The Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots have met in the Super Bowl before, and they’ll meet once again in Super Bowl LII.
A New England Patriots’ helmet and Philadelphia Eagles’ helmet are seen before a news conference by Commissioner Roger Goodell in advance of the Super Bowl 52 football game, Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018, in Minneapolis. Philadelphia plays New England on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Tom Brady is still the signal-caller for the Patriots, but the scary part is he’s probably better now than he was when the two teams faced off for the championship back in 2005. The Eagles may not be as star-heavy as they were in that original matchup, but they’ve proven to be one of the deepest teams in the NFL. Will that matter against Brady, Bill Belichick and the Pats? Perry Green and Stephen D. Riley of the AFRO Sports Desk debate this Super Bowl question.
Riley: The Eagles’ depth has carried them all season, and it could be a huge advantage for them in the Super Bowl. They’re at least three-deep at every skill position on offense and they rotate heavily on defense. Playing in championship games can zap a player’s stamina pretty quickly when you factor in adrenaline along with the speed of the game. Those extra bodies can come in handy, and that’s something the Patriots doesn’t have on their side.
Green: There’s something about the Patriots that keeps them winning big games. It’s hard to bet against a team that seems to always find a way to win important matchups. Brady and Belichick are already on the short list for “best ever” at their respective positions, and the lack of a superstar player on the Eagles side whittles the game down to smart play and execution. No team is better in those two departments than New England. Sound team play, the best coach ever and the best quarterback ever will be too much for the Eagles to pull off an upset.
Riley: New England gets all the credit in the world for their previous accomplishments, but if we’re talking about right now, we need to recognize the Eagles as well. Philadelphia head coach Doug Pederson and defensive coach Jim Schwartz could write a book on Coaching: 101, and it would be a must-read for all of the NFL. The duo has done a remarkable job with personnel who have been injured, or newly acquired and still learning the system. They’ve turned a superstar-less group into a Super Bowl contender. Reserve quarterback Nick Foles just came off an NFC Championship game in which he threw for 350-plus yards and three touchdowns. Philly is playing as well as anybody in the league right now. I’m going with the hot team: the Eagles.
Green: The hot team? What team has been hotter than the Pats, who’ve won 13 of their last 14 games? We can throw out the fact that New England has won two of the last three Super Bowls or how Brady’s been the MVP in both of those wins. New England has been on a roll since starting the season 2-2 in September. They’ve gotten better every week and could potentially blow the game out the water early if Foles and the rest of the untested Eagles get off to a shaky start.