The 2017/18 NFL season comes to a close on Sunday when the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles go head to head in Super Bowl LII.
Tom Brady leads the Patriots to their eighth Super Bowl from his 18 seasons with the team.
The last time the Eagles visited the Super Bowl was in 2005, one of the five times Brady has earned a Super Bowl ring. Mike Carlson joined Ger and Eoin on OTB AM on Thursday morning to look ahead to Sunday night.
For Philadelphia to win with a good lead, “they have to either break a big play against New England’s defence early or, more likely, they get turnovers like they did in Minnesota. The Eagles, player-for-player are a stronger team, they’ve got a better group of players, but the Patriots, as we know are just a phenomenally well coached team and well disciplined team.”
The Eagles Defense
The Eagles' defensive line is arguably the strongest part of their team right now and Carlson reckons “Fletcher Cox will be the guy they’re looking out for. They like to play with wide defensive ends and Philadelphia have four of them, who are all good pass rushers, all probably better natural pass rushers than anyone on the Patriots.”
Carlson added “inside with Fletcher Cox and Tim Jernigan, they’ve got two guys who can both occupy two blockers if they want to or shoot one gap, work one on one with somebody.”
In terms of the quarterbacks, heartbreak struck for Eagles fans in Week 14 when league MVP prospect Carson Wentz tore his ACL. He has been replaced by second string quarterback Nick Foles. While he struggled to fill Wentz’s shoes at first, Foles seems to have settled in the last game. “They’re playing a game plan that’s designed to make it easier for Nick Foles. His weak point has generally been throwing under pressure in the pockets so what they’re doing is an awful lot of play action passes and run pass option plays where Foles holds the hand off to watch where the linebacker moves and if the linebacker comes up he then throws to the spot behind him where a receiver is cutting over. This takes the pressure off the offensive line to protect him in the pocket because the defense has to respect the running threat.”
Tom Brady, regarded by many as the greatest NFL player of all time, has been “better this year than 2017, he’s thrown the ball long more, largely because he has Brandin Cooks as a deep receiver and he, of course, looks to Gronkowski who will hopefully play. Brady’s placement was exceptional throughout the Jaguars game.”
So, will you stay up Sunday night to watch Super Bowl LII? Send us your score predictions in the comments on youtube.com/offtheball!