PFT’s Super Bowl picks

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The season ends with the 52nd installment of the Super Bowl, and the PFT Postseason Picks Competition (I’ve capitalized the letters to make it seem like a bigger deal since I’m winning) pulls into the station with yours truly already clinching the victory by one game.

There won’t be a tie because both MDS and I have picked the same team to prevail in the 267th game of the year. With the decisive choice ultimately being MDS with the Vikings in the NFC title game and me with the Eagles, I’m 7-3 to date, with MDS at 6-4.

And, yes, he won the regular-season contest fairly easily. But no one gives out trophies for regular-season performance. (Except hockey.)

MDS’s take: Everything about this game points to the Patriots. Bill Belichick and Tom Brady almost seem destined to earn a sixth Super Bowl ring, and the Eagles just seem like the last obstacle in their path.

So what do the Eagles need to do to win? I don’t necessarily think Nick Foles needs the huge performance he had in the NFC Championship Game, but he does need to play well, and to avoid turnovers. If Foles is throwing interceptions or getting strip-sacked, the game could get ugly for the Eagles. If Foles is playing efficient football and LeGarrette Blount and Jay Ajayi are making plays, things will get interesting.

In the end, however, this feels like the culminating moment of Tom Brady’s career. I’m not convinced he can keep playing well until he’s 45, as he says he can. I’m not even convinced he’ll get back to another Super Bowl after this one. But I am convinced he’ll have an MVP-worthy performance on Sunday, and the Patriots will win.

MDS’s pick: Patriots 28, Eagles 20.

Florio’s take: Experience always matters. The fact that Patriots coach Bill Belichick claims it doesn’t underscores that it absolutely does. For the NFL this is Super Bowl LII; for Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady, this is Super Bowl VIII. That’s half of a full season — and roughly every other year — spent preparing for and playing in the Super Bowl, a game with a two-week buildup, nearly a full week at the game site, a halftime that lasts nearly 30 minutes, and the biggest worldwide audience of the year.

Yes, the Eagles have a couple of guys who have played for the Patriots in recent Super Bowls. But that’s hardly enough to overcome the Belichick-Brady factor, especially as they close in on matching the Steelers with six Lombardi Trophies — and a shot next year at seven.

The Eagles have the personnel on defense to potentially make life difficult for Brady, with a front seven that can create pressure up the middle and a secondary that can handle, from time to time, the New England route-runners. But Brady has proven time and again that his extensive experience and lingering physical skills have combined to create a sweet spot that allows him to figure out whatever a defense is doing, and to stay one step ahead of them.

When Philly has the ball, New England will find a way just often enough to deal with the run-pass option, taking away the easy underneath slants and ins while also preparing to attack the ball, if the decision to made to hand it off.

Like most Belichick-Brady Super Bowls, this one probably will be close, with Belichick and Brady having the ability to make the key play at the right time to officially double the number of championships since Malcolm Butler intercepted a pass that, thanks to the systems Belichick has put in place, knew was coming.

In hindsight, we’ll able be saying we should have known what is coming on Sunday night in Minnesota.

Florio’s pick: Patriots 30, Eagles 27.

92 responses to “PFT’s Super Bowl picks

  1. I think it will be due to turnovers, Foles is due, brady is not flawless. But i’ll take an early interception on Foles to end the eagles momentum

    Pats 27
    Eagles 14

  2. Of course you will root for the Patriots. This is PFT. I hope you are wrong, and think the Eagles have more than a fighting chance. Experience aside, they are the better team in most statistical categories, especially that defense. That said, I think Florio’s analysis is the better one, more balanced and really just gives the wildcard or X-factor to Brady, which I am banking won’t come into play. Doug Pederson is no Dan Quinn.

  3. On Monday,
    we will all be talking about Father Time
    and how we all should have seen it coming.

    Eagles by double digits.

  4. As a Patriots fan hater (I don’t hate the team, just the abysmal and arrogant fans that follow them) I’d love for them to lose. Seeing as how they are playing the only team in the league with a worse fan base I hope the Patriots are victorious.

    The stories that have been coming out for years about the horrible conduct from the people of Philly is undeserving of a Super Bowl.

