AIC Yellow Jacket

Super Bowl LII is coming…

Jack McIntyre, Staff Writer

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The New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles are set to battle for Super Bowl LII on February 4.

On January 21, New England defeated Blake Bortles and the Jacksonville Jaguars 24-20 in order to reserve their spot representing the AFC at Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis, Minn.

This will be Tom Brady’s eighth Super Bowl appearance with the Patriots.

That same day, the Philadelphia Eagles punched their ticket to the big game as well. The Eagles defeated the Minnesota Vikings in a landslide 38-7 victory for the NFC Championship.

Quarterback Nick Foles took control of the Eagles offense following a torn ACL injury to quarterback Carson Wentz back on December 10, 2017. This will be Foles’ first start in a Super Bowl.

This matchup sets the two top seeds in the NFL up against one another, both teams owning a 13-3 record. Doug Pederson coaches the Eagles, and Bill Belichick – who has seven Super Bowl rings already under his belt, five in New England – leads the Patriots.

New England seems to be a yearly fix in the Super Bowl, and it is not the first time these two teams have met at the Super Bowl. In 2005, New England defeated the Eagles 24-21.

The interesting matchups for this bout start with the coaching staff.

Belichick and Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia’s defense against Pederson’s offense should make for a good showdown.

At AIC, students weighed in with their thoughts on the big game.

Matt Deloria believes that Philly quarterback Foles will be a key factor.

“Foles could be the most influential player in the game, because of his capability to outperform himself, but also could crumble under the pressure,” said Deloria.

In the NFC Championship we saw a glimpse of Pederson opening up Foles and letting him air the ball out, which could cause problems for the Patriots secondary.

The Eagles have a sound offensive line, and the Patriots lack a marquee pass-rusher, so fans like AIC’s Matt Quinlan hope to see guys like “James Harrison make a few big plays and really swing some momentum for the Pats.”

The Eagles defense will have their hands full as they stack up against Brady and his offensive firepower. The Eagles biggest chore that day will be containing Rob Gronkowski.

Gronkowski was the Patriots’ leading receiver this year and will draw lot of attention from the Eagles defense. This could open things up for receivers like Danny Amendola, Brandin Cooks, and Chris Hogan – they’ll look to take advantage of the space and move the ball down field.

Much like with their own dominant tight end, New England’s big focus is on Philadelphia’s tight end Zach Ertz. Ertz has been the go to guy all season for the Eagles with 824 receiving yards, which is third in the NFL among the tight end position.

The running front for the Eagles, could pose an issue with the speedy Jay Ajayi, and the powerful back LeGarrette Blount who was previously a member of the New England Patriots.

AIC student Luke Allen gave his key to the game for the Eagles.

 

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Super Bowl LII is coming…