The Bleeding Green Nation writers picks are IN for Super Bowl LII!
Seriously, though, I think there’s a lot of good reasoning behind picking the Eagles, as you’ll see in the picks below.
As always, feel free to post your own predictions or discuss the writer predictions in the comments. You can also vote for who you think will win the game. I’ll tally those results in a “BGN Community” column. Vote in the poll beneath the explanations.
Let's get to this week's picks!
Super Bowl 2018 Picks
|BGN Picks||BLG||Benjamin||Jonny||Cody||Alexis||Tyler||Sean||BGN Readers|
|BGN Picks||BLG||Benjamin||Jonny||Cody||Alexis||Tyler||Sean||BGN Readers|
|Conference Championship Record||2-0||1-1||2-0||2-0||2-0||2-0||1-1||1-1|
|Eagles vs. Patriots||Eagles||Eagles||Eagles||Eagles||Eagles||Eagles||Eagles||Vote|
BRANDON LEE GOWTON
For now, I’m just going to have you [read this]. I’ll give you my final score prediction in my Sunday morning game prediction post.
Eagles 31, Patriots 26
I really like the way this Eagles offense matches up against the Patriots defense. I expect that Philadelphia will have early and often success running the football, as their offensive line has a huge advantage of New England’s front 7. This game plan falls under the Atlanta Falcons umbrella of game control, physical football, and risk-free offense--but Dougie P will always pick his spots to take his shots. Defensively, facing Brady will always be a challenge--Schwartz needs to keep things surprising while consistently generating pressure. It’s something he’s improved at all year, and I expect he still has a few tricks up his sleeve to give Brady some trouble. My MVP pick is Brandon Graham, with 2.5 sacks and a forced turnover in the biggest game of his career as he looks to reel in a huge contract in the years to come.
Eagles 31, Patriots 27
I have no idea what to even think here. I think the Eagles match up really well with the Patriots and I think this Eagles team is just special. They always find a way to win. But so do the Patriots, so something is going to have to give. Maybe I’m just overrating how much better I think this team overall than the Patriots, but I think we might just do it. It seems insane taking Foles against Brady but here we are. The Eagles will have to score a lot of points because I think the Eagles defense is incredible but Brady is just on a different planet. I think the Patriots will score points so the Eagles and Foles are going to have to play another great game...
Eagles 29, Patriots 27
Spoiler alert: This Eagles team is unlike any we’ve seen in decades. The expectations were far different in 2004, when Philadelphia had more front-line talent and finally got where it belonged, but that’s what makes this season so special. Look up and down the lineup, and you don’t see one guy who makes or breaks the Birds. You see an entire team that breathes, plays and wins together. That doesn’t make Tom Brady and Bill Belichick any less dangerous, but why would this stage scare the Eagles now? They’ve already been rolling on “borrowed time” post-Carson Wentz injury, and they match up well with New England’s defense. It shouldn’t be easy, but seriously, by now, how can you not have a little faith?
Eagles 24, Patriots 10
Look, this might seem crazy, but while I think the game starts off pretty slow and even on both sides, the Eagles come out of halftime with a fire under their ass and go up by a score before a late Pick-6 by the Eagles defense seals the win. THIS IS FOR PHILLY. With the momentum coming off demolishing of the Vikings in the NFC Championship, I’d expect the players for Philadelphia to be ready to run through a wall in the days leading up to the big game. As long as the defensive line can keep pressure on Tom Brady throughout the matchup (and limit the use of Gronkowski) the Eagles should be primed to keep the Patriots’ score on the low side. Nick Foles probably wont have quite the same dynamic game as he did against the Vikings, but the Patriots knowing he can throw the ball further than 30 yards should keep them honest and open up some lanes for the run game. Ultimately, I think the Eagles enact their revenge -- which at this point should be more than just bulletin board material. As long as Doug Pederson continues to be “fearless” in his play-calling, there’s no reason the Eagles don’t walk away with the first Super Bowl win in franchise history. (FINALLY!)
