The Comet

Super Bowl 52 Preview

Adam Carroll and Ben Hall

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It’s that time of the year again.  

The Super Bowl draws millions of viewers every year as they watch two teams take the grandest stage in football competing for the coveted Vince Lombardi trophy.  

This year, we have the New England Patriots trying to defend their Super Bowl title from last year representing the AFC while the Philidelphia Eagles represent the NFC. This will be a rematch from Super Bowl 39 which happened 13 years ago, when the Patriots emerged victorious. However, many things have changed since then. 

The Eagles have not returned to the Super Bowl. The Patriots on the other hand have been to the Super Bowl four times and won twice.  

But this year both teams have had a memorable season.  

So how did these two teams get to the Super Bowl? 

For the Patriots, they had homefield advantage throughout the playoffs, steamrolling the Tennessee Titans 35-14 in the first round, and then coming back from a ten-point deficit against the Jacksonville Jaguars to get the AFC Championship. Even though the Patriots started off slow in both games, they turned things around. The Titans were beating the Patriots 7-0 in the first quarter and the Jaguars were winning 20-10 in the fourth quarter.  

Most quarterbacks would not have been able to do what Tom Brady did in the AFC Championship game. But he might have gotten some help because there were some questionable calls in both games made by the referees. In the Divisional round, the Titans had 10 penalties for 62 yards and the Patriots had 4 penalties for 37 yards. In the Championship round, the Jaguars had 6 penalties for 98 yards and the Patriots had 1 penalty for 10 yards. Many fans found it very weird that the Patriots only had one penalty, and the penalty was on special teams. It seems like every game the Patriots have the referees with them. But when you have arguably the greatest quarter back of all time the referees will be on your side.    

As for the Eagles, they also had homefield advantage. However, many experts considered them underdogs because they lost their star quarterback, Carson Wentz, to an ACL tear late in the regular season. However, they defied the odds and narrowly held off the defending NFC champions, Atlanta Falcons, winning by a score of 15-10. Then, in the NFC championship, they steamrolled the Minnesota Vikings 38-7 to clinch their spot in the Super Bowl. 

The Eagles may have a disadvantage with the quarterback comparison. The Eagles will be starting Nick Foles who was a backup until week 13. Foles was drafted by the Eagles in the 2012 NFL Draft and played three seasons in Philadelphia. In 2015, He was traded to the St. Louis Rams. He played in St. Louis for one season before requesting a release after the Rams selected Jared Goff. He was granted his release and signed with the Chiefs a few days later.  

Foles only started one game in Kansas City and was released at the end of the season. On March 13, 2017, He signed a two-year contract with the Eagles. He was the back up for Carson Wentz. But in Week 14, He replaced Keenum who had left the game with the aforementioned torn ACL. Days later, Head Coach Doug Pederson announced that Nick Foles would be the starting quarterback. He finished the season with a 2-1 record. The Eagles went in to the playoffs as the number one seed. Heading into the Super bowl he has thrown for 598 yards and 3 touchdowns in the playoffs.  

Tom Brady on the other hand has spent his entire 18-season career with the Patriots. Since Brady has become the Patriots starting quarterback, the Patriots have not had a losing season. Tom Brady is a much more experienced player then Nick Foles. Over his career, Brady has won 27 playoff games and 5 Super Bowls. Brady also has the most wins in the regular season and postseason combined of any quarterback in NFL history. Many people see him as the greatest quarterback of all time. Winning another Super Bowl this season would tie the patriots with the Steelers for the most Super Bowls in NFL history. In every Super Bowl the Patriots have won Tom Brady has been the starting quarterback for. A win in this year’s Super Bowl would put an even better look on his resume.       

As the Patriots are considered the favorites to win, the Eagles will look to pull off the upset as underdogs.  

For those interested, the Super Bowl will be on February 4th at 6:30 on NBC. 

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Super Bowl 52 Preview