  5. All I hear here in Philly is how everybody counted the iggles out when Wentz went down spurring the underdog role but I can tell you for a fact the biggest offenders of counting the iggles out was the iggles fans themselves !
    Iggles 52 Patriots 28

  6. This game will be close. It’s how the back to back AFC champs and 5 time World Champions roll. It’s what we do. 🙂

    Experience does matter. In this one the Patriots win it old school. Back and forth… Eagles tie it late… leaving just enough time for GOATkowski’s I mean Gostkowski’s game winner. 🙂 Patriots 27-24.

  7. You both have forecast a fairly close game. These Super Bowls easily turn into one sided blow-outs. So no matter who wins, you may both have called it wrong. For me, I see the Iggles surprising the Pats in a close one (Ha! — I might get that wrong, too!)

  8. This is either going to be a finely poised and nailbiting, last possession wins, 3-pointer, or the Eagles struggle under the intense, unfamiliar SB spotlight/pressure while the Pats don’t.

  9. .
    The Eagles will make some plays and put up some points. However, I think the Patriots will make a few more. With five minutes left in the game, each team will have a chance to win.
    .

  10. All of these comments have scores in the high 30s and even one said 52??? This should be a real close game and will come down to whomever has the ball last. It will be a 4 point spread. If Philly doesn’t turn the ball over late in the game they win. If they do the Pats will do what they do and that is capitalize on those errors and make you pay. Philly 31 Pats 27

  11. As a Pats fan living in the Philadelphia area, its amazing to listen to Iggles fans talk about how they will blow out the Patriots in a route. On Monday morning, it will be all about cheating, if only Wentz, Refs, etc etc etc. Here in the land of losers, they can’t even admit BB and Brady are the GOATS.

  12. I never predict victory or points scored, but am hopeful the Pats get the win.

    And please just one damn time Patriots, can we get some points on the scoreboard in the first quarter of a Super Bowl ?

  13. Football is won in the trenches. Eagles OL and DL + Linebackers are far superior. Maybe enough to overcome Brady>Foles.

    Dogs going to feast on GOAT.

  14. PresidentTrumpIsRightRespectYourCountryAndFlag says:
    February 3, 2018 at 8:59 am

    Patriots-24 Eagles-7, TB#12 cannot be beaten!
    #GOAT

    At least he’s right about one thing. GO PATS!

  15. I go with the Patriots. If the game is close going into the fourth quarter, look for several game-changing penalties called in favor of the Pats. Happens in virtually every close game the Pats have played in for at least ten years.

  16. Let’s hope the rest of the “experts” pick the Patsies. Philly will leave Tommie looking like Rocky, but it won’t be close. Eagles 52-0.

  17. Can’t believe the Eagles are underdogs against the defending champs. you’d think a backup qb would be favored.

  18. As a diehard Ravens and a hater of the Patriots fans…I say Foles has his Flacco moment…plays great and the Eagles do enough to beat the Pats…and then we never hear of Foles again. Ravens have the recipe to beat the Pats…should be 4-0 in the playoffs but 2-2 ain’t bad..Eagles just need to follow that. Run the ball, knock Brady down and create turnovers. Easy.

  19. 34-17. Eagles

    Reality is, they Eagles are a better overall team. I know it. You know it. Most importantly, the Eagles and Patriots know it.

    There’s only so much magic in that genie.

  20. Pats 20 Eagles 16. This will be a defensive slugfest with both qbs getting knocked around but I think Eagles will commit the key turnover that decides the game leading to a Gronkowski td. Eagles have been great and it isn’t out of the question for them to win but unless they hold the Pats to under 20 points they probably won’t.

  21. Pats better watch out. They can’t simply win based on past performances. They still need to show up. There are no “gimmies” in the NFL unless you play Cleveland.

  22. harrisonhits2 says:
    February 3, 2018 at 9:46 am

    I never predict victory or points scored, but am hopeful the Pats get the win.

    And please just one damn time Patriots, can we get some points on the scoreboard in the first quarter of a Super Bowl ?

    ****************

    I never do those silly predictions either. Completely pointless, as if somehow you can have bragging rights before the game is played.

    I can see this one going either way, but the critical factor will most likely be coaching. Adjustments were a huge factor in the Patriots’ comeback last year. Unlike Dan Quinn, Doug Pederson seems to have what it takes to play chess with Bill Belichick.