Eagles 31, Patriots 20
Vengeance is sweet. It’s even sweeter when you can exact against the greatest dynasty in NFL history. I think the Eagles have the personnel on both sides of the ball to overmatch the Patriots. The Eagles defensive line should be able to continuously pressure Tom Brady and keep the Patriots’ offense off the field. On the offensive side of the ball for the Eagles, if Nick Foles can play with consistency, they shouldn’t have any problems moving the ball and sustaining drives. This Eagles team has something to prove, and they remind of the 2013 Seahawks. Nelson Agholor racks up 150 total yards and two touchdowns en route to SB MVP honors.
Eagles 27 Patriots 22
There is just something different about this team. I’ve never seen an Eagles team that just finds a way to win despite the circumstance. We saw it in both Washington games, both NYG games, Chargers, Rams, Panthers, Raiders. They just find a way.
I see this game starting out a little nerve wracking and back and forth. But then I see the Eagles doing what they’ve done all year, clamp down on defense and start taking over the game at the line of scrimmage. Across the board, the Eagles are far superior to the Patriots and I think it shows up early in the second half. Brady will make a push because he always does, but it won’t be enough this time.
EVEN MORE EXPLANATIONS!
Here are some explanations from the people who don’t appear in the table. Some old names on this list!
Patriots 27, Eagles 13
So far I’ve picked the Eagles to lose in every round of these playoffs. In fact, I can honestly say I wasn’t just being contrarian or negative for the sake of it. I genuinely expected them to lose each of those games. That said, it’s hard to remain skeptical about this team. You don’t get to the Super Bowl by accident. There are no unimpressive playoff wins. At some point, doubts about Nick Foles or the ability of other parts of the team to hold up give way to the simple fact that THEY HAVE HELD UP. And then I think about the Pats, specifically about their two Super Bowl losses. They faced Giants teams with a defense that didn’t have to blitz to generate pressure and a mediocre QB who had gotten hot. That sounds really familiar doesn’t it? Anywho... I may not be doubting anymore but I am kind of superstitious. I’ve picked them to lose twice and they’ve won. So I say Eagles lose this one 27-13. [Winkface emoji]
Eagles 28, Patriots 14
I am really enjoying the focus from a lot writers and pundits about how Tom Brady and Josh McDaniels will dump nothing but rub routes all over the Eagles to win the Super Bowl. Now I fully expect those to come and certainly think at one point Nigel Bradham might some how end up on Cooks or Gronk in total mismatch. But I would be really surprised if the Eagles defense gets completely pants’d in this game, I’d gladly welcome the paper cut offense approach from the Patriots and hope for field goals. Tom Brady vs the Eagles D has been a constant breakdown this week and I think the ignores the bigger part of this matchup. This Eagles offense is gonna the kick the sh*t out of this Patriots defense. I believe too much in Doug Pederson and company along with this offensive line for that Patriots D to do anything to make me worried about scoring points, even if that means going blow for blow with Touchdown Tom. I get the feeling that this kinda ends up like the flow of that Cowboys game in November - mistakes early, Bill and Doug play a little bit too much cat and mouse, then the Eagles take over in the 3rd quarter and don’t look back. I don’t think it’s 38-9 in the end... but I do think the Eagles roll in the 2nd half. 28-14 and we all go party on Broad St until 6:00 AM in the morning.
Eagles 27, Patriots 24
Destiny and fate are two reasons I’ve heard a lot for why the Eagles will win. They are also two things I don’t believe in. I’ll tell you what I do believe in, the 53 guys in the Eagles locker room. I believe they’re a better 53 top-to-bottom than New England’s. Not to mention they’re uniquely built to attack this Patriots team due to their ability to dominate in the trenches. I also believe in Doug Pederson. I believe, in his second season, that he can go toe-to-toe with the Bill freaking Belichick. Crazy, but true. Most important, I believe there is something special going on with the Eagles this season. They are the best example of a true team that I can remember in my time watching Philadelphia sports. They’ve consistently made adversity their bitch. They thrive on doubt. They don’t care if I believe in them, or if you believe in them, or if anyone on the planet does. They believe in themselves, so I do too.
