The end of the 2017-18 NFL season is upon us. 32 teams battled it out over the course of 17 weeks in the regular season to determine who gets to the playoffs and a shot at the Super Bowl. When the dust settled, one team from each conference stood above the rest. This time, it will be the New England Patriots against the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl 52.
Everyone has their opinion on who will win the Super Bowl and why that team will win. We figured we might as well share our thoughts on the subject. Here are our picks on who will win Super Bowl 52 and our reasoning behind it.
Super Bowl 52 Predictions
winner: New England Patriots
I knew how the ending of the AFC Championship game was gonna go. The Jacksonville Jaguars were up 10 in the fourth quarter and they just needed a few things to go their way. But how many times have we seen this same story before? Tom Brady catches fire, leads the Patriots to victory, and secures his eighth trip to the Super Bowl. Brady’s coolness under pressure is why he will be competing in the Super Bowl for the eighth time.
Whoever the “hot” team came out of the NFC, head coach Bill Belichick has found a way to adjust his team at the half. Belichick’s ability to make the right changes for the second half is matched by no one else in the NFL. It is why they came back from a 28-3 deficit in last year’s Super Bowl. It is why they came back against the Jaguars to get here.
The Jaguars had a solid defense, and so do the Eagles. Their ability to put pressure on the quarterback with just a four-man rush and drop back into coverage is a big reason why they are here. Nick Foles played a great game against the Vikings in the NFC Championship game, but I am more confident in the experience and calmness of Brady than I am in Foles or the Eagles defense. I feel like this game will come down to the final seconds. If the ball ends up in Brady’s hands for those last seconds, then get ready for another Patriots Super Bowl victory.
winner: Philadelphia Eagles
All of America assumes the Patriots are going to walk away with the Lombardi Trophy again this Sunday night. Why shouldn’t they? It’s the Patriots. They have Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. The Patriots are coming off another comeback win in the AFC Championship Game. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
The Eagles have a good defense and so did the Jaguars. Talent wise the Jaguars take the cake in maybe all of the NFL. But, football isn’t played on paper and the Eagles are more equipped to handle the Patriots’ precise and efficient offense and they’re simply better, more physical, think 2012 Giants’ defense (We all know how that ended). Tom Brady will be hit, often and the Eagles have enough depth to looked gassed as the Jaguars did two weeks ago and as the Falcons looked in last year’s Super Bowl. The Eagles secondary features quick, twitchy and big corners who will pose a problem for the Patriots’ miniature receivers.
The Eagles also run the ball. Yes, so did Jacksonville, but not as well and not in the way the Eagles do. The Eagles feature a more modern style run game that should threaten a Patriots’ defense that lacks an elite threat on the edges of their defense to slow down the Doug Peterson’s run-pass options. The Patriots won’t be able to circle a running back and focus their resources on stopping him. The Eagles have handed the ball to multiple running backs, wide receivers and feature Trey Burton who was a college quarterback that ran the wildcat. The running game options are endless. That brings me to Nick Foles.
Foles was considered the weak link when Carson Wentz went down late in the year with a torn ACL, now he provides the Eagles with an X factor. The run-pass options are something the Patriots seem to struggle with (see Carolina Panthers game in week four). Cam Newton who also is known for using ‘RPOs’ lit the Patriots up for 316 passing along with three touchdowns and 44 yards and a touchdown on the ground. If Foles doesn’t turn the ball over, there will be plays available as they were against the Vikings.
It will be high scoring, Brady will make plays, but the Eagles have the power to last the way no team in the AFC could and they will not be intimidated by the atmosphere.
winner: Philadelphia Eagles
What is a dynasty? A dynasty is something that was built on greatness and hard work and will be remembered forever. Keyword “remembered”. All good things must end and the New England dominance is no different.
Tom is old, playing great but old none the less. Wouldn’t it be great if Tom and Bill handed off the torch to Doug Peterson and his star Carson Wentz? If Nick Foles shifted from afterthought back-up to champion of a city? This game could be a turning point in NFL history if it plays out the way I think, the shift of power in the NFL is heading out of New England and down to Philly.
I won’t hold regular season stats over the Pats because to be fair, they are a different monster in the postseason. That being said the Pats have let up 11 sacks this postseason, that’s including six to a mediocre Titans defense. This D-line is good and deep if the Pats have to commit two men to Fletcher Cox whos helping on Jernigan? Whos handling a fresh Chris Long in the fourth quarter? The skill and depth on this line may be too much for even Belichick to scheme around. Just like in 2012 these Eagles will get a hand on Brady and even the greatest quarterback ever will crumble.
Now on the flip side, the Pats have only sacked the QB three times. The only weakness on that Philadelphia O-line is back up Viatai who has played solid football this postseason. I truly believe this game will come down to what Philly does with the time of possession. Tom can’t win the game if he doesn’t have the ball and with bruisers like Blount and Ajayi the Eagles can look forward to holding the ball for another 35 minutes like two weeks ago. If Nick Foles plays with the confidence he showed in the NFC Championship the Eagles WILL walk away with the game and their first Super Bowl in NFL history.
winner: New England Patriots
If you match up the rosters against each other, the Philadelphia Eagles would seemingly have the advantage at virtually every position, except quarterback, tight end (as long as Rob Gronkowski plays), and head coach (if that counts as a “position”). But those three spots may prove the most important.
The Eagles don’t have an answer for Gronk. Does anybody really? Their best defense against one of the greatest tight ends of all-time may rest entirely on if they can get pressure on one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time and sustain that pressure throughout the game without one of the greatest coaches of all-time devising a plan to stop it. Philadelphia has the personnel to get pressure all game, but even that may not be enough.
Jacksonville couldn’t have asked for much more in the AFC Championship game, but it didn’t matter. New England is so seasoned and unfazed by obstacles that I’m not sure there’s any lead Philadelphia could have that would get the Patriots rattled. And in a game with so many unique nuances (more stoppages, longer halftime, over-the-top pageantry), there’s value in having been there before. It’s hard to envision any scenario in which a second-year head coach and a second-string quarterback can upstage Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.