As a Boston native, I admit to being a complete homer for the New England Patriots.
I think it'll be a close game because the Patriots really only play close Super Bowls. Philadelphia lost ascending MVP candidate Carson Wentz to a torn ACL late in the season, giving way to backup quarterback Nick Foles this January.
"Brady, Gronk and Edelman and a lot of stuff from Super Bowl LI highlights", said Tasha Davies of New England Picture. From Deflategate to some humiliating losses in recent years, there is every reason to hate on the Patriots.
Anchored by the NFL's deepest front four, the aggressive Eagles defense ranks first in rushing yards allowed, fourth in total yards allowed and takeaways and ninth in opponents' passer rating. But what might matter most for Philadelphia's edge rush is depth.
For the Eagles, running back Wendell Smallwood, wide receiver Marcus Johnson, offensive lineman Will Beatty, defensive end Steven Means, defensive tackles Destiny Vaeao and Elijah Qualls and cornerback Sidney Jones were on the inactive list for Sunday. Even with a win in today's game, Belichick and Brady will still trail the seven titles won by Cleveland head coach Paul Brown and quarterback Otto Graham.
The Patriots have always been the perennial powerhouse of the AFC East, the team's singular stumble of any note coming in 2010 in a Divisional Round loss to the New York Jets in the "Can't Wait" game. "Our defense is better than their defense".
Gronkowski's presence on this list after his clearance from concussion protocol is obvious yet essential, as no other player confounds defenses quite like the four-time all-pro.
Brady versus the Eagles pass rush.
- Patrick Robinson's interception return for a touchdown in the NFC Championship Game was the second of his career.
As of Sunday morning, just over 50% of betting tickets wagered at online sportsbooks for this game are on the Eagles to cover the spread. Yet with Malcolm Butler and Stephon Gilmore manning the outside, Rowe's best option for finding the field has been to work on the inside.
Southgate, 47, developed an interest in the National Football League watching it on Channel 4 when he was growing up and remembers being enthralled by the Los Angeles Raiders running back Marcus Allen and the great 1985 Chicago Bears team. Agholor's change of direction skills and ability to pick up yards after the catch could prove problematic for Rowe. Two of those were TD tosses of 53 yards to Alshon Jeffery and 41 yards to Torrey Smith.
Super Bowl LII is nearly here, and between the AFC's New England Patriots and NFC's Philadelphia Eagles, most of the wager lines have been laid down and fixed for the most part of these past couple of weeks.
All week, everyone has been saying the key to beating the Patriots is stopping Tom Brady.