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Kaboom! Magazine.com Super Bowl LII Preview

Kaboom! Magazine.com Super Bowl LII Preview

After a grueling 16-game regular season schedule and three weeks of playoff contests, there is just one game left to be played in the NFL this season: Super Bowl LII. The 52nd Super Bowl will take place on February 4, 2018 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Set to square off in this season’s big game are the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles, in a rematch of Super Bowl XXXIX from 2004–a game which the Patriots won 24-21. Both teams held the best overall records in each other conferences, but each team took two very different paths to reach the big game. The Philadelphia Eagles looked dead in the water late in the regular season due to the season-ending injury to starting quarterback Carson Wentz, but Nick Foles stepped in and kept the ship afloat. Despite the fact that they won 13 games this season, the New England Patriots still needed a miraculous comeback in order to punch their ticket to Minneapolis. The Patriots now shift their focus to the Eagles who are looking to win their 1st franchise super bowl in the hopes that they will win their sixth Super Bowl of the Brady/Belichick era. Today, Kaboom! Magazine.com wants to help you prepare for the big game by giving you a preview of what you can expect this Super Sunday. Checkout who we think will be raising the Lombardi trophy when all the smoke clears with the Kaboom! Magazine.com Super Bowl LII preview.

Super Bowl LII Game Overview:
Philadelphia Eagles vs. New England Patriots (Sun. Feb. 4th, 2018 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota 3pm PT)

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Philadelphia Eagles (13-3 NFC Champions)
The Eagles finished the regular season with a record of 13–3, one of four teams (along with New England, Minnesota, and Pittsburgh) with that record. By virtue of the tie-breaking procedures, they were granted the NFC’s number one overall seed in the 2017–18 NFL playoffs. It was a big improvement for the team under second year head coach Doug Pederson, as the Eagles had finished each of the previous two seasons with identical 7–9 records. The team had scored 457 points during the season (3rd in the NFL), while giving up just 295 (4th) points.

Why will Philadelphia WIN Super Bowl LII:
If the Eagles are going to come out victorious in the Super Bowl, it will be because of a great game from Nick Foles. The 29 year-old signal caller’s play has been bipolar since taking over for Carson Wentz – he’s coming off of a fantastic performance against the Vikings (352 yards, 3 touchdowns) in the 2018 NFC championship game. Foles, despite his lack of starts this season, has a fantastic amount of talent surrounding him in the passing game, which includes the likes of superstar tight end Zach Ertz and talented wideouts Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor, and Torrey Smith. In addition to their passing game weapons, the Eagles have shown the ability to run the ball with tremendous efficiency at times thanks to the trio of former Patriot LeGarrette Blount, Corey Clement, and Jay Ajayi. The Eagles play as of late has been bolstered tremendously thanks to the play of their defense. In their past four games (which includes two playoff contests), the Eagles defense has not allowed more than ten points in any individual game and has forced nine turnovers. If Philadelphia is to win the franchise’s first ever Super Bowl, their defense will most certainly be the ones to set the tone.

Why will Philadelphia LOSE Super Bowl LII:
Nick Foles has been the best QB in the NFL the last month of the season, but he has also looked very lost at times reminding everyone why he was the backup in the 1st place. The Eagles are as well-equipped as anybody to slow Tom Brady and the Patriots offense down in the only way that has been repeatedly successful over the years, but there is of course one caveat to that – it still may not be enough. Brady is just that good that he might beat that game plan anyway. He led the NFL this season in passer rating under pressure at 96.6. That’s almost 10.0 points higher than the average passer rating across all quarterbacks on all plays this year.

Tom Brady

New England Patriots (13-3 AFC Champions)
The Patriots entered the 2017 NFL season as defending Super Bowl champions and preseason favorites to repeat as champions. For the 16th time in their 18 seasons under 65-year old coach Bill Belichick, they recorded double-digit wins, finishing the regular season with a record of 13–3. Early season defensive struggles left the team with a 2–2 record after four weeks, and the worst overall defense in the league at that point. Additionally, top wide receiver Julian Edelman went down in the preseason with a season-ending injury, leaving Tom Brady without one of his favorite targets for the entire year. The defense would come together as a unit, and tighten up over the rest of the season however, with the Patriots going 11–1 after week 4, and finishing the year with a top-5 defense in most statistical categories.

Why will New England WIN Super Bowl LII:
When you talk about the New England Patriots offense, the conversation almost always starts and ends with one man – quarterback Tom Brady. Widely considered to be the best of all time at his position, the 40 year-old signal caller enjoyed another incredibly productive season, throwing for over 4,500 yards and 32 touchdowns while being intercepted just eight times. The weapons surrounding Brady have been depleted a bit this season due to injury but the likes of Brandin Cooks and Danny Amendola have stepped up when needed. Patriot Tight End Rob Gronkowski has proven time and again that he is completely unfair to cover. You try to put a linebacker on him, he’s too fast. You put a safety on him, and he physically abuses them. The dude finds a way to not only get open for first down yardage on a regular basis, he is also an underrated run blocker. While not traditionally thought of as a running team, New England does have a stable of talented half backs that can run the ball efficiently and are lethal in the passing game. We saw first-hand how much havoc the Patriots can wreak in last year’s Super Bowl as James White came out of nowhere to catch 14 passes for 110 yards and ended up with three total touchdowns.

Why will New England LOSE Super Bowl LII:
One major question mark for the Super Bowl is the health of future Hall of Fame tight end Rob Gronkowski. Gronk suffered a concussion in a bang-bang helmet-to-helmet hit in the first half of the AFC Championship and his status for the big game is still unknown. The New England Patriots defense is a tricky unit to summarize briefly. They ranked in the bottom four in the league in terms of yards allowed per game in the regular season but they allowed just 18.5 points per game, which is the fifth best in the league. Long thought of as a “bend but don’t break” squad, the Patriots have talent in their pass rush and secondary but lack depth in their linebacking corps, which could be a big problem for them. We hear all too often about the blueprint being set to beat a particular team, but there is a clear pathway to slowing down Brady and the New England Patriots offense. It’s no coincidence that the New York Giants handed Brady two defeats in the Super Bowl with the same kind of team, and a very similar game plan. The Giants pressured Brady in both of those Super Bowls on over 40 percent of his dropbacks, and did so while blitzing at under 20 percent of rushes across both games, 10 percent lower than the league average rate in 2017. This Eagles team has been the best team in the league all year at generating pressure. They led the league with 271 pressures over the regular season, 27 more than the next-best team.

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Kaboom! Magazine.com Super Bowl LII Game Predictions:

Super Bowl LII Final Score:
New England Patriots 35 Philadelphia Eagles 30

Super Bowl LII MVP: Rob Gronkowski

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