The playoffs did not disappoint, and Big Game will be a great game, too!
It’s difficult to argue Tom Brady and the Patriots’ dynasty status. But the Eagles fought their way to the Super Bowl (through a tougher conference) without an MVP favorite under center.
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Now, onto our bold predictions for the Big Game.
In the battle of QBs Tom Brady vs. Nick Foles, here how they line up over their careers:
Career Best Seasons (min. 300 attempts)
Yards per Attempt: 9.1 (2013)
Passer Rating: 119.2 (2013)
Adjusted Yards per Attempt: 10.5 (2013)
Yards per Attempt: 8.6 (2011)
Passer Rating: 117.2 (2007)
Adjusted Yards per Attempt: 9.4 (2007)
Why the Eagles might win:
Imagine losing an MVP-caliber QB, Hall of Fame LT, a legendary RB, and starting MLB and making it to the Super Bowl. No Carson Wentz? No problem. Over the past 2 games, backup QB Nick Foles has completed 77.8% of his 63 pass attempts for 598 yards and 3 touchdowns and ZERO interceptions.
Look for Foles to throw a lot of balls in the slot. This sets up WR Nelson Agholor for a lot of looks. Former Eagles CB Eric Rowe said he is looking forward to matching up with Agholor in the slot. In this matchup, advantage Agholor.
Nick Foles holds the single-season record for adjusted yards per pass attempt.
- Nick Foles (2013) — 10.54
- Aaron Rodgers (2011) — 10.50
- Peyton Manning (2004) — 10.25
- Matt Ryan (2016) — 10.09
- Johnny Unitas (1964) — 9.62
QBs have been the MVP in 8 of the last 11 Super Bowls. Foles being MVP is a bargain bet I would take in a heartbeat for $100.
Fun Fact: Underdogs are 9-1 against the spread this postseason.
Even More Fun Fact: Doug Pederson beats Bill Belichick and the Patriots 19-10. Week 11, 2000.
Why the Patriots might win?
The Eagles scored an impressive 38 points in the NFC Championship against a tough Vikings defense, but the Pats defense has been fantastic in recent months and is clicking on all cylinders. The Pats have held opponents below their implied Vegas totals in a league-high 12 games. Since week 7, opponents have scored only 14.50 PPG.
I’ve said it before; Rob Gronkowski is arguably the best TE to ever play the game. He’s a mismatch nightmare. But this offense has weapons beyond Gronk. The Pats put up 24 points in the AFC Championship against the Jags even though they were without Gronk for over half the game. If the Eagles focus too much energy on covering Gronk, the field will be left wide open for other offensive players to get things done. Even with the Eagles’ superb rush defense, Dion Lewis will continue his strong play. I predict at least 1 TD and 50 yards.
Brady knows how to win. He has 5 TDs and ZERO interceptions over 2 playoff games.
Patriots offense vs Jim Schwartz defense (as DC or HC)
2002: TEN 24; NE 7
2003: NE 38; TEN 30
2003 PO: NE 17; TEN 14
2006: NE 40; TEN 23
2010: NE 45; DET 24
2014: NE 37; BUF 22
2014 BUF 17; NE 9 (Patriots rested starters in finale)
If you’ve been reading these recaps each week, you’ll have noticed I’ve been hot on the Eagles the whole time…and I’ve been right. I’m not giving up on them now. This is the year of the underdog. I’ve never seen a GOAT eat a DOG. Have you?
Eagles will win in a close game 24-21.