Super Bowl LII is set.
The New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles will square off Sunday, Feb. 4, at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis after dispatching the Jacksonville Jaguars and Minnesota Vikings, respectively, on Championship Sunday.
There will be endless storylines to discuss and dissect during the two-week lead-up to the Super Bowl, but here’s a quick primer on the matchup, which features the No. 1 seed from each conference for the fourth time in five years:
The Eagles just beat the stuffing out of a very good Vikings team
After the Patriots rallied from an 11-point deficit to beat the Jaguars 24-20, the Eagles — underdogs at home for the second consecutive week — manhandled the Vikings, scoring 38 unanswered points in a 38-7 rout to reach their first Super Bowl since the 2004 season. Nick Foles, who took over for MVP candidate Carson Wentz at quarterback after Wentz tore his ACL in Week 14, was superb in the win, throwing for 352 yards and three touchdowns with a quarterback rating of 141.4.
Philadelphia’s defense also picked off two Case Keenum passes, with cornerback Patrick Robinson taking one 50 yards the other way for a touchdown. The Eagles allowed the fourth-fewest points in the NFL during the regular season and have given up just 17 total points in two playoff games.
This will be a rematch of Super Bowl XXXIX
… which the Patriots won 24-21 to bring home their second consecutive Lombardi Trophy and their third in four years. New England is trying to repeat that feat this year and seeks to become the first team since the 2003-04 Patriots to repeat as Super Bowl champion. In another odd coincidence, then-Patriots coordinators Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel both left to take head-coaching jobs after Super Bowl XXXIX, which current coordinators Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia are expected to do after this game.
The Patriots will see some familiar faces
The Eagles employ two players who were part of last year’s Super Bowl LI-winning Patriots team: running back LeGarrette Blount and defensive end Chris Long. Blount, who rushed for a touchdown Sunday, teams with Jay Ajayi and Corey Clement in a three-headed Eagles rushing attack that ranked third in the league in rushing yards and fourth in yards per carry. Long, meanwhile, tallied five sacks this season and plays a key role on a Philadelphia defensive line that might be the best in football.
Tom Brady is seeking immortality
The Patriots quarterback currently is tied with Hall of Famer Charles Haley for the most Super Bowl wins ever by a player (five). A win over the Eagles would give him his sixth ring and cement his status as the single most successful player in NFL history. Brady completed 26 of 38 passes for 290 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions against the Jaguars just days after receiving more than 10 stitches in his throwing hand.
Thumbnail photo via Stew Milne/USA TODAY Sports Images
Powered by WordPress.com VIP