Philadelphia (15-3) vs New England (15-3)
When: Sunday, February 4th 2018
Where: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN
Time: 6:30 ET | TV: NBC
Opening Odds: New England -6/46
A lot has changed around the NFL landscape in the last 13 years since the New England Patriots beat the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2005 Super Bowl, but the one constant that remains is Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. Those two helped lead the Patriots to their third championship in four seasons in Super Bowl 39 over the Eagles, and it also marked the last time a team has won back-to-back Lombardi Trophies. Making its eighth Super Bowl appearance in 17 seasons behind the most successful coach-quarterback combination in NFL history, New England has won five championships in that span, and are now one behind the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most titles in the Super Bowl-era. It wasn’t easy claiming the title last season, as the Patriots rallied for a dramatic 34-28 overtime victory over Atlanta that featured the greatest comeback in NFL playoff history. Top-seeded Philadelphia can’t be overlooked, however, embracing its underdog status following a season-ending injury to starting quarterback Carson Wentz and rallying behind backup Nick Foles, who led them to an emphatic 38-7 stomping of No. 2 seed Minnesota and earn its first trip to the Super Bowl since that 24-21 loss to the Patriots. Philly is trying to become the first team since the Ravens following the 2012 season to win three straight playoff games as an underdog. Foles is looking to become the 10th backup QB to win a Super Bowl, and the first since Brady in the 2001 season – although he took over for an injured Drew Bledsoe very early in the year. While the Patriots are used to winning Super Bowls, the Eagles are playing in just their third and the team and the city are still seeking their first February parade down Broad Street.
With a few starts under Foles’ belt, the Eagles offense looks much like it did when Foles was sensational in the 2013 season when he tossed 27 touchdowns and just two picks. Foles threw for 352 yards and three touchdowns in the victory over Minnesota in the NFC Championship Game and has a balanced offense the likes of which New England hasn’t faced since Week 15 at Pittsburgh. Foles has some very underrated weapons in wideouts Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor, and Torrey Smith, who combined for 13 catches and three touchdowns in the NFC title game, along with tight end Zach Ertz (11 receptions in both playoff games). Running back Jay Ajayi has rushed for 127 yards in the two postseason games and is complemented by the bruising LeGarrette Blount, who has 10 career playoff touchdowns and won a Super Bowl last season with the Patriots. Philadelphia’s defense ranked No. 1 against the run (79.2 yards per game) and also tied for fourth with 19 interceptions.
Brady has been ageless in his quest for yet another title, but has needed some strong comebacks to do so. He helped rally rally New England from 25 points down last season and erasing a 10-point, fourth-quarter deficit against Seattle three years ago in the Super Bowl. The Patriots also had to come from 10 points down in the AFC Championship Game against the upstart Jacksonville Jaguars despite the absence of star tight end Rob Gronkowski, who was limited in practice Wednesday and remains in the league’s concussion protocol. Danny Amendola caught a pair of fourth-quarter TD passes versus the Jags and has 18 receptions in the two playoff games while Brandin Cooks has nine. Ex-Eagle Dion Lewis has carried the running game over the second half of the season but all three backs also contribute to the passing game, particularly James White. New England’s defense looked vulnerable against Jacksonville but has 11 sacks in the postseason.
I don’t expect either team to win this game in a blowout, as both offenses are capable of keeping up with each other. The Eagles are hungry for a title and are riding this underdog role. The key to this game is the Philadelphia defense. Not many people realize how good they are as an overall unit, both against the run and pass. Philly will come up with enough stops and Foles will be just good enough for the Eagles to claim their first ever Super Bowl
Pick: Eagles +4.5
- Eagles are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games after allowing more than 250 yards passing in their previous game.
- Eagles are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games following a ATS win.
- Eagles are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win of more than 14 points.
- Eagles are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games after allowing less than 90 yards rushing in their previous game.
- Eagles are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games after accumulating more than 350 total yards in their previous game.
- Eagles are 9-3 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
- Eagles are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games after allowing less than 15 points in their previous game.
- Eagles are 11-4 ATS in their last 15 games overall.
- Eagles are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games on fieldturf.
- Eagles are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win.
- Patriots are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games after accumulating less than 90 yards rushing in their previous game.
- Patriots are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games on fieldturf.
- Patriots are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games after accumulating more than 250 yards passing in their previous game.
- Patriots are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 playoff games.
- Patriots are 20-6-2 ATS in their last 28 games after allowing more than 250 yards passing in their previous game.
- Patriots are 16-5 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
- Patriots are 19-7 ATS in their last 26 games after allowing more than 350 total yards in their previous game.
- Patriots are 36-16-2 ATS in their last 54 games overall.
- Patriots are 35-16-2 ATS in their last 53 games following a straight up win.
- Patriots are 36-17-2 ATS in their last 55 games following a ATS loss.
- Over is 12-2 in Eagles last 14 games after accumulating more than 250 yards passing in their previous game.
- Under is 4-1 in Eagles last 5 games after allowing less than 15 points in their previous game.
- Under is 4-1 in Eagles last 5 games after allowing less than 90 yards rushing in their previous game.
- Over is 10-3 in Eagles last 13 games on fieldturf.
- Under is 5-2 in Eagles last 7 games following a straight up win.
- Under is 10-4-1 in Eagles last 15 playoff games.
- Under is 44-20 in Eagles last 64 games after scoring more than 30 points in their previous game.
- Under is 4-1 in Patriots last 5 games after allowing more than 350 total yards in their previous game.
- Over is 8-2 in Patriots last 10 playoff games.
- Under is 6-2 in Patriots last 8 vs. a team with a winning record.
- Under is 10-4 in Patriots last 14 games overall.
- Under is 7-3 in Patriots last 10 games following a ATS loss.
- Over is 67-33 in Patriots last 100 games on fieldturf.
- Underdog is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 meetings.
- Over is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings.
- Road team is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings.