Ahh, the Super Bowl. After a mediocre season, filled with brutal injuries and catch rule drama, the big game has finally arrived. In one corner, we have the Patriots (what a surprise) led by superstar quarterback Tom Brady and human highlights-reel tight end Rob Gronkowski. In the other corner, we have an Eagles team lead by … Nick Foles? Wait, the same Nick Foles who threw for only 410 yards for the Chiefs last year? There’s definitely been a tear in the matrix. To top it all off, Foles is coming off a week where he threw for 352 yards and three touchdowns against one of the league’s best defenses in the Vikings. The Eagles also have a potent run game to complement Foles, led by Jay Ajayi. The offensive matchup will be decided by which Foles we see. Will it be the same guy from that Vikings game, or will we get the Foles who threw for just 163 yards with one touchdown and one interception against the Oakland Raiders in week 16? Only time will tell, but I think I have to give the edge to the Patriots in terms of raw offense.
In terms of how defense will play out, things will get much more interesting. The Patriots have some incredible playmakers such as Devin McCourty, who leads the team in postseason tackles. In terms of quarterback pressure, the team is above average, with 11 sacks shared between four players throughout the postseason, compared to three against the team. However, they struggle in pass coverage, with no interceptions this postseason. Also, the Pats need to figure out a way to contain Jay Ajayi, which could be tough without any run-stuffing defensive linemen. The Eagles, on the other hand, have one of the best defensive lines in all of football, highlighted by Fletcher Cox and Chris Long; this powerhouse lineup could make the difference if they manage to rattle Brady early on. The Eagles also have a great linebacker pair in Mychal Kendricks and Nigel Bradham. However, the Eagles could be vulnerable on the outsides, as their cornerbacks have not done much to inspire confidence and only have one interception between them.
This Super Bowl looks to be an offensive slugfest rather than a showdown of elite defenses. However, I do think defense will be the major caveat throughout the game and the Eagles have the defensive edge over the Patriots. If the front seven can get to Brady and shake him up, the Eagles chances rise dramatically. If they cannot, and the Patriots offensive line holds up the way it has been throughout the playoffs, then the Patriots will likely win the Super Bowl.
Now, the score. This is a really tough Super Bowl to predict because of all the “what ifs” involved. My best guess is that the Patriots will pull away early in the game, and will be up at halftime 17-7. I think that the Eagles will then pull the game close, but a final push from Brady and the Pats will (sadly) result in a 34-31 Patriots victory. Brady will be named the Super Bowl MVP, and this will be the final block that cements him as the greatest quarterback of all time. This will also cement Bill Belichick as the greatest head coach of all time. Final prediction, I promise: Nick Foles will have the game of his life and will be offered a massive contract to stay in Philly, which he will decline because he will not want to spend multiple seasons sitting behind Carson Wentz. He will go to the Browns to allow a younger starter to develop, or he will go to Miami as a replacement for Ryan Tannehill.
The Perennial wants to hear from the Pinewood community. What are your predictions? DM final score predictions to @therealpinewood to earn spirit points.