It’s that time of year again, and love them (like me) or hate them (like everyone else), the New England Patriots are back in the big game. Super Bowl LII marks their 8th appearance in the Super Bowl in the Brady/Belichick era, and could give Brady his 6th ring. The Patriots find themselves headed to Minnesota after defeating the Jacksonville Jaguars in a performance that was subpar until the fourth quarter. The Patriots are heavy favorites in this game but given the last two Super Bowls they have played in, this game will likely be close and hard fought. They face off against the Philadelphia Eagles, a worthy opponent, who are in search of their first win in their third Super Bowl appearance. Though this will probably end up close, I believe that the Patriots will come out on top in the end.
Here are 5 reasons why the New England Patriots will win Super Bowl LII:
1. History says…
We are 18 years into the 21st Century and in that time 8 of the Super Bowls that have been played have included the New England Patriots, 5 of which they won. History shows that the Pats have the experience in the big game. They know how to get there, they know how to play in them, and most importantly they know how to win. They know how to win even when it seems impossible. In fact in all of the games in the Brady/Belichick era have been decided by 6 points or less. History says that you cannot, cannot, ever count the Patriots out of the game. History says that they almost always find a way to pull it off. Even this year in the regular season they pulled off wins that other teams probably wouldn’t have, against the Steelers in Pittsburgh, the AFC Championship against Jacksonville. If they keep up their never say die attitude which they historically have had during the playoffs, specifically the Super Bowl, then there is no reason to think that they won’t be able to put another Lombardi Trophy in Foxboro.
2. Defensive Turn Around
There is no denying that the Patriots defense had a relatively mediocre start this year, but they have turned it around in the later half of the season. The thing with the defense of this years Patriots team is that they give up a decent amount of yards and big plays, but they don’t let you score on them. It’s an interesting dichotomy that could only work for a team like the Patriots that have coaches like Bill Belichick and Matt Patricia. With players like Patrick Chung, Deitrich Wise Jr., and Malcolm Butler they can make big plays. And they almost always come up with the big play; the game changing sack, the vital swat of a ball (see Stephon Gilmore in the AFC Championship), and of course game clinching interceptions. Their ability to come up with the necessary play at the perfect moment is unparalleled.
3. Danny Amendola’s Playoff Surge
The Patriots have a plethora of options this year for Tom Brady when he throws the ball, including some big names at WR, TE, and even at RB. Danny Amendola had to step up big time this year after his friend and teammate Julian Edelman went down with an ACL tear, and teammate Chris Hogan was in and out of the line up. He did his part during the regular season helping the Patriots to a 13-3 finish in the regular season and getting them to the AFC Championship game. But it was what he did in the AFC Championship game that makes me think he is one of the reasons that the Patriots will win the Super Bowl. He had a huge fourth quarter in which he had five catches, a 20 yard punt return, and two touchdowns (including the game winner set up by his own punt return). Amendola is the kind of player that should make opposing teams nervous. He makes great plays on the ball and has shown exceptional ability in the punt return game. For the Eagles defense it will be difficult to be able to cover him all the time along with the other threatening options on the Patriots offense, meaning that there will be times when he can show off his magic, and if it’s anything like it was against the Jaguars then Philly should be nervous.
4. The Masters of Coaching
You know that meme, the “name a more iconic trio….I’ll wait” one? Well name a more iconic coaching trio than Bill Belichick, Josh McDaniels, and Matt Patricia….I’m waiting. These three men are all brilliant football minds, and could easily all be head coaches (something that is seeming increasingly likely for McDaniels and Patricia after this year). They are meticulous, calculating, and unparalleled in their preparation for games. They analyze thousands of plays of their opponent and practice for every scenario. Take the Super Bowl against the Seahawks in 2014, the last play of the game when Butler made the title clinching interception. It was the first time the Seahawks had run that play in the whole game and yet Butler had just practiced the play days before in practice thus giving him the ability to get the jump on the ball and win the game. The coaches’ ability to make adjustments at halftime cannot be understated either as evidenced by the crazy comeback last year against Atlanta. Belichick prides himself on his ability to have an answer for every situation, and more often than not he does.
5. Tom Freakin’ Brady
I feel like this doesn’t even need any explanation but I’ll never pass up an opportunity to list off Tom Brady’s incredible playoff stats. He has thrown for at least 280 yards in his last 8 games, he has the most playoff wins with 27, and most starts with 36. He is tied for most Super Bowl wins as a player with 5, and with a win this Sunday he would stand alone as the most decorated NFL player in history. He has a 63% completion rate in the playoffs, throwing for 9,721 yards, and in the Super Bowl he has a 67% completion rate for 2,071 yards which is just ridiculous. He has 68 total playoff touchdowns, 15 of which have come in the big game. Last year alone he threw for over 400 yards in the Super Bowl! As impressive as his stats are they aren’t the only thing that makes him the main reason that the Patriots have a great chance at winning on Sunday. There is just something about Brady that gives you a confidence boost. He makes everyone around him play better. He makes impossible throws and his receivers make impossible catches. He turns someone who would be an average player on another team and turns them into a superstar. He can use anyone to get the job done and just has that something extra that has you believing that he will do it. The idea of even playing against him in the regular season is daunting, the thought of playing against him in the Super Bowl is momentous. He just always gets the job done, and there is no reason to think that he won’t this Sunday.
See the other side here: Super Bowl LII: 5 Reasons Why the Philadelphia Eagles Will Win.
Super Bowl LII will take place on Sunday, Feb. 4 at 6:30pm on NBC.