Without question, this iteration of the New England Patriots is the greatest dynasty and run of contention in football history.
When considering salary cap, injuries, and the like, it's difficult to see this being matched in the NFL again: until it is. Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and company, for now, have built a buzz-saw that no one has been able to touch for nearly two decades. That kind of dominance can leave a team bored when they're about to play in their ninth Super Bowl in the last 17 years. What else is there to accomplish or climb up?
From the flip side, the Philadelphia Eagles are one of the sport's classic downtrodden franchises.
Think of a horrific choke job in the postseason or an injury after a quality regular season, and the Eagles are in all likelihood involved. This time around, Doug Pederson's Eagles survived that injury, in the form of losing superstar quarterback Carson Wentz, to still make it to America's grandest sports stage. Whether they help Philadelphia forget the annals of a supposed curse franchise on Sunday in Minnesota remains to be seen.
Here are WCG's picks for Super Bowl LII between the Patriots and Eagles.
I suspect that this is a common refrain, but if the Eagles had Wentz, I’d pick them in a rout of the Patriots. Philadelphia was the best team in the NFL all season long and they’ve proven they could run roughshod over the NFC without their MVP-caliber quarterback. However, New Eng- no screw it.
I’ll go all in.
Doug Williams and Jeff Hostetler. Two names of quarterbacks that barely started (or didn’t at all) in the regular season of eventual Super Bowl champion teams. Add Nick Foles of the Eagles to this exclusive group.
Eagles 29 Patriots 26
Lester Wiltfong Jr.
Yet another close game for the Patriots in the Super Bowl, and in close games I’ll never bet against Brady. You give Belichick and his coaching staff two weeks to figure out how to stop Foles’ offense and how to attack the Philly defense, and I like New England’s chances.
Patriots 27 Eagles 24
No one believes in Foles, but I’m going with him and some history here: the league’s leading passer has never won the Super Bowl (Brady was the leader) and the best defense usually trumps the better offense (Eagles defense was fantastic all year). I think that the Eagles have that mojo working for them. I think they aren’t scared of their opponent, and so I think they will cover to win a close game. Philly defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz dials up the defense to stop Brady.
Eagles 31 Patriots 28
I don’t like It, but I think it’s a blow out.
Patriots 35 Eagles 17
Honestly, I can’t stand the Patriots. No other reason required.
Eagles 31 Patriots 27
It will all come down to the final two minutes of the game. Whoever is able to possess the ball during that time, will win. The Eagles’ defense has an edge in the red zone. Pederson’s offense is a bad matchup for the Patriots’ defense. And Foles has proven himself capable as the Eagle’s interim quarterback.
Eagles 30 Patriots 27
I want to pick the Eagles so badly here (never thought I’d ever type that sentence), but in the end, Brady is Brady. The Eagles will go halftime with a double-digit lead, and their defense will run amok on New England’s offense similar to the way Jacksonville did in the first half of the AFC championship game.
However, as was the case for the Jaguars, Brady will lead the Patriots to a late rally and pick up the victory with a touchdown to Rob Gronkowski late in the fourth quarter. I expect Foles to have a better game than most people expect, but he will ultimately fail to get the job done on a late two-minute drill.
Patriots 24 Eagles 20
I seem to recall the Patriots reaching the Super Bowl at least once before. The time I remember best, they had negative yards after the first quarter and lost 46 to 10. I see no reason to believe this time will be different, but I’ll say they improve slightly.
Other team 45 Patriots 11
WCG Contributors: Jeff Berckes; Patti Curl; Eric Christopher Duerrwaechter; Kev H; Sam Householder; Jacob Infante; Andrew Link; Ken Mitchell; Steven Schweickert; Jack Silverstein; EJ Snyder; Lester Wiltfong, Jr.; Robert Zeglinski; Like us on Facebook.