Sunday, January 21st, 2018. The day Nick Foles transformed from a liability to a legend among Eagles fans.
There’s no doubt that Foles was a productive player during his three seasons at Arizona after transferring there from Michigan State. He threw for more than 10,000 yards and 67 TDs while leading the Wildcats to the Holiday and Alamo Bowls in his tenure.
In 2013, he led the Eagles to the playoffs with a 27 TD, 2 INT season and looked like a star in the making. Then his career bottomed out.
But that changed last December 10th when Philly starting QB Carson Wentz suffered a torn-ACL in Los Angeles. No one outside the city of Philadelphia believed that Foles could lead a still-powerful Eagles team to the Super Bowl…and let’s be honest, most Eagles fans didn’t think so as well.
Sunday’s 26 of 33, 352 yard, 3 TD performance in a 38-7 NFC Championship Game win over the previously-powerful Vikings and their defense was as surprising as it was impressive.
And now Foles becomes the first UofA or ASU QB to start a Super Bowl – who would’ve ever guessed?
Nick Foles in the second half: 11-of-11, 159 yards, 2 TD, perfect passer rating (158.3), perfect QBR (99.9)
— Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) January 22, 2018
But now it’s on to the grandest stage of them all, the Super Bowl…against the legendary Tom Brady and the Patriots.
How New England beat Jacksonville on Sunday afternoon was the stuff legends are made of – down 20-10 with 9 minutes to go, Brady led a frantic comeback against the league’s best defense. Despite having 12 stitches in his right thumb, he masterfully executed two scoring drives to deflate the NFL’s greatest underdog in recent memory.
I feel badly for my friend who placed bets on Jacksonville to win the AFC and Super Bowl in August. He would’ve won $110,000 and $450,000 profit respectively and I can imagine it was a tough pill to swallow. Even so, the AFC Championship provided enough drama to satisfy most NFL fans despite a rocky season for the sport.
Brady advances to his NFL-record and a nearly unbreakable 8TH Super Bowl, having gone 5-2 already in those games.
For Arizona Wildcats fans, it’s also a fun matchup of Foles and Eagles Special Teams coach David Fipp against Rob Gronkowski and Marquis Flowers of the Patriots.
🏆 Most Players in Super Bowl 52
EAGLES | PATRIOTS
— Pick Six Previews (@PickSixPreviews) January 22, 2018
Alright, the teams are set. Who ya got?
— Arizona Football (@ArizonaFBall) January 22, 2018
I’m struggling to come up with an official pick this early. Being that the game will be played indoors with weather not a factor, will it be more high-scoring than expected? Or will Philadelphia try to play ball-control offense to keep the Patriots offense and Tom Brady off the field? As of when this blog was published, the Eagles were 5 point underdogs with the over / under being 48.
The last Super Bowl favorite of more than a field goal to cover the spread? Colts -7 vs the Bears in 2007. SB favorites of -3.5 or higher are 1-4 SU, 0-5 ATS since Rex Grossman’s 4th quarter pick six #PHIvsNE #NEvsPHI #SuperBowl #EaglesNation #Pats
— teddy sevransky (@teddy_covers) January 22, 2018
But I suspect you didn’t read this far for me not to make an early (and subject-to-change) prediction. So for now I’ll say New England 30, Philadelphia 23. Patriots and over. And I’ll also predict that for once, Tom Brady WON’T be the Patriots’ or the game’s MVP.