Super Bowl LII Preview
The Super Bowl, the biggest day in American Sports. Filled with your average dose of Tostitos and queso and other snacks along with the most boring 30 minute halftime show where the world's latest pop star jumps off the stadium's freaking roof. The best part about Super Bowl Sunday however is the commercials. Whether it'd be from Kia, Skittles, Budweiser, Doritos, or Avocados from Mexico, there is nothing better $5 million can't buy than a 30 second ad filled with comedy, celebrities, animals, and propaganda. If I had to pick my favorite Super Bowl commercial, it would probably have to be a tie with two commercials from Super Bowl 50. Those being the GoDaddy commercial with the panda in the car and the Budweiser "Give a Damn" commercial starring Helen Mirren.
But now onto to the matchup. My God this will be the most boring Super Bowl ever. The first one since Super Bowl XLIX where both teams have identical records (13-3). Those teams being the New England "pay off the refs so that Goodell gets on good terms with Robert Kraft" Patriots, and the Carson Wentzless Philadelphia Eagles. Now when you think of these teams in a Super Bowl the first thing that probably comes to mind is Super XXXIX. Back then, it was actually a watchable game. Donovan McNabb threw his first touchdown pass to get the first score of the game and go up 7-0. This actually did not come until the start of the second quarter. Funny thing enough, is that in both of the Patriots' last two Super Bowl victories, the game was tied at the end of the first quarter 0-0. Coincidence that this will happen on Sunday? I don't think so.
At the end of the third quarter, Super Bowl XXXIX was tied at 14 going into quarter number 4. You probably know what happens next. Tom Brady does GOAT-like things and puts up an amazing touchdown drive and in the final seconds on the Eagles' last drive of the game, Rodney Harrison intercepts Donovan McNabb and the Patriots become a dynasty. But no matter the outcome on Sunday, I have a theory that will blow all the fans' minds up. When the Patriots won Super Bowl XXXIX and become there whatever-dynasty, it took them 10 years to win their next one in Super Bowl XLIX. What does this mean for LII? Well the Patriots won three out of 4 in their "first" dynasty from 2001-2004 and if it happens on Sunday, they will win another 3 out of 4 and complete their "second" dynasty from 2014-2017.
What does this mean for the rest of the NFL? Goodell will just have to stop all of the greatness of Tom Brady and the Patriots by not paying the refs and giving favoritism to them and he'll have to wait another 10 years to give a 7th trophy to New England. If this does happen there will be a major shift of power in not just the league itself but in the AFC as well. Belichick and Brady will both retire and the New England Patriots will become the laughing stock of the NFL like they were before 2000. And if this does magically come to fruition, the only major powers in the AFC will be the Raiders, Broncos, and Steelers. Now I'm not saying to Chiefs fans that they are not a good team. It's just too bad you lost your best quarterback in Alex Smith in the Washington trade and it will be another 5 years before you guys make it back to the Postseason.
What's the underlying message here? If the Patriots have mini dynasties of 3 out of 4 Super Bowls that just means every time that happens, the AFC and NFL in general will not be fixed and be back to normal like it should've been. Speaking of, I'm going to go into a deep coma and when I wake up, I will be in an alternate universe where it will be an Eagles Jaguars Super Bowl. That way the entire country does not feel bad about this year's Big Game. What does this whole theory mean for the Eagles. Just go back to Super Bowl XXXVI. Patriots are underdogs against the "Greatest Show on Turf" and Tom Brady drives down the field for an Adam Vinatieri game-winning field goal at the buzzer. If the Eagles take down the big dogs in the Patriots, the Pats will have a similar feeling to the Rams in that that will be probably the final Super Bowl in Brady's career given his age and unprecedented success that will never happen again.
On to the real game. In a nutshell, this game will rely on the Eagles defense adapting to Bill Belichick's second half adjustments. Expect the eagles to go up at half in Super Bowl LII, then Brady and Belichick will make their usual adjustments. The key to stopping Brady for the Eagles was the same for the NFC Championship game in Minnesota, pressure Brady into throwing it in more time than he needs to and play Man-to-Man on Chris Hogan, Brandon Cooks, Danny Amendola, and Gronk. Do that and it will be a cake walk to the Lombardi. Let's just hope that they stop 3rd and 18's unlike what the Jaguars did in the AFC Championship.
As for the Eagles offense and Patriots defense, James Harrison will boost the D-line for some pressure and Patrick Chung and Malcom Butler will be there to break up big plays in the secondary. Nick Foles just needs to have an exact replica of a game like he did 2 Sundays ago and he'll be behind the rushing attack of LeGarrette Blount and Jay Ajayi. Expect each running back for the Eagles to have at least one rushing touchdown. They are the best rushing team in the NFL and it will be a tough test for New England's D-line.
For the final time, it's prediction time to see who will win the NFL Championship. This will end more like Super Bowl XLVI did. Nick Foles drives the Eagles for a game-sealing touchdown drive but not before Brady has two minutes to make history. Brady I imagine will be at the 45 yard line of Philly and he'll throw up a Hail Mary all to decide the fate of Super Bowl LII. Cooks, Hogan, Gronkowski are all there, but after a day of knocking down Brady's passes, Malcom Jenkins has his best pass defense when it matters most. It will be the same score as Super Bowl XLIX but not in New England's favor as this will be a sign that the dynasty of the New England Patriots will at last fall at the hands of the unlikely quarterback Nick Foles and on February 4, it will be the end of an era. The greatest era in NFL history.
Super Bowl LII Final: Eagles 28 Patriots 24
So now that the Patriots have gone to hell, what lies ahead of us in 2018? The AFC will have an entire new makeover of teams in the Postseason next year as I predict that the Broncos are the newest team to make it thanks to getting a veteran quarterback in either Case Keenum or Kirk Cousins. This will make them a contender once again as they will have to face a new breed of AFC squads if successful in making it to the Postseason. The teams that made it to the Playoffs this year that I do not see making it this year are the Bills and Vikings. Let's face it, the Bills are going to have another 18 year rebuild to the Playoffs and despite being the league's best defense this year, it won't be enough to carry them to another division title since all three of their quarterbacks are up for free agency this year.
And now to finish the year off, here are my predictions for who will win the divisions and getting into the Wild Cards.
AFC East: Patriots
AFC North: Ravens
AFC South: Jaguars
AFC West: Broncos/Raiders (Broncos get tiebreaker)
AFC Wild Cards: Titans, Steelers
NFC East: Eagles
NFC North: Packers
NFC South: Falcons
NFC West: Rams
NFC Wild Cards: Seahawks, Saints
32 teams, 1 Champion.
Next Stop, The ATL. 2/3/19