Tom Brady. If you can disrupt his wide receivers and take away the New England entire ground game, then Tom Brady will lose. It is literally that simple. The problem is that while that’s the formula, it is difficult for teams to execute. If there was ever a team to beat the New England Patriots, this is that team. If the Eagles play the way they played against Minnesota Vikings, then they will beat the New England Patriots. But I have picked against Tom Brady when he is close to a championship and I can tell you, that is just not smart money. Greatness rises and if he can get at least one wide receiver to catch passes that will be a little behind them and make plays, the New England Patriots will win. The New England defense is going to have to create pressure and make the necessary adjustments during the game to stop the Eagles.
I would argue that the Philadelphia Eagles are built to beat the New England Patriots. They have a better defense. They have some key members on their team that understand what it’s like to win a championship. And they are motivated and hungry. They know that these opportunities are fleeting. They understand what it’s like to be told that they will lose and then play their best game. But even with all of that, it will not be enough. This game will not be pretty. It won’t. There will be blood. There will be a spattering of fights and some extremely questionable calls. But at the end of the day, I just can’t put my faith on an unproven quarterback. Nick, prove to me that you are trustworthy in the big moments.
Nick Foles has the ability to either be a footnote in history or be a spoiler. Can he win the game? I think he is fully capable of winning the game. But will Nick Foles win his first Super Bowl? No. I know that every fiber of being is saying to pick the Philadelphia Eagles. They are the smarter pick and on paper, they make more sense. But I am rolling with Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Hey, I have picked against the Eagles every week. I feel it’s only fitting to pick against them one more time.
Here’s to a great game!! Either way, we are watching history.
New England Patriots 36-28
Playoff record 6-4
(Source for this story was ESPN.com, Associated Press)
Alexis Sara Cobb may be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org or (724) 561-8082. Follow her on Twitter: @alexissara