With the National Football League (NFL) finishing the AFC and NFC Championship games, the league is now ready for Super Bowl LII. The Philadelphia Eagles went against the Minnesota Vikings in the National Football Conference (NFC) Championships. The teams came into the game with an identical 13-3 records. The Eagles went into the championships with only one previous-win against the Dallas Cowboys, while the Vikings came in with a four-game winning streak.
However, the four-game winning streak did not give the Vikings the momentum they were hoping. They lost in a blow out defeat, 35-18. The only quarter that the Eagles allowed the Vikings to score was the first quarter, where the team scored seven points. From then on, the team did not score a touchdown, nor a field goal, nor a two-point conversion. The Eagles did not go a quarter without adding points to the scoreboard.
The New England Patriots faced the Jacksonville Jaguars at the American Football Conference (AFC) Championships. While the Patriots were going into the championships with a 13-3 record, the Jaguars came in with a 10-6 record. The Patriots earned a bye-week during Wildcard Weekend. The Jaguars had to go through the hectic Wildcard Weekend to make it to divisional rounds. From there, the team beat the Steelers in their divisional round in an intense game, 45-42. The New England Patriots easily beat the Tennessee Titans 35-14 in their round.
In the AFC Championships, the Jaguars led for three quarters. Quarterback Tom Brady was suffering a hand injury while playing, and Rob Gronkowski, the starting tight-end of the Patriots, was injured with a small concussion in the championships. Gronkowski is the first tight- end to ever lead the league in receiving touchdowns and is currently ranked no. 1 in the NFL in his position. The Jacksonville team was up 17-10 by the end of the third quarter. The Patriots scored two last minute touchdowns in the final quarter and the Jaguars only gained a field goal. The game ended with the Patriots winning by four points, 24-20.
Super Bowl LII will be the Philadelphia Eagles vs. the New England Patriots. As it stands, Tom Brady will be the starting quarterback for New England, while Nick Foles will start for Philadelphia.
The quarterback is one of the most important roles; they analyze the field, call the plays and pass the ball under the pressure of getting sacked. This season, Nick Foles has a completion percentage of 56.4 and a passer rating of 79.5. However, Brady exceeds Foles’s statistics significantly, completing 66.3 percent of his passes and maintaining a 102.8 passer rating this season.
During the championships, Foles proved he had the talent to beat Brady. He averaged a 78.8 completion percentage and gained a 141.4 passer rating. Brady remained consistent with his seasonal statistics.
However, Foles is a second string quarterback, only getting a chance to play because starter Carson Wentz is injured. Brady has been the starting player in his position since 2001 with New England, and since then, has played in 12 AFC Championships and won seven of them. Foles has not been a starting quarterback in a season since 2015.
The Philadelphia Eagles have not made an appearance in an NFC Championship game since 2004 and have not won a Super Bowl Championship since the AFL-NFL merger in 1966.
The Eagles are not the top dogs to bet on to win Super Bowl LII. However, Eagles’ tight-end Zach Ertz leads the team in receptions. If the Patriots do not keep Ertz at bay, he will surely rip into the defense. LeGarrette Blount is another key player that the Patriots should look after, and he leads the Eagles with the most rushing yards. The New England Patriots’ head coach, Bill Belichick, is familiar with Blount’s antics and playing style, and the defense is used to playing against him. Blount was with the Patriots the previous three years and played for the Patriots for three Super Bowls, winning two of them.
Brady has five Super Bowl rings, more than any other quarterback in NFL history and has more Super Bowl MVP’s than any other NFL player ever. Gronkowski was cleared to play for the Super Bowl. He has a 6-foot-6-inches body frame, 7-foot wingspan, a 40- yard dash of 4.68 seconds and is one of Brady’s favorite targets. Brady and Gronkowski have two-weeks’ time to heal for the Super Bowl and when they are 100 percent, it will be a hard fought battle.