By Camille Liptak, Arts Editor
The Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots will battle on Sunday, Feb. 4, in what looks to be a David and Goliath-esque football Game.
We predict the Eagles will take the victory.
The buzz around the NFL involves the usual presupposition that because Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are heading to their 8th championship game, they are going to win.
Meanwhile Eagles’ head coach, Doug Pederson is feeling pressure from The City of Brotherly Love to bring home their first ever Championship. That’s a tall order when facing off against 7-time winners, Brady and Belichick.
Belichick is by and large considered the greatest NFL coach ever, and Brady is considered by many to be the greatest QB of all time.
Still, that doesn’t diminish the talent and strength of the Philadelphia Eagles.
According to NFL.com, the Eagles are 2nd in the regular season total defense statistic, giving up an average of only 307 YPG. Whereas Patriots rank just below them, giving up 320.5 YPG.
The only area New England surpasses Philadelphia is in Passing yards, racking up 317.5 YPG.
If you remember so far back as two weeks ago in the NFC Championship Game, when Philly’s D pressured Vikings’ QB Case Keenum to force a turnover, thus igniting Philly’s offense into the lead. They won that game 38-7.
And that’s usually how the Eagle’s do it: with a physical defense and competent play calling.
Many teams fare better when they are ahead, but Philly is particularly skilled at shutting opponents down early in the game. This tactic is true even when sans their MVP candidate, QB Carson Wentz.
A well-rounded roster further strengthens the Eagles’ chances of taking home the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
On the defensive side, there’s:
Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, and Vinny Curry, Defensive Ends and Tackles capable of clobbering Gronk, shunting Amendola, and blitzing Brady.
Offensively, Eagles have TE Zach Ertz, RB Jay Ajayi, WR Alshon Jeffery, all of whom have had impressive scoring records this season.
Additional Eagles’ players to keep a close eye on are RB, LeGarrette Blount, and DE Chris Long, both ex-Patriots.
Blount told the NY Daily News, “I don’t watch the Patriots, I don’t care about the Patriots,” calling his old New England teammates, “straight enemies.”
And so, this Sunday’s game is going to be a mix of traditional competitiveness, with a healthy side of provocation from the veteran dominated Philadelphia roster.
Will Brinson of CBS Sports is predicting a double-digit Eagles win against the Patriots, with Philadelphia scoring 28, and New England scoring 17.
However, given the regular season high-scoring record of the two teams, this seems too low. Plus, Patriots win and lose their games by a slimmer margin of 3-4 points (on average).
Expect something more along the lines of:
Eagles 35, Patriots 31