Patriots vs Eagles Super Bowl 2018 – In-Depth Expert’s Look
We will be back early next week with picks on Super Bowl 2018 side, total points, and moneyline, but in this article, we’re focusing on a full breakdown on both sides of the ball for New England and Philadelphia and breaking down the matchups. The odds have moved to -6 to -5 and -4.5 at some shops with the Patriots being favored. The total opened at 48 points and has not moved off that number at most shops.
When The Patriots Have the Ball
Running has been tough against the Eagles all season, but you can expect New England to at least give it a shot early on, before abandoning it (for the most part), if it fails to work for the first few drives. This is a formula they have utilized all season, which has been successful. The Patriots will rely on Dion Lewis, with James White mixing in on passing downs and perhaps a bit of Rex Burkhead, as well. Fullback James Develin will need to have a strong game blocking if they are to have any success on the ground.
As far as the passing game, the Eagles cornerbacks are their weakest spot on the defense and probably the weakest on the roster. Amendola who has been the hero in two postseason games for the Patriots will get a much tougher matchup against nickel back, Patrick Robinson. The two players most likely to have success for New England are Rob Gronkowski and Brandin Cooks. Gronk is expected to be back after suffering a concussion against the Jaguars. While Malcolm Jenkins is a decent cover safety and the Eagles have been strong against tight ends – Gronk is still a matchup nightmare.
Cooks managed 100 yards against the Jaguars corner tandem, and he shouldn’t have any issues against the Eagles’ cornerbacks. He may be able to do damage on shorter routes, as well as providing a field-stretching element, along with Gronkowski. Like Jacksonville did for stretches in the AFC Championship – the Eagles will have to hope that their pass rush can get there with just a four-man rush or Brady will likely find a way to pick them apart from the entire game.
When The Eagles Have the Ball
To put it bluntly, they’ll look to run as much as possible, provided it’s working. The Jaguars had their way in the running and short passing game against the Patriots before they became far too predictable in the second half with their play calling.
However, the Eagles boast a far more dominant offensive line, led by center Jason Kelce and tackle, Lane Johnson. They should have plenty of success up the gut and outside with the run game. It may be difficult for the Patriots to stop the run without stacking the box due to Philadelphia’s dominant front.
For Foles and the Eagles’ receivers, the matchup is just as tough as last week’s. They’re not guaranteed success against New England’s secondary because they scorched Minnesota’s, but it sure seems likely they will get it going with the talent they have and the likely success of their running game.