New England Patriots (15-3) vs Philadelphia Eagles (15-3)
Super Bowl LII: Sunday February 4th, 2018, 6:30 PM ET | U.S. Bank Stadium
Line: New England Patriots -4.5
FREE NFL PICK NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS VS PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
The Philadelphia Eagles will have a tough test this Sunday as they go up against the New England Patriots to compete for their first ever Super Bowl title. Despite being an underdog, there are several factors to consider and if they go the Eagles way, should result in a win for the city of Philadelphia.
First of all, the Eagles have the 5th best defense in the NFL and we must see why they are ranked #5 on Sunday. According to Pro Football Focus when the opponent is able to get pressure on Tom Brady on 40% or more of his dropbacks they end up winning the game. Examples of this are the New York Giants who in both meetings with the Patriots were able to pressure Brady on 43.4% of his dropbacks in Super Bowl XLII and 46.5% of his dropbacks in Super Bowl XLVI. Throughout the entire season Eagles have been able to pressure opposing quarterbacks 41.3% of the time which is above the needed threshold and seems to be the key factor in taking down Brady in the biggest game of the year. Fletcher Cox will be the player the Eagles will look to, to lead this defense and to make Brady as uncomfortable as possible. As we saw in the Super Bowl last season, Brady was able to tire out the Atlanta Falcons’ defense over the course of the game, which led to an epic comeback by the Patriots. The Eagles will likely take note of this and should do everything they can to keep the Patriots offense off the field and allow their defense as much rest as possible.
Secondly, Nick Foles is going to need to have a productive game which boils down to protecting the ball at all costs. Being a back-up, Foles has never played on a stage like this and while he is likely to be very nervous, he still needs to be aggressive to pick a part the New England defense who have had their struggles this year. For Foles to be successful, the Eagles will need to establish the run and look to use play-action to catch the Patriots off guard. Also, while scoring quickly is always good, the Eagles need to take their time on offense to keep Brady off the field and to keep the clock running as much as possible.
Lastly, the Eagles must win on special teams. Whether that is a big return, a blocked punt, a blocked field goal or just pinning the Patriots deep in their own half of the field, the Eagles have to find a way to take advantage of any and every opportunity they can in order to win this game.
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New England Patriots
(5-4) SU in Super Bowls
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FREE NFL PREDICTION NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS VS PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
Due to the Eagles defense being so good and their ability to pressure quarterbacks, the Eagles will find a way to win and bring home their first Super Bowl trophy.