We finally made it!
And despite more drama and thrill than a Hollywood box-office smash, both the AFC and NFC No. 1 seeds will contest Super Bowl 52 in Minneapolis.
My team mate Brodie Smith will be at US Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis which makes me green with envy but hey, at least coach Pykey gave us the day off to watch the big game!
Here are the things that will determine the winner of Super Bowl LII.
- TOM vs TIME
Tom Brady released a magnificent mini-series on Facebook detailing the dedication he puts into his craft and he will his very best to overcome yet another excellent defence. Brady was just awarded with his third league MVP and despite being 40, has shown no signs of slowing down. His short and intermediate passing game is the best we have ever seen and utilising Gronkowski, Amendola, Cooks, White and Lewis we should see Tommy Terrific hoist his sixth Lombardi.
- HOLES IN FOLES
Nick Foles was simply awesome in the Eagles NFC Championship beatdown over Minnesota. He stood up to the task, stared it down and led his team heroically.
He faces Bill Belichick here who makes teams play left-handed. He makes you play in a manner in which you are not comfortable. The Eagles offence has weapons, Ertz, Alshon, Ajayi, Blount, Smith, Nelson but Foles is the QB, he makes the team go and Belichick will make his life a living hell for three hours. Stepping up like he did in the NFC title game is vital but two career-best performances in the playoffs would be unlikely.
- TERRIFIC TIGHT ENDS
Rob Gronkowski is the best tight end to ever play the game. Simple. When it’s all said and done no one will come close to 87. On the opposite sideline, Zach Ertz used 2017/18 to become a TD machine. He lit up fantasy football leagues across the globe and Foles will be looking to his security blanket early and often.
Gronkowski will face an elite safety in Malcolm Jenkins but stopping the big man is a tall, tough order.
- THE JAY TRAIN
Talk about rising from the basement to the penthouse. Jay Ajayi began this season as Miami’s lead back and a bunch of poor performances led coach Adam Gase to have him traded and proclaim to have improved his team after moving on the Pro Bowl back. Ajayi landed with a playoff team however and has flourished late in the season and has looked like the star tailback many expected him to be in South Florida. For mine, he looms as the key pillar to success against New England.
Ajayi can release pressure from Foles, keep the ball from Brady and run through, over and around Patriots defenders. IF the Jay Train gets rolling and goes for 120+ then I can see a Philly victory.
- ENJOY THE FESTIVITIES
The Super Bowl is as much about the commercials and halftime entertainment as it is the game. Only two teams are competing so the large majority of us have no skin in the game so seeing Pepsi’s newest commercial is funnily enough of more interest than when our own team is in the contest. Justin Timberlake will undoubtedly light up the halftime concert and those joining him will be special. Janet Jackson anyone?
Philly may begin full of energy and jump the Patriots early days but I can certainly see Tommy taking over and dominating this one. The Eagles’ bubble may have burst and this could get ugly in the second half.
PATRIOTS 30, EAGLES 17
There are a bazillion exotic betting options out there on the Super Bowl like how long will P!nk’s rendition of the US national anthem go for but let’s stick to football and making some money.
- Zach Ertz last TD $10
- 1st quarter scoring, under 10 points $1.74
- Jay Ajayi +50 rush yards, Nick Foles & Tom Brady both +225 pass yards, Rob Gronkowski anytime TD, Eagles win first quarter and New England win the match $26