It’s that time of year again. You know what I mean, it’s time for the conspiracy theorists to come out of the woodwork to claim that the Patriots win because the games are fixed for them. If you are one of those that believe that the game is fixed, why are you going to watch the game? If it’s fixed what’s the point? The point is people always want to try to tear down a winner. And don’t forget they are jealous because the Patriots have had the greatest run in NFL history. If you are choosing to not watch this game because of that reason, well, you are a fool, because going in this looks like a toss-up game to me. Let’s look at the key factors in this game?
Belichick hands down is the greatest coach to ever walk an NFL sideline and because of that he tends to make other really good coaches do things they normally would not do. Look at last year’s Super Bowl with the Falcons up 28-3 and 18 minutes left to play. All Dan Quinn and the Falcons had to do was snap the ball with three seconds left on the clock and run the ball and the game would have been over. Instead, fear of the Patriots saw them continue to try to score and they were inexplicably snapping the ball with 15-20 seconds still left on the play clock.
Another example was this year’s AFC Championship game where the Jaguars did the opposite and went into a shell and played not to lose with a two-score lead. You can’t be afraid to lose against the Patriots.
I think Pederson is an excellent coach but I also thought the same thing about Dan Quinn going into last year’s Super Bowl and we all know how that ended up.
Yes, they can! They have a tremendous offensive line and an excellent running game. I expect that the Patriots will put extra guys in the box to slow down the Eagles rushing game, so really in effect, the Eagles ability to run the ball will hinge on quarterback Nick Foles having success through the air. If they can hit a deep ball or two, it will go along way to helping the run game and could lead the Eagles to victory.
This is the worst part about playing the Patriots because their gameplans and the use of available personnel is fluid from game to game. This makes it hard to look at the last four games and come up with something. No coach in NFL history has been as good as Belichick has at exploiting matchups in a game.
They don’t have Pro Bowlers all-around on offense but what the Patriots have been able to do is to incorporate quick passes to neutralize pass rushes against other opponents, and the combination of Dion Lewis, James White, and Rex Burkhead creates an incredibly difficult match-up for opposing lineups. New England can rely on winning these match-ups in the flat and that will eventually soften the pass rush, or the tight coverage, and force the Eagles to play more zone to slow the backs, which opens the floodgates for the rest of the passing offense. The old stand-by to beat the Patriots is pretty much the same, you have to get pressure up the middle to make Brady uncomfortable and to throw off the quick timing routes the Patriots love to use. Are the Eagles good enough on defense to do this? Yes they are!
Prediction: On paper, personnel wise, the Eagles have the better roster but I don’t think it’s good enough to blow the Patriots out. That is the problem, if you don’t put the Patriots away and the game is close Brady usually wins. It wouldn’t surprise me to see the Eagles win, but I am going with the Patriots. Patriots 31 Eagles 27
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