Here we are again, Super Bowl Sunday and the New England Patriots are playing again. Like a bad nightmare that never ends, the Patriots dynasty just seems to continue without an end in sight. All dynasties come and go and usually last not much longer than a decade. The Green Bay Packers ruled the 60’s, the Pittsburgh Steelers ruled the 70’s, the San Francisco 49ers ruled the 80’s, and the Dallas Cowboys ruled the 90’s. The Patriots meanwhile ruled ever since, winning three Super Bowls in four years in the 2000’s and having a chance to do it again if they beat the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII.
The Philadelphia Eagles who were the losers, when the Patriots won their third Lombardi Trophy in four years the last time, winning 24-21 in Super Bowl XXXIX 13 years ago. The Eagles are underdogs once again this time around. The Eagles relish the role of underdog, as they were home dogs in both the Divisional Round against the Atlanta Falcons and the NFC Championship Game against the Minnesota Vikings. This has led the Eagles and their fans to wearing dog masks.
The New England Patriots are the villains of this drama, as their success has become too much to bear for fans of the remaining 31 teams. No matter how you slice it, the Patriots dynasty is like none other a record ten Super Bowls in their franchise history, five Super Bowl wins for Tom Brady, seven Super Bowl rings as a head coach and an assistant coach for Bill Belichick. Brady has a record four Super Bowl MVPs, and if not for the blue kryptonite team called the New York Giants, the Patriots would be in a realm beyond understanding a realm beyond all that can be seen. Still, a 5-2 record in seven Super Bowls in 16 years is something that likely will never happen again. With a win, the Patriots will join the Steelers are the only franchise to win the Lombardi Trophy six times.
The Eagles can do everything that is needed to rattle Tom Brady, with a strong pass rush that has had two monstrous games already this postseason. Fletcher Cox has been unrelenting on opposing quarterbacks, while the secondary has slowed down players like Julio Jones and Stefon Diggs without any problem. If the Eagles are to pull off the upset they will need the same level of play and for Cox to have an MVP type game, with a full game of making Brady feel like a 40-year old every time he gets hit.
The big concern for Philadelphia centers around quarterback Nick Foles. Just two years ago Foles was on the verge of quitting after flaming out in St. Louis. Had Carson Wentz been healthy, you could give the Eagles an edge, but can you really trust a backup to beat the legendary Tom Brady? True, Foles had the game of his life against the Vikings, but against the Patriots he will likely need to be just as good, and it’s hard to see that happening.
All the superlatives are out there. You can consider Tom Brady to be the Greatest of All-Time and it’s hard to argue against it any more with his unreal success continuing after most of the other great quarterbacks were at home making beer commercials and waiting for the call from Canton. Win or lose there is no tarnishing his legacy as the Patriots already have to be at or near the top of the greatest teams of all time. The same is true for coach Bill Belichick, who has now personally been to 11 Super Bowls, including three as an assistant. His defense was a big reason the Giants won Super Bowl XXI and Super Bowl XXV, and his scheming and game planning is the main reason why the Patriots are on this stage for the eighth time in 17 years. Add this to four AFC Championship Game losses and you can see why the Patriots think they are the greatest dynasty in NFL history because they are.
Last year was the game that cemented the Patriots as legends, as they staged the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history, trailing 28-3 in the third quarter against the Falcons. The Patriots did a similar comeback on a smaller scale against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC Championship Game, so even when they are down, they are not out and can strike and win any game at any time. Beating the Patriots takes a superb effort and an almost perfect game plan. Two things I don’t believe the Eagles can do. In the end, it will be another ring and another Duck Boat Parade, maybe after this one and the departure of Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia, Tom Brady listens to Gisselle and rides off into the sunset giving hope back to everyone, after he gets his fifth MVP.
Super Bowl LII MVP:
Tom Brady, QB New England Patriots