Patriots 27, Eagles 26
This Patriots team is very beatable. It’s the worst roster that Tom Brady and Bill Belichick have worked with during a Super Bowl run. However, my concern is the inconsistency of the Philadelphia offense.
I am as big of a believer in Nick Foles as anyone - outside of maybe Tori Foles - but my issue is if the Patriots get up by 10-14 points, this Eagles offense may have an issue coming back. The Eagles will need to put up 28 points to win this game, against the ultimate schemer. That’s a possible scenario, but hard to bet on.
The win over the Minnesota Vikings was very convincing and makes me feel very good about this game. That said, I think it’s a toss-up, so I have to go with history. I’ve never hoped to be wrong more in my life.
Eagles 31, Patriots 24
I’m expecting the Eagles defense to come out playing fast and loose. They’ll have a chance to set the tone early - make a few plays and get the Patriots out of rhythm early and you keep the game close. Play too loose and commit stupid penalties? Well, we all know that Tom Brady doesn’t need any help getting down the field.
While it’s certainly true that much of the game will come down to Brady vs. Nick Foles (analysis!), it’s really up to the defense in this one. The fewest amount of points New England scored in a loss this season was 27, and they only scored under 20 points in one game all year. Guys like Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham need to be living in the backfield.
The x-factor in this game will be the offensive play calling. We’ve talked all postseason about Doug Pederson’s ability to understand his guys’ strengths and weaknesses. It’ll be absolutely imperative that Nick feels comfortable with the game plan. He can’t be expected to pull another all-time great performance out of his pocket. Give him some screens and short passes with YAC potential, and let the running game carry the load. Nelson Agholor should be good for some catches against some guy named Eric Rowe. And no one’s counting out Alshon “even when I’m covered, I’m open” Jeffery or Zach Ertz.
There’s a lot of talk about how this team is special, and it very well may be true. But in a game where the opponent has both the greatest coach and greatest quarterback of all time, the Eagles can win by simply being themselves. It’s gotten them this far, and it can absolutely work Sunday.
Patriots 23, Eagles 17
In a lot of ways, I really like the Eagles in this game. I love the advantage the defensive and offensive lines should have. I like the Eagles run game against the Patriots defense. I think the Eagles have an advantage in play calling when they have the ball, Matt Patricia is fine, Doug Pederson has been excellent all year. But there are some things I don’t like. Extra time off hasn’t been great for the Eagles. Playing a Monday after a Thursday game, they struggled in the first half against the Redskins. After a bye week they struggled in the first half against the Cowboys. Against the Falcons after a bye week they were better in the first half, but far from great. They can’t start slow against this team. And the Patriots have been better on special teams this season, which is an unusual position for the Eagles to be in. But most importantly, I don’t like the discrepancy between QBs. Nick Foles had a great game against a Vikings defense that is way better than the Patriots, and is a very good backup, but is a backup nonetheless. He’s inconsistent, so I have little confidence that he can play lights out again. The Eagles are absolutely capable of winning, but I expect the Patriots to win. I’d love nothing more than to be wrong.
Eagles 26, Patriots 24
[BLG Note: Dan sent me like 2,000 words on why the Eagles are going to win this game. Classic Danta Klaus. Instead of posting that here, I’m just going to make it a separate post.]
Patriots 24, Eagles 23
I want to be wrong. I soooo want to be wrong. But my pessimism has two hands on each side my optimism’s head and is squeezing. It hurts. I have a feeling this is going to be an up and down, up and down, up and down, nail-biting, nausea-inducing roller coaster ride. It’s one of those games you really hate when you lose, but absolutely love when you win. My saving grace is the play of our offensive and defensive lines. My worst fear is the Patriots take the lead late with time remaining. Foles and company fight their way and get to Jake Elliott’s field goal range. Hope and glory rest on a rookie kicker’s size 10. Is it 50 yards? 55? It may not matter. He kicks it, it’s up, and it’s...
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