    I can imagine the Patriots playing their usual cautious, feel-them-out style in the first quarter and not score points, as usual. Getting in the hole against the Eagles is probably very different from doing that against the Falcons. The Falcons should have turned to the run game more in the second half, and they should have done the work to be sure their defense was in better condition. Their D was totally gassed in the 4th quarter and OT. The Eagles have a deeper, better defense than the Falcons had and unless the Patriots do a lot of no-huddle/muddle-huddle to keep them from substituting, the Eagles will be able to sub in and keep the D fresh.

    Even though I can see a path to the Eagles winning, if it does come down to coaching, you have to feel optimistic as a Patriots fan. You know that Ernie Adams has been performing his analytical magic in the back room and that the Patriots’ coaching staff has Plans A-Z ready.

    The other X factor is experience, as much as Bill Belichick sneers at it. Some of the quotes from the Eagles players would make me a little nervous. They seem a little over emotional and too caught up in the hoop-la. They’ll need to snap to it on Sunday to get the job done and not fall apart if things start to turn against them.

  23. The Eagles used the same game plan to blow out the Vikings as the Steelers did. Pats should have lost to the Steelers, I think the Eagles have been underdogs all season, will win this one by over 10.

  24. If the Eagles Defense can stay on top of pressuring Brady for at least 3 quarters the Eagles will win… If not then the Patriots will win. Eagles 34, Patriots 24 if their D dominates… Patriots 34, Eagles 24 if they dont.

  25. Patriots scoring in the 30’s?!?!?! Eagles last 4 games they have given up 10, 6, 10 (falcons) and 7 (vikings). Patriots might score 17-20 points.

    Eagles just scored 38 against the best defense in the NFL! Patriots will not prevent the Eagles from scoring 21-24 points.

    QB – edge Pats
    RB – edge Eagles
    TE – edge Pats
    WR – edge Eagles
    OL – edge Eagles
    DL – edge Eagles
    LB – edge Eagles
    DB – even (Pats better CB…Eagles better S)
    ST – even

    Eagles will win 24-20. Pretty easy to figure out

  26. Bret Demyan says:
    February 3, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    Patriots scoring in the 30’s?!?!?! Eagles last 4 games they have given up 10, 6, 10 (falcons) and 7 (vikings). Patriots might score 17-20 points.

    Eagles just scored 38 against the best defense in the NFL! Patriots will not prevent the Eagles from scoring 21-24 points.

    QB – edge Pats
    RB – edge Eagles
    TE – edge Pats
    WR – edge Eagles
    OL – edge Eagles
    DL – edge Eagles
    LB – edge Eagles
    DB – even (Pats better CB…Eagles better S)
    ST – even

    Eagles will win 24-20. Pretty easy to figure out

    ****************

    Oh, gee, if only we’d known that that’s how wins and losses are determined, nobody would have to be bothered to play or watch the games.

  27. The thing that separates Brady, Belichick and New England is their ability to manage situations when under pressure. When things get tight in the 4th quarter, other teams make mistakes. They don’t choke, but they make mistakes. Atlanta got way ahead and made mistakes when they could have won. Seahawks had that miracle catch near the goal line, ran Lynch once, overthought it and made a mistake by throwing. It was a favorable matchup for them to throw in that situation, but they made a mistake. Pressure. So Foles is gonna make plays, the Eagles are gonna have their fair share of opportunities, but when there is pressure in the 4th quarter and a QB needs to step up and make a game winning drive or a game winning TD throw or a game winning 3rd down conversion…which QB is most likely to make that play….when under great pressure. Now…to be fair, Eli Manning made 2 unworldly throws to help the Giants defeat NE (Tyree and Manningham), so it’s possible. But those throws were VERY low percentage and if the Eagles need that same type of play to win, well, then their odds are slim. It’s pressure and the ability to perform under pressure that makes the difference. That’s why Patriots have the clear edge…mentally, they are never out of a game. They have performed and gotten results when under pressure.

  28. PresidentTrumpIsRightRespectYourCountryAndFlag says:
    February 3, 2018 at 8:59 am
    Patriots-24 Eagles-7, TB#12 cannot be beaten!

