Here at paNOW, we tapped into some of the biggest and brightest football minds Prince Albert has to offer to predict what is going to happen Sunday when the New England Patriots take on the Philadelphia Eagles for Super Bowl 52.
If the Patriots win, it will be their sixth Super Bowl, and their third since 2015. The Eagles are looking for their first, but did win three NFL championships before the AFL-NFL merger.
Despite the Patriots dominance under head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady, our panel is leaning towards an upset in favour of the green birds.
Head coach of the Carlton Crusaders senior football team
Hundreds of Eagle’s fans will be climbing light poles around the city in celebration after a 27-24 Super Bowl Victory! Tom Brady’s luck will have finally run out due to a persistent Eagle’s run game keeping him off the field and a tough Eagle’s defence having him under pressure for four quarters. The typical Brady/Belichick comeback narrative in the second half will fall short on Sunday, resulting in Nick Foles being named Super Bowl MVP. Cole Puetz and Mike Dormuth will be walking on air, while Rylan Michalchuk’s spirit will be crushed.
Head coach of the St. Mary Marauders senior football team
I think it is very difficult to take down the Patriots when they have their three-headed coaching monster and the best QB to ever play the game. Also, with Gronk back, they will have their full arsenal of weapons at their disposal. If the Eagles have a chance to beat the Patriots they will have to do two things exceptionally well. First, they will have to have their offence firing on all cylinders like they did when they destroyed Minnesota's top rated D in the NFC final. Outscoring the Patriots will mean a balanced attack and clock management to keep Brady off the field especially in critical situations like before the end of the half and especially the end of the game. The second thing that needs to happen for the Eagles to win is that Fletcher Cox and the defensive front will need to be disruptive in the pass game from start to finish. Not only with sacks and pressures but with getting their hands up and deflecting the quick passes Brady is so famous for. If anything seems to get to Brady, even more than getting hit is having his passes deflected at the line of scrimmage. I think that task is too tall for the Eagles to do for 4 straight quarters and the patriots force you to play your best 4 quarters of football to beat them. In the end, Brady is just too seasoned and Belichick is just too savvy to let this one slip away on Sunday. I am taking the Patriots by 4.
President, Prince Albert Minor Football
Eagles by three. They have been running and passing the ball in their last two games with great success against two of the best defences in the NFL. Expect they will do same against Patriots. Key to winning: Must use running game to eat up the clock and limit time Brady will have the football.
Brady needs O-line to give him time to make passes. Return of Gronkowski is why I only have a point difference of three points.
River Riders coach, spokesperson, jack-of-all-trades
I'll be cheering for the Philadelphia Eagles to win the Super Bowl this year. There's no poring over stats or analyzing team tendencies in my choice. It's simply because when it comes to playoffs and championships in just about any sport, I almost always cheer for whoever hasn't won it for the longest time, if ever.
In the CFL, ever since the Eskimos had their five in a row dynasty when I was a kid, I just can't cheer for them, ever. With their five Super Bowl wins in nine tries, the Patriots are the equivalent team in the NFL. I can't cheer for the Patriots, just on principle.
A quick glance at the standings shows that both teams have nearly identical statistics in the standings, so it should be a close game, which is relatively rare for the "Super" Bowl. All too often, it fails to live up to the hype, and the commercials are more entertaining than the game. For the Eagles to pull off the upset and win their first NFL Championship, they will have to come out flying, establishing dominance in all three phases of the game early, and capitalize on any mistakes by the Patriots, which are exceedingly rare. If the Eagles can do that, they will win, 24-21, scoring a field goal on the last play of the game for the victory. Fly Eagles Fly!
On Twitter: @jeff_paNOW
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