The Eagles are obviously the underdog in this Super Bowl. After the loss of the of Carson Wentz to a torn ACL the Eagles were seen as the weakest number 1 seed in the Super Bowl era and bound to go out in the divisional round. Fast forward 4 weeks and the Eagles are the most unlikely NFC representative to make it to the Super Bowl since, in my opinion, the Giants in 2011. Underdogs against the Falcons, underdogs against the Vikings, Philadelphia has proven the football world wrong with a defiant attitude. But they will be facing their biggest test in the New England Patriots. They have done well so far but here are some of the things that the Eagles need to do to win the Super Bowl.
*Keep Your Foot On The Gas
If anything can be learned from what the Falcons did last year, it is to never give the Patriots a chance when they are down. Now this is much easier said than done when staring at Tom Brady and Bill Belichick on the opposite sideline, but it is possible. Philadelphia has a great defense and a manageable offense with Nick Foles at the helm. If Philly can get off to a fast start like the Falcons did last year, they cannot afford to take a conservative approach. Keep grinding and keep the ball out of Tom Brady’s hands.
*Get to Tom with 4
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Tom Brady completed 66% of his passes against the blitz this year, the best in the NFL. Since 2006 Brady has thrown 70 TD passes and 0 interceptions against the blitz. Basically what I’m saying is, there is no solution to stopping Tom Brady when bringing 6 or more defenders. The Eagles do have an answer to this though, and his name is Fletcher Cox. Cox, a second team all-pro defensive lineman needs to get penetration up the middle with 4 man rushes to free up Vinny Curry, Chris Long, Brandon Graham, and Derrick Barnett to get to Brady. It will not be an easy task, but the last two teams to beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl pressured Brady with 4 consistently.
*Establish the Run
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Now this one may seem obvious, the Giants had a thunder and lightning combination in the backfield like the Eagles have in Jay Ajayi and LaGarette Blount. New England’s defense has been shaky at times this year although it looks like they may have righted the ship some. The Eagles traded for Ajayi for this exact moment and Corey Clement has proven to be a great 3rd down back, so using these three backs to keep the football in the hands of Nick Foles and out of the hands of Tom Brady will make a substantial difference. Brady does not need a lot of time to score, but limiting his possessions gives much more hope.
*Have a Little Lady Luck
The Patriots are not going to beat themselves. The Patriots are great at forcing mistakes at the most opportune moments. The Patriots have the greatest quarterback and coach of all time. There is no out thinking or out coaching the Patriots. The Eagles are going to have to get a couple of lucky bounces or a couple of calls go their way in order to establish themselves in the game and have a chance to win. It might not seem like the most logical solution for them winning, but anything that could give them an edge would be gladly accepted.
The Eagles have a chance to pull off, what some might consider, the second biggest upset in Super Bowl history. Philadelphia has the pieces to make it happen, but they need to have a flawless 60 minutes in order to topple the dynasty that is the Patriots. They might be underestimated, but they should not be overlooked.