By: Norman Castro
EBC Sports International
New York Bureau
Super Bowl LII will be contested this coming Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Defending champions, the New England Patriots look to solidify themselves as one of the best teams of all time. The Philadelphia Eagles look to make history and win their very first Super Bowl.
Both riveting story lines, but which will prevail? While superstition and analytics can be skewed to make one team win over the other, let’s look at the actual teams and players that will be playing for the Super Bowl title.
AFC Champions New England Patriots
An interesting fact about the Patriots is that they are undefeated while wearing their white road jerseys during their Super Bowl appearances. They are designated as the home team, but opt to wear the away white. Will the jerseys be the reason why the Patriots win?
The Patriots looks like the team to beat. One reason is they have the coaching as Bill Belichick is one of the most prepared coaches in the game. While many will speculate how much he tries to bend the rules to his advantage, no one can take away his football expertise.
Secondly, the accolades for Brady are second to none. Without too many high priority targets throughout his career, Brady still finds ways to move the ball down the field. He currently has the highest QBR (Quarterback Rating) in the current playoffs at 81.0 and has scored a good amount of points against what was considered the best defense in the Jacksonville Jaguars. The only question will be their defense. They haven’t really been tested during this postseason as both the Tennessee Titans and the Jaguars weren’t world beaters on the offensive side of the ball. Will they be able to contain the high-flying Eagles’ offense that found its rhythm in during the NFC Championship game against the Minnesota Vikings?
NFC Champions Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles high-powered offense is finally back. They surprised many with a rocket-like start to kick off the season and continued that momentum to earn the number one seed heading into the playoffs. They are now one game away from being Super Bowl Champions. Questions always existed throughout the season whether their offense can maintain their scoring capabilities.
Some were justified as they struggled toward the end of the season against teams that they should have beaten handedly. Then the torn ACL injury that Carson Wentz suffered against the Los Angeles Rams after diving for touchdown which ruled Wentz out for the season. Yet, here they are earning the number one seed which allowed them to rest and get more reps with their backup quarterback, Nick Foles. They will look to Alshon Jefferies on the outside, with LeGarrette Blount and Darren Sproles in the backfield to help Foles move the ball down the field and hopefully keep Brady off the field. The major question, can they score enough points to keep Brady off the field long enough not to catch back up?
There are so many factors to look at in the coming week, from pre-game interviews to preparations leading up to the big game. Both teams look solid and hungry, but only one team will reign victorious and be crowned as true champions of Super Bowl LII. (Eagle News)