The 52nd Super Bowl is only a day away and you have questions: What's the deal with the Eagles and those dog masks? Where did the Patriots and Eagles rank in DVOA this season? What would a Lombardi Trophy mean for each of these teams? Before we get to the answers, a recap of how we got here.
There are no Super Bowl championships to celebrate in the Eagles' history. Their starting quarterback, Carson Wentz, was making a strong case to be regular-season MVP before he was sidelined due to injury, so backup Nick Foles will start on Sunday. If the Eagles can win, they'll join the Giants (who did it twice) as the only teams to beat the mighty Belichick-Brady era Patriots in the Super Bowl.
For the Patriots, a Super Bowl appearance is old hat. They're vying for their second straight championship and their sixth Super Bowl ring since the 2001 season. They're trotting out four-time Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady at quarterback. If the Patriots win, they'll only add to their legacy as the greatest dynasty in the history of the sport.
So which side of the Super Bowl line do you need to be all over? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of Patriots-Eagles you need to jump on, plus what X-factor determines the outcome, all from a Vegas legend who's 9-3 on Eagles' games.
- The Patriots and Eagles will face each other in in February 2005, when the Patriots won 24-21. That win marked the Patriots' third Super Bowl victory in four years and their second straight championship. They wouldn't win another one until the 2014 season. Now, they can once again beat the Eagles for their third Super Bowl in four years and their second straight championship.
- The game will be played in Minnesota. It's the second Super Bowl in Minnesota and the first one since Super Bowl XXVI in January 1992.
- The game will be played on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast by NBC. Al Michaels (play-by-play), Cris Collinsworth (analyst) and Michele Tafoya (sideline reporter) will be on the call.
- This is Brady's eighth Super Bowl appearance. Nobody has ever played in more. Brady has as many Super Bowl appearances (eight) as the entire Eagl..., per NFL Research. If the Patriots win, Brady will have the most Super Bowl wins (six). He has already won the most Super Bowls out of all quarterbacks and he's tied with Hall of Fame linebacker and defensive end Charles Haley with five Super Bowl wins.
- If the Patriots win, they'll win their sixth Super Bowl since 2001 and their second straight championship.
- If the Eagles win, they'll win their first Super Bowl in franchise history. "they will be the fourth team in NFL history to win the Super Bowl a..." according to NFL Research.
- Of the Patriots' eight Super Bowl opponents in the Bill Belichick era, the Eagles are the only team with a top-five scoring offense and de..., according to NFL Research.
- The Patriots will wear white uniforms. They are 3-0 in the Super Bowl when wearing white under Belichick. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter and Evan Kaplan, 12 of the last 13 Super Bowl winners have been dressed in white.
- The Eagles will wear green. They went 10-1 in green this season with their only loss coming in a meaningl..., according to BleedingGreenNation.com.
- Who missed last year's Super Bowl with a back injury, has been cleared from the concussion protocol, so he'll resume his normal role in the big game. If the Super Bowl had been played this past Sunday, he wouldn't have suited up.
- Brady is still dealing with a right-hand injury that According to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport, Brady had 12 stitches removed last week. Nobody should be overly concerned considering Brady lit up the Jaguars for 290 yards, two touchdowns and a 108.4 passer rating with those 12 stitches still in his hand. Brady will be still be Brady on Sunday.
- If the Patriots win, they'll tie the Steelers for the most Super Bowl wins (6). If they lose, they'll tie the Broncos for the most Super Bowl losses (5). Credit for that one goes to Reddit user "surfboard-lover."
- The Eagles rank fifth in overall DVOA. The Patriots rank sixth in overall DVOA.
- The Patriots ranked first in yards gained. The Eagles ranked seventh in yards gained.
- The Patriots ranked second in points scored (458). The Eagles ranked third in points scored (457).
- The Patriots ranked 29th in yards allowed. The Eagles ranked fourth in yards allowed.
- The Patriots ranked fifth in points allowed (296). The Eagles ranked fourth in points allowed (295).
- The Patriots and Eagles boast the exact same point differential (+162), which was a league high.
- The Eagles have been underdogs in every single one of their playoff games --
- The Patriots, meanwhile, have been favored in every game this season -- hence their own appropriate masks.
- Brady sports the league's best passer rating under pressure (95.5), but the Eagles generate pressure at an absurdly high rate (41.9 percent), according to Pro Football Focus.
- The Eagles are the only NFC East team without a Super Bowl.
- Two former Patriots who won the Super Bowl last season now reside on the Eagles roster: defensive end Chris Long and running back LeGarrette Blount. No, with their former teammates. Straight enemies," Blount said last week, per NJ.com. "Ain't no friends. Ain't no friends. Ain't no homies. None of that. We know ... We know what we're going to do. They know what they're going to do. We both have the same goal in mind. There aren't any hard feelings, it just is what it is."
Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports
3 keys to the game And PredictionAfter two weeks of hype, Super Bowl LII is here.
- Protecting Tom Brady
If the Patriots lose, it will likely be because the Eagles were able to frustrate Brady. Whether it’s sacking him a bunch or forcing a turnover or two, that is what it will take for the Eagles to come away with a win. Philadelphia has one of the best defensive lines in the league and they rotate eight or nine players in, so it won’t be a case of wearing them down as the game goes on. New England’s offensive line will need to come to play.
- Feed Rob Gronkowski
Gronkowski is fully healthy for the game, as he was removed from the injury report Friday and should have a big game. The Eagles finished 20th in the league this season covering tight ends, and the Patriots should look to take full advantage. Travis Kelce had a monster game in Week 2 and Washington’s tight ends did towards the end of the season, so big games can be had against this defense. Without Julian Edelman to rely on, Gronkowski will in all likelihood by Brady’s top target.
- Defending the RPO
There’s a reason why you can’t listen to anyone discuss the game and not hear the phrase RPO come up. The run-pass option is a major part of the Eagles offense and the Patriots will need to defend it. This will be on the Patriots’ edge rushers and linebackers, but with two weeks to prepare, they should have a good idea of what it will take.
Patriots 24, Eagles 17
Don’t be surprised if the game is close for most of the first half and the Patriots get off to a slow start because that is typically what happens in these games, but experience will win out. Belichick will certainly out-smart Doug Pederson on a play or two and could be the difference of the game. Dark-horse for MVP: Danny Amendola. Read More Here