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Rucker Jersey , Minn. (AP) America loves comeback stories, the
last-to-first variety that features new stars, big plays and a monumental
triumph at the end.
That would be the tale of the Philadelphia Eagles if they win Sunday’s Super
The oddsmakers don’t see it happening and have installed the New England
Patriots – yes, them again – as 4+-point favorites.
Give Philly its due, however: The Eagles have a strong chance of winning
their first NFL crown since 1960 and their first Lombardi Trophy.
Will they? Read on.
Doug Pederson’s bunch has shown the resilience of a champion, losing such key
players as quarterback Carson Wentz, a strong MVP contender Jared
Veldheer Jersey , left tackle Jason Peters, linebacker Jordan Hicks
and running back Darren Sproles to injuries.
”It’s the next-man-up mentality,” Pederson says. ”It also means that you have
some veteran players that keep things together, and good coaching staffs. I
think it’s a tribute to the players and everyone involved that they can keep
things going even through that adversity.”
Philadelphia has not yielded a point in the second half of either playoff
game. It put 31 on the stingiest scoring defense in the league, and threw in a
defensive TD in routing Minnesota for the NFC championship. Its backup
quarterback, Nick Foles, has been everything from solid to spectacular in his
career playoff games.
The Eagles can disrupt Tom Brady with a fierce pass rush up front Tyvon
Branch Jersey , led by Fletcher Cox, who has been the best
defensive player in the entire postseason. They have threats on offense in the
passing game and at running back.
And they are facing a New England squad that has not been as powerful as some
of the teams Brady has led in seven previous Super Bowls, going 5-2.
Yet, don’t be misled. These are still the Patriots, probably the most
resourceful group of athletes on the planet. They make big plays, not only
thanks to Brady’s arm but on a defense that only recently began getting the
praise it warrants.
Plus, they have all that experience in the big game J. J. Nelson
Jersey , bringing 31 players back from last year’s championship
”We know what to expect, but at the end of the day, you’ve got to perform,”
linebacker Kyle Van Noy said. ”So there’s really no upper hand. You’ve got to
just play the game and get ready for it and play at a high level.”
New England doesn’t always do that in the Super Bowl. Recall last February’s
first 40 minutes or so, when it was down 28-3 to Atlanta before the Falcons
stopped charging and Brady led an historic rally.
The one consistency about the Patriots is that they play close Super Bowls.
The total difference in scoring in those seven games is 12 points: Patriots 169,
So do they pull out another close one, or does Philly complete its uplifting
It all comes down to one thing: which team has Brady.
PATRIOTS 24 A.Q.
Shipley Jersey , EAGLES 23
Last week: Against spread (1-1). Straight up (2-0)
Season Totals: Against spread (123-125-10). Straight up: (167-97)
Best Bet: 10-9 against spread, 11-8 straight up.
Upset special: 10-8 against spread, 9-9 straight up