Here we are. The Big Game. The one for all the marbles. The Super Bowl. It’s been a long road to get here, but finally the culmination of this NFL season is on the horizon. Patriots versus Eagles. A month and a half ago, this seemed like the obvious, preordained matchup. Now, one team is playing with house money and the other trying to add to an already unassailable legacy. Barring a noteworthy loss, this is almost a no-lose scenario for both. If the Eagles lose, what, was Nick Foles really supposed to beat the Pats in the Super Bowl? If the Pats lose it sucks, but they’ve already won five. Are they suddenly failures now? Maybe these seemingly low stakes are why it’s been such a quiet two weeks. But that doesn’t mean it won’t be a great game. After all, it is the Patriots in the Super Bowl.
Philadelphia Eagles vs. New England Patriots (-4.5)
I’ll be honest- this line is too high. I’m not the first to say it, but it really should be 3. In my mind, this is just a mirror image of the AFC Championship game. The Eagles have one of the three best defenses in the NFL, an explosive defensive line, and a competent offense. They have more weapons than the Jags, and Nick Foles is proof that pretty much any NFL QB can be good if they’re in the right system (maybe the NFL doesn’t have a quarterback problem, but a coach problem?). Considering the way they just dispatched of the Vikings, who have an objectively superior defense to the Pats, it would be foolish to completely dismiss Foles and the Eagles’ offense. But that’s the thing: the Pats aren’t the Vikings. The second the Eagles took the lead, the Vikings quit because they knew it was over. The Pats don’t start trying until they’re down two scores. You can throw out all the numbers you want, but this is pretty simple- the Eagles aren’t going to blow the Pats out, so if the game is on the line, who do you trust? The backup QB who may have had a legitimate out-of-body experience last week and a second year head coach straight off the Andy Reid coaching tree or Brady and Belichick? Actually, here’s a few numbers for you: first is the widely circulated (too widely circulated?) stat that Brady has never lost a playoff game to a team they didn’t play in the regular season. 15-0. Pats and Eagles did not play in the regular season. Second, here’s one I made up myself- Brady has lost one (1) playoff game to a team that did not already have a Super Bowl win when he became the starter in 2001. That one? The flukiest of a fluke losses to the Jets after the 2010 season. This Eagles team is waaaaaay better than the Jets, which means they won’t sneak up on the Pats, and they have enough Loser DNA to keep them down. 4.5 seems like too many points, and it probably is, but, in instances like this, I think the best advice you can give is only take the underdog if you think they can win. I think I said this last year, but close your eyes and try to imagine a future in which the Philadelphia Eagles, lead by Nicholas E. Foles, actually beat the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. If you can, you have a better imagination than I do. Tom Brady’s son better pucker up, because daddy’s winning number 6.
Pick: Pats -4.5
BONUS PROP BETS
- National Anthem: Over 2:00 -200
- Coin Toss: Heads -105
- P!nk’s Hair Color: Green +400
- How Many Times Will Tom Brady’s Age Be Mentioned: Over 1.5 -350
- How Many Time Will Carson Wentz Be Mentioned: Over 3.5 -250
- What Color Liquid: Clear/Water +400
- Higher- Pats’ Total Points or Kyrie Irving Points+Assists vs. Blazers: Kyrie (assuming he plays) -230
- MVP: Tom Brady -110
- First Mention in MVP Speech: Teammates +200