NFL Game Previews: Breaking Down the Super Bowl
NFL Game Previews: Breaking Down the Super Bowl

This article is part of our NFL Game Previews series.

Philadelphia (+4.5) vs New England, 48.5 o/u – Sunday, 6:30 p.m. EST

The Story: After all the drama and excitement in the previous playoff rounds, we end up with the two No. 1 seeds in the Super Bowl anyway. Yawn. Fortunately, the Eagles are still able to fill the "plucky underdog" role in this clash thanks to Carson Wentz's injury, and Nick Foles certainly looked the part of an unlikely hero when he dismantled the Vikings. Just like Minnesota did, though, it's possible Philly peaked too early. Nothing Doug Pederson comes up with is going to surprise Bill Belichick, while the soft spot in the Eagles' defense remains the secondary – you can get away with that against the likes of Case Keenum, but now you're facing Tom Brady. What's worse, advanced stats suggest their weakest matchups come in the slot (hi, Danny Amendola!) and against TEs (oh, hello there, Gronk). All that said, New England hasn't exactly been tested yet this postseason, getting to its third Super Bowl in the last four years by beating the "glad to be here" Titans and then happily watching the Jaguars go into a shell in the second half of the AFC championship. The Eagles should put up a better fight, at least on paper, but there's always the chance they get overwhelmed by the size of the stage. After all, this is a franchise with zero rings, and one that hasn't even been to a Super Bowl

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Erik Siegrist
Erik Siegrist is an FSWA award-winning columnist who covers all four major North American sports (that means the NHL, not NASCAR) and whose beat extends back to the days when the Nationals were the Expos and the Thunder were the Sonics. He was the inaugural champion of Rotowire's Staff Keeper baseball league. His work has also appeared at Baseball Prospectus.
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