When I started this blog in 2006, I left the door open for a few off-topic blog posts. Warning, this is going to be one of those blog posts.
You may have missed The Epic Super Bowl Analysis Guide from 2015 when I broke down the Patriots/Seahawks Super Bowl.
I wish I could have predicted the stock market as well as I predicted the game. Maybe I just got lucky as things rarely play out as they appear on paper. I had noted that Michael Bennett was going to be a key, but he got injured, which changed the game. I had a key to the game of “Don’t get beat by ‘the catch'” and Seattle did have that catch with a player on the ground getting the tipped ball. I predicted that Edelman and Vereen could do some damage. I didn’t get the score right, but I feel I got enough right.
You also may have missed The Epic Super Bowl Analysis Guide (Part 2). I got a lot of things wrong and a few things right. My conclusion was a mixed bag:
“I’m going with the Patriots 38-29. I honestly feel it could be a 6 point game, but I’m going larger because I think the Patriots could put Atlanta in a hole if they force some field goals.”
The Patriots ended up winning 34-28… a 6 point game. So while I got the score and the difference close, the journey there was very, very different as we all know.
As I said in the guide last year:
“I don’t have too many rules in life, but one of them is that I have to analyze the Super Bowl when the Patriots are in it. I know that 44 states hate the Patriots…
However, I was a fan before their horrific 1-15 season was overshadowed by a Zeke Mowatt’s sexual harassment of a female reporter.
Imagine your team losing 15 of 16 games being the highlight of the season.”
This was before I can ever remember hearing the name Harvey Weinstein. Imagine how bad the harassment had to be to stand out more than 25 years ago. I hope you’ll excuse this New Englander for celebrating an embarrassment of riches over the last 17 years. I remember what it’s like to be a pauper.
This is going to be biased. It can’t NOT be.
However, before we get started, let’s reflect a bit on sportsmanship. There are a thousand stories going about these about these football teams. Now that I’m a father with kids in school, I recognize that side of things more.
So if you are an Eagles fan, I want to say this story about sending a bus driver is awesome! I love Philadelphia and been there a few times for a couple of days. I say Pat’s over Geno’s. My Facebook image is the First Amendment in People’s Plaza. I used to love playing Madden (92 I think) with the Eagles having a great secondary that could intercept anything.
On the Patriots side, this middle school rally is incredible.
However you feel about the teams, I hope we can focus on celebrating the wonderful ways that sports can bring a community together. It might not feel that way after the game.
However, I’d say that both teams are “playing with the house’s money.” The Patriots legacy was cemented long ago. The Eagles are in the Super Bowl with their back-up quarterback. Their future is bright and they should be in the playoffs for years. I totally understand if Eagles fans don’t feel that way, but when Wentz got injured, you’d take playing in the Super Bowl, right? I know if it was Brady who got injured and Hoyer picked up the baton, I’d feel that a win is a bonus.
Let’s dig in.
Super Bowl LII Analysis
In the first version of my Super Bowl Analysis, I broke down every area of both teams. It was a lot easier because I knew the Seahawks well as they had won the Super Bowl the year before. We know what Richard Sherman and Russel Wilson can do, right?
In the next version, it was more difficult. I didn’t know as much about the Atlanta Falcons. Matt Ryan had always been above average, but he was great last year. It can be hard to analyze when there’s inconsistent performance year to year.
I’d say that I mailed it in last year, but I fear the analysis here will be even worse. I haven’t had time to research the Eagles players to analyze the match-ups. I did find a little analysis of the game. Unfortunately, it seemed that most of the articles I read were about anything and everything except the X’s and O’s. I guess that’s what happens when you have a thousand writers focusing on stories that are applicable to those who aren’t football fans.
Eagles Offense vs. the Patriots Defense
The Eagles have a back-up quarterback, Nick Foles, but he’s not an ordinary back-up. He’s got some ups and downs. When he’s going well, he’s extremely good. If the Eagles get good Foles, they can score a lot of points. They got a lot of very good skill players.
The Patriots secondary is extremely good, but their front seven has a lot of journeymen especially with Hightower out for the season.
The Patriots are good at limiting teams to field goals and keeping the points down. They are probably the best at situational football and not making mistakes. That will help cover up some of the inexperience in the front seven.
Patriots Offense vs. the Eagles Defense
The Patriots offense is one of the best in football, as it’s lead by the best player to ever play football, Tom Brady. Unfortunately for Brady, his top receiver, Julian Edelman is injured for the season. Brady’s used to not having Edelman this year. He’s still got plenty of weapons.
It’s been said many times that the way to stop Brady is to get pressure from the front 4. If you blitz a 5th, Brady will find the open guy. The Eagles have the people to get there with their top 4, but the Patriots have been very good at protecting it lately.
The other big mismatch for New England is that one of their strengths, passing to the tight end and running backs, is one of Philly’s biggest weaknesses. This is major factor in my prediction.
It’s almost game time, so:
Final Thoughts and Pick
I watched ESPN’s 30 for 30 production, The Two Bills that debuted this last week. As I watched them show the mid-1980s NY Giants, I realized that Bill Belichick was possibly the best coach in football back then. He did things that football had never seen like use the dime formation all game.
As a Patriots fan with my biases clear, you can probably tell that I’m going to take the favorite. A lot of people are predicting a close game because the Patriots Super Bowls are always close. I don’t think that’s intentional. I also don’t think what happened in 2003 is directly going to impact the play in 2018.
The top Patriots beat writer, Mike Reiss, has the Patriots winning 30-17. I really like that score. I don’t want to copy that, so I’ll add a field goal and call it 33-20. I feel like I should give more credit to to the Eagles as they are a very good team. I just think their coach/quarterback situation isn’t on par with the Patriots. I don’t know if it’s a 13-point difference, but sometimes things can snowball in football. I think this will be one of those games.
And if the Eagles’ win, their owner Jeffrey Lurie is from Boston and went to my alma mater, Brandeis. Silver linings for the win.