On Sunday, the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots match up in Minneapolis for Super Bowl 52, a rematch of their contest back in 2005. The players have changed (well except for one), but the schemes have relatively stayed the same. The Eagles still run a West Coast offense, thanks to Doug Pederson being an Andy Reid protege. The Patriots, still coached by Belichick, have changed the names on the back of the jerseys, but the roles have stayed the same. The Eagles continue the underdog role, being 4 1/2 point underdogs (opened at 6 1/2) against the defending champs. The Patriots are making their 8th Super Bowl visit (3rd in 4 years) in the Brady/Belichick tenure, going 5-2 in the previous 7 games. Here’s how we think the Pats and Birds match up on Sunday at 6:30.
Quarterback – Patriots
This one is obvious, while Nick Foles has played two tremendous playoff games, Tom Brady is the G.O.A.T. If Carson Wentz didn’t go down, this would be a completely different discussion. The Super Bowl experience alone, is enough to give him Brady the edge.
Running Back – Eagles
This is a close one, but the Eagles slightly edge the Patriots here. The 3 headed monster of Ajayi, Blount and Clement has been huge for the Eagles this year. The power running of Blount, has set up the pass catching by Ajayi and Clement. The biggest issue the Eagles are going to have tonight, is stopping the Patriots pass catching backs. The Patriots like to get Burkhead and Lewis out in space, the Eagles linebackers (Kendricks and Bradham) are going to have to have big games.
Wide Receiver – Push
This is another one that is close, but I couldn’t make a decision here. The Eagles WRs have played great all year, there’s not a single one you can take away because the other will hurt you. Just when you thought Torrey Smith was done, he had a huge game. Just like the Pats pass catching backs, the Eagles will have to stop the 3 different type of WRs they have. Chris Hogan, Danny Amendola, and Brandin Cooks can all easily beat you, if Brady is given enough time. The Eagles will need to limit the deep ball and speed of Cooks.
Tight End – Patriots
This is not taking anything away from the Eagles Tight Ends. Collectively, the Eagles are as deep as it gets at the position. With that being said, the Pats have Gronk, the best tight end in the game. If healthy, he will make a huge impact, something he has yet to do in a Super Bowl.
Offensive Line- Eagles
The Eagles win this one easily, they have one of the best lines in the league. They are weakest on the left side, Foles’ blind side. The Patriots are rather weak up front, and are going to have their hands full protecting Brady tonight.
Defensive Line – Eagles
Just like the OL, this one isn’t even close. The Eagles have the best DL in the game, and are deep as it gets as any team at any position in the league. They have stayed fresh rotating in players all year. The interior pressure of Coxs and Jernigan is going to give the Pats inside blockers a ton of trouble.
Linebackers – Eagles
Neither team is very strong at this position, as you’d typical see in a Super Bowl team. The Eagles Kendricks and Bradham will have a tough time covering the Pats RBs tonight, but they should have some help from safeties. The Patriots Kyle Van Noy is a really good player, they line him everywhere, keep an eye on 53.
Secondary – Eagles
The Eagles secondary has been red hot, so you have to give them the nod here. Malcolm Butler and Stephon Gilmore are great corners, but they’re pretty weak at safety. The Eagles secondary has made big plays, thanks in part to an elite pass rush. If the Eagles can get after Brady, these ball hawkers will jump routes, if not they could be beat overtop.
Special Teams – Eagles
The last time these teams matched up, the Eagles dominated on special teams. They have a really good unit on coverages and it wouldn’t surprise me to see them make a big play.
Coaching – Patriots
Congrats to Doug on a great year, I have to admit I had my doubts when he was hired. With that being said, it’s Bill Belichick, cmon.