5 Reasons the Eagles Lose the Big Game
Don’t believe the hype. I’ve watched every Super Bowl, and besides enjoying a few timeless games, I learned one thing. Immediately following the end of the NFC and AFC Championship games, trust your gut and pick the team you feel will win the Super Bowl.
If you are a betting Guy’s Guy, place your bets with friends or whoever as soon as Vegas posts the spread. The tricky part is…don’t change your mind.
It’s amazing how many tales are spun in the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl. If you swallow all the hype served up during those fourteen days, you’ll be convinced that the Eagles are going to maul the Patriots. You might bet big on the Eagles—maybe even offer to give points. Don’t do that. The NFL and media-driven hype machine are powerful. Why? Follow the money. Over 110 million people watch the Super Bowl. That’s a lot of Pepsi and Doritos.The NFL’s marketing machine needs to create a narrative that generates interest and drama in the game to attract a monster audience for its biggest event of the year. If you’re a sports fan, you know that the NFL’s ratings are down. They need a really big viewer turnout this Sunday night to protect their image.
Putting the hype machine aside, your Guy’s Guy is setting things straight by sharing five reasons why the Eagles won’t win the big game. For context, I’d like nothing more than the New England dynasty to end dramatically this week. I attended Villanova University for my undergraduate studies, and after living four years on the Main Line, I came to respect the Eagles for their grit and heart. I hope they win their first Super Bowl. But they won’t. Here’s why:
1. The Eagles defense is strong, but… There has been so much written about the speed, strength, and surge of Philly’s interior defense. The pundits tell us the way to beat Tom Brady is pressure up the middle, and that’s exactly what Philly’s Fletcher Cox led D-line does so well. What they don’t tell us is that a few weeks ago Eli Manning, QB of this year’s woefully bad New York Giants, passed for 429 yards as he shredded the Eagles porous secondary. Malcolm Jenkins is Philly’s lone star in the secondary. He won’t be enough to hold down a scrappy group of Patriot receivers and the massive Rob Gronkowski at tight end.
2. New England’s underrated defense and offensive line – Like I said,we’re hearing all about the ferociousness of Philly’s pass rush and defensive front line, but nothing about a Patriot offensive line. Let’s not forget that in the AFC Championship game, the vaunted Jaguar defense was sealed off and remained on their heels throughout the second half. The Pats have a stout offensive line that usually knows how to protect Tom Brady. The other thing we’re not hearing much about is New England’s underrated defense, led by coach Matt Patricia. This group improved as the season progressed and let up a total of just 80 points in their last five games. Patricia is a whiz at shutting down his opponent’s top two offensive weapons. His schemes take them right out of the game. The Eagles do have decent running backs and wide receivers. They are balanced, but they have no real superstars on offense. They will have trouble scoring points. That projects a Patriot win if they score over seventeen points against Philly. They will.
3. Nick Foles – I was one of the numbskulls who bought into the Nick Foles hype when he replaced Carson Wentz after his injury. As a result, I lost my fantasy football championship when Foles only scored nine fantasy points in a December night game after the Raiders had been eliminated. Wentz, the Eagles starter, is a young stud QB. He is not easily replaced. Nick Foles is a capable journeyman who had a handful of eye-opening performances and some major duds. I don’t see him outdueling arguably the greatest quarterback of all time on the biggest stage he’s ever been on. A lot of people are wondering which Nick Foles will show up on Sunday. Your Guy’s Guy says it will be the run of the mill journeyman who throws two interceptions after seeing his trusty tight end, Zach Ertz, covered like a blanket.
4. Tom Brady – GOAT? It’s hard to argue against it, but he’s had a few strokes of luck in past Super Bowls against Seattle, and most recently Atlanta. And, he’s forty years old. That’s not enough reason for me to bet against him. He might be this year’s Most Valuable Player and his passing is as accurate as ever. How can you bet against this guy? I’m not. I say he throws three touchdown passes on Sunday.
5. Belechick – GOAT? Arguably. Bill Belechick is not a guy I’d ever root for. He abandoned the Jets, has been caught cheating, and comes across as miserable and kind of a dick. But, he’s a winner and he’s proven he will do anything to win. The Eagles are not a complicated team. They have good balance, pride, and a burning desire to avenge their loss in the 2004 Super Bowl to this same Patriot team. It would be nice if they won. But they don’t have enough weapons. They run a predictable, conservative game plan, and have a second string QB. They cannot afford to make mistakes this week. That does not add up to the Lombardi Trophy.
So there you have it, the cold hard truth about Sunday’s big game. It’s going to be another painful-to-watch victory for the Patriots, unless you are a Patriot fan. Most fans will be pulling for an upset. Sorry, it isn’t happening. Not with Nick Foles at the helm. Maybe next year though…
Final score New England 30 Philadelphia 20, and only due to a let game surge by the Eagles.
This week’s Guys’ Guys of the Week are the New England Patriots. Yikes, it was painful to type that, but a Guy’s Guy means being a good sport, having integrity and recognizing greatness. This is a great team that knows how to adjust during the game and almost always find a way to win.