Super Bowl 52 is only days away, and history will be made either way. If the New England Patriots win, they will tie the Pittsburgh Steelers with the most Super Bowl wins (6) by a franchise. If the Philadelphia Eagles win, they will capture their first Lombardi Trophy.
If the Eagles hope to pull the upset, they will need to do these three things:
1) Win the battle of the trenches
If the Eagles can get sustained pressure using their deep front four, they will give Brady and company fits. The Eagles do not have very good cover corners or linebackers, so it is crucial that they are able to drop seven and rush four, in order to make Brady hold on to the ball for the extra second the pass rush needs to get home.
On the other side of the ball, the Eagles have one of the most physical offensive lines in football. They pair that with two smash-mouth running backs, in midseason acquisition Jay Ajayi and former New England Patriots, LeGarrette Blount. The Eagles will not win if they can not establish the running game. If they are forced to drop back 40+ times with Nick Foles behind center, they will lose.
2) Win the turnover battle
It sounds simple, but if the Eagles turn over the ball, they have no shot. They simply do not have the quarterback that can overcome crucial turnovers.
The Eagles were tied for the fifth most fumbles in the league during the regular season, and both Ajayi and Blount seem to be fumbles waiting to happen. Not to mention Foles has one of the slowest releases in the league, and the Patriots pass rush has been heating up in the month of January.
If the Eagles play turnover-free offense, and are able to force a turnover or two on defense, they have a punchers’ chance.
3) Don’t keep it close
If it is a one possession game with five minutes left, I have no faith in head coach Doug Pederson and Nick Foles to outmanage/outquarterback Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. Just look at the last two Super Bowls the Patriots have played in to see how much opponents puke down their shirt when facing the Patriots in the Super Bowl.
The Eagles will need to have multiple wrinkles in their game plan in both the first and second half in order to try and pull away early from the Patriots in order to win this ballgame.
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