Point: Brady, Patriots destined for another Super Bowl title
The year was 2005, and Tom Brady led the New England Patriots as they attempted to win their third Super Bowl in four years. Who was the team that stood in their way? None other than the Philadelphia Eagles. Seems familiar, right?
The Philadelphia Eagles had a 13-3 record and a first-round bye in the playoffs. They went on to defeat the Minnesota Vikings and the Atlanta Falcons on the way to Super Bowl XXXIX. Now, this is getting strange.
What if I told you history could repeat itself in 2018?
George Santayana, a Spanish-American philosopher, once stated, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
Many Eagles fans tried to forget about the 2004-05 NFL season because it ended in a heartbreak because of the Patriots’ victory. But many events in the playoff leading up to the Super Bowl in 2005 also happened in the 2017-18 NFL playoffs.
If pure coincidences do not influence your viewpoint, here are some facts that will:
This season, the Patriots have averaged 20.5 first downs per game in the playoffs compared to Philadelphia’s 18.5 first downs. Eagles fans will say that’s such a small margin, but late in the game, those two first downs could bring the title to New England.
One of the biggest problems for the Eagles in the playoffs has been ball security. Opposing defenses have recorded four forced fumbles against the Eagles. In a game as big as the Super Bowl, ball security is a key component.
Tight end Rob Gronkowski will be one of the Patriots’ deadliest threats in the Super Bowl. Gronkowski will be used as mainly a decoy during the game. Defenses are notorious for double teaming Gronkowski, and this is perfect for the Patriots. That will leave receivers such as Danny Amendola or Chris Hogan open to gain valuable yards for the Patriots.
Madden recently released its Super Bowl simulation to decide who would win the game. The simulation dates back to Madden 10, and the Patriots have been featured in four of the simulated games. Surely the Patriots did not win every simulation. Madden predicted for the Giants to win Super Bowl XLVI, and they did. But in years when the Patriots won the simulation, they have also won the Super Bowl. What about this year’s simulation? Well, Madden predicts the Patriots will win their sixth Super Bowl 28-24. In a time of statistics and technology, who would ever go against a computer?
But the real reasons why the Patriots will win the Super Bowl are the G.O.A.T.s. Not just one historically significant person but two. Quarterback Tom Brady, also known as Tommy Touchdowns or California Cool, is arguably the greatest competitor in sports history. When Brady steps on the field, you know he will give it his all until the game is over. All of the Patriots’ Super Bowl victories have come down to the wire. It has always been Tom Brady who leads the Patriots to victory, and Super Bowl LII will be no different.
Then there is Bill Belichick, who is hands down the greatest head coach in NFL history. Belichick is the heart and soul of the Patriots, though his is a man of only one emotion. Without Belichick, there is no Patriots dynasty. Think of history’s greatest duos. There’s Lewis and Clark, Simon and Garfunkel, even Riggs and Murtaugh. Brady is the peanut butter to Belichick’s jelly. After Super Bowl LII, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick will be at the upper echelon of world’s greatest duos.
If those facts do not sway your opinion, you must be an Eagles fan. Have fun seeing all the poles in the city greased with Crisco when they try to burn the city down.
And what is up with the “Fly, Eagles, Fly” fight song?
Eagles fans are singing, “Fly, Eagles, fly, on the road to victory!” right now. Come Sunday, it will be “Fly, Eagles, fly, into the pit of misery!” as all of Patriots Nation chants, “Dilly, dilly!”
Counterpoint: Patriots’ era of dominance will reach end with Eagles’ victory
Almost 13 years ago, Donovan McNabb and the Philadelphia Eagles lost a heartbreaker to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. It’s been 58 years since the Lombardi Trophy came to the streets of Philadelphia. Philadelphia is in a bit of a dry spell, as its last major sports championship was 10 years ago when the Philadelphia Phillies won the World Series. But this Eagles team has the swagger and chemistry like no other team I’ve ever seen, and Philadelphia is coming into this Super Bowl with a chip on its shoulder.
This Eagles team has a much better defense than the Eagles did in 2005. This season’s Philadelphia defense ranks in the top five in interceptions and turnover difference. Look for Jim Schwartz to dial up different blitzes and schemes that have given Brady trouble in the past. If this defense can continue to get pressure while rushing only four men, then watch out, as I believe Brady and the Pats will be in for a rough game. With Rob Gronkowski, the Patriots’ star tight end, cleared to play as of February 1, I can’t wait to see this tough matchup between Gronk and Malcolm Jenkins, an Eagles star safety. Although the defense is obviously the best part about this Philadelphia team, it will need some help from its counterparts on offense.
The Eagles took a big blow in the regular season as star quarterback Carson Wentz went down went an ACL injury. Many Eagles fans had their doubts about backup quarterback Nick Foles, but they stayed with Philadelphia and trusted this team would play with heart and make it to the Super Bowl. The Eagles’ offense is much better than the Jacksonville Jaguars’, and to be honest, the Jaguars should be in the Super Bowl over the Patriots if it weren’t for a couple of referee celebrations when the Patriots scored. Not saying that’s all that won the Patriots the game, but it was a little suspicious. I expect the Eagles’ running game to be in full effect as Jay Ajayi will carry the work load and LeGarrette Blount will look to dominate against his former team.
I look forward to a hard-fought game on Sunday, but the Patriots’ dynasty will be no more. Brady is at the declining point in his career. The Patriots have many off-field distractions at the moment, and this will cost the team the game. Matt Patricia, the Patriots’ defensive coordinator is expected to accept the Detroit Lions’ head coaching job, and Josh McDaniels, offensive coordinator, is expected to accept the Indianapolis Colts’ head coaching job. I believe many NFL fans, including myself, will be happy to see that finally, the end of an era has come for the New England Patriots. The Patriots’ dynasty will hit a sharp decline while the Eagles will look to build a championship culture Sunday when the Philadelphia Eagles beat the New England Patriots 34-20.