Gridiron Experts Super Bowl LII Staff Picks

Philadelphia Eagles at New England Patriots

Mike Rigz  This game will be a lot of closer than people think. The Eagles defense has played excellent throughout the playoffs and I feel they match up well in this contest. The Eagles DEF haven’t allowed a single point in the second half of both playoff games against the Falcons and Vikings. Nick Foles has proven he can manage the game and make tough throws when needed. If the Eagles can lean on their run game and remain aggressive throughout all four quarters, they should be able to play spoiler. Pick: Eagles 24-23

Podcast: Hear more of my thoughts on The Empire Fantasy Podcast EP28: Super Bowl Predictions

Brad Castronovo  Since the initial spread was released, it has been trending towards the Eagles. As the line has shrunk, those who believe in Brady & Co. have been licking their chops. Call me one of those believers. While the Eagles are certainly going to be the Patriots’ greatest challenge of the playoffs so far, they have had success in finding ways to make plays against formidable defenses already this postseason (see their comeback vs. the Jags.) While New England has notoriously come out flat in their past few Super Bowls, I think that this year, they will find ways to make plays throughout all three phases of the game. Nick Foles has shown he can keep the Eagles above water, but will need to be extraordinary to take this one from New England. I like the Pats, and my pick for Super Bowl MVP, Danny Amendola, to take this one comfortably. Pick: Patriots 31-21

Michael Hauff   Just like we all planned back in the summer months, the Philadelphia Eagles will be representing the NFC in this year’s Super Bowl. Opposing them will be the defending champion New England Patriots. For me, this game is going to come down to the trenches. The team that pressure’s the quarterback more will come out on top. If you listen to the FF Faceoff podcast, you would know that this decision is with my head over my heart but I like the Patriots to win yet another title.

The Patriots, specifically Trey Flowers, will give Nick Foles plenty of trouble. The pressure generated by the New England pass rush will continuously give the Patriots favorable field position. This will be a prototypical Patriots performance. Plenty of quick drag and out routes with Dion Lewis and Rex Burkhead getting plenty of love in the flats. No matter who comes out on top in this one, the 4.5 point spread is almost too good to be true. To be clear, my heart will be rooting for the Philadelphia Eagles. But in my head, the Patriots will control this game. Patriots will win by four and hit the under. Pick: Patriots 24-20

Anthony Cervino   – Super Bowl LII will showcase a rematch of Super Bowl XXXIX between the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles. While the Patriots just squeaked by the Eagles by a score of 24-21 on an Adam Vinatieri field goal back in 2004, I believe the outcome of this Sunday’s matchup will favor the Eagles. Now, we all know the stats — its New England’s top offense in total net yards versus Philadelphia’s fourth-ranked defense in total net yards — a battle of the strengths. However, if the Eagles are going to win, they must continue to rely on Nick Foles. While Foles is 2-0 in the 2017 postseason, he is also boasting an impressive stat line. Completing 49-of-63 passes (77.8 percent) for 598 yards, three touchdowns, and zero interceptions, Foles is the key to the offense and an Eagles win, primarily in the effect that he isn’t throwing picks and is being uber careful with the football.

Super Bowl Party Game

In a game in which I believe will be a low-scoring affair, the difference between the winner and loser will likely come down to one or two big plays. And while Tom Brady is accustomed to being on the favorable end of said plays, the Eagles are due to win, just as much as the Patriots are due for the ball to bounce in the opposite direction. I mean, think about it, New England just got by the Seahawks a few years back and had to overcome a massive deficit last season to knock off the Atlanta Falcons. And I’ll say this right here, right now, if the Patriots are at a two-score deficit against this Eagles defense and have to play from behind, they’re going to lose the game. This Philadelphia defense is too good and too disciplined. And the presence of Chirs Long and LeGarrette Blount — two former Patriots who won a championship there — will be felt on both sides of the ball. They were intricate parts of New England’s success last season and should be able to tip off their teammates to their opponents tendencies. Plus, both Long and Blount’s presence will help the Eagles off the field as they know how to prepare to play in a Super Bowl — transportation, handling the media, handling family and friends hassling you for tickets — all that takes a toll on younger teams with no Super Bowl experience which is why Long and Blount’s signings will pay off this week. I’m going to go with my gut in this win. Eagles will win their first Super Bowl — sorry fellow Cowboys fans but its time for an outstanding fan base and organization to hoist the Lombardi Trophy while simultaneously putting an end to the greatest dynasty in sports history.  Pick: Eagles 20 Patriots 17

Mitchell Renz    In the seven Super Bowls Tom Brady and Bill Belichick have been participated in, the average margin of victory is 3.7 points per game, so I believe the Eagles will cover the spread. However, I am taking the Patriots to win straight up. The Patriots are 3-0 in Super Bowls when they wear white and with a win on Sunday, New England will go to 4-0. The Eagles defense is vastly underrated and will give Brady and the Patriots trouble, but this Cinderella Story doesn’t have a fairytale ending. Patriots win 28-24, Tom Brady is the Super Bowl MVP. Pick: NE 28 – PHI 24

Andrew Erickson    A lot of people that believe in the Eagles are feeling confident because of the Eagles defense. They do not give up a lot of points or yards and can generate an interior pass rush. However, something that should be noted is that this defense does not play nearly as well on the road. No NFL team had higher points allowed home/road split than the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles. 12.4 points per game allowed at home, 23.5 points per game allowed on the road (-11.1). The Patriots will be able to put enough points on the board to get the win, and I do not think that Nick Foles will be able to play as well again as he did versus Minnesota. Patriots win 28-24 and Danny Amendola wins Super Bowl MVP. Pick: NE 28 – 24



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