    ——————————————————————————————-

    Eli Manning and the Giants D would beg to differ……twice

  29. I have no dog in this hunt, and try to be unbiased. I think the Eagles have the people to rattle Tom Brady and shut down the passing game, much like the Giants did. After what they did to the Vikings as underdog, I’m a little surprised the line isn’t a push. Brady may get it together enough to stage another comeback, but one has to think somebody will have figured out how to hold a lead against them.

  30. The patriots are 1 game away from joining the broncos as the Super Bowl’s two 5 game losers.
    Eagles 🦅 27, patriots 24.

  31. I want both starting QB’s knocked out of the game and to never return to play; put the ball in the hands of the effective third string QB’s and see which is the best team rather than the best system QB.

  32. “Seahawks had that miracle catch near the goal line, ran Lynch once, overthought it and made a mistake by throwing…”

    I’m so tired of this analysis of that play. There was no reason, prior to the ball being snapped, to think that the inside slant was any more obviously wrong, or any more likely to result in disaster, than handing off to Lynch again with the defense stacked against the run. And the “Seattle screwed up” analysis completely discounts and ignores the fact that the Patriots read the play and reacted to it correctly and in a timely fashion. It was a really good play from Brandon Browner, and a great play from Malcolm Butler, and the fact that they’d worked it several times (unsuccessfully) in practice during the week, that led to the interception. The Patriots deserve far more credit, and Seattle far less blame, than has been generally acknowledged for the outcome of that play…

  33. This Eagles team is not better than the one the Patriots faced in the Super Bowl in 04.

    There I said it. No disrespect intended but I believe it’s true,

  34. Eagles have no business even being here.
    Their fans are a bunch of out of control teenagers and the team is just a mirror of their fans.
    Patriots 38 Eagles 16

  35. Usually, my second favorite team is whoever is playing the Patriots or Eagles. In this game I won’t be rooting for either team, but the Eagles will win by 10.

  36. gosselnj says:
    February 3, 2018 at 3:25 pm

    Eagles have no business even being here.
    Their fans are a bunch of out of control teenagers and the team is just a mirror of their fans.
    Patriots 38 Eagles 16

    Sorta like……..the Patriots?

    oh..ok

  37. remizak says:
    February 3, 2018 at 11:47 am

    harrisonhits2 says:
    February 3, 2018 at 9:46 am

    I never predict victory or points scored, but am hopeful the Pats get the win.

    And please just one damn time Patriots, can we get some points on the scoreboard in the first quarter of a Super Bowl ?

    Well, they did.

    Sorta.

    With a safety on the game’s first play with intentional grounding in the end zone by the IMMORTAL AND INFALLIBLE #Tommy.

    But, I don’t think that’s what you meant.

  38. Harrison’s wrong. Foles will need to hand the ball off and watch the Eagles offensive line road grade the Pats D, while Tom Brady watches from the sidelines as the Eagles mount time consuming drive after time consuming drive.

    The deep ball will be there for him, but only after three quarters worth of setting it up with demoralizing run after demoralizing run.

  39. Ultraviolet Thunder says:
    February 3, 2018 at 2:35 pm
    I want both starting QB’s knocked out of the game and to never return to play; put the ball in the hands of the effective third string QB’s and see which is the best team rather than the best system QB.

    —-

    That’s nice—wish for people to get injured so you can watch the opposite of what you were hoping for. Nothing is more “system” (if that’s even a thing) than what a 3rd stringer would be allowed to do By any offensive coordinator. Brady is about as anti-system as you can get. He reads defenses and adjusts to what he sees for a living.

  40. Pats by 4

    It’s ALWAYS a close game in Patriots Super Bowls. Every win and loss has been 4 points or less, with the exception of last year when they were down 25 points in the 4th quarter

    It’s the two best teams in football. Anything can happen. That’s why we like the NFL!

  41. We Pats fans have been accused of being arrogant – Guilty.

    Question – If your team were in the Superbowl for the 8th time since the millennial and was going for its 6th world title in 17 years – wouldn’t you be arrogant?

    Pats come out fast, run the no-huddle right out of the gate so the Eagles can’t do defensive switches and take a quick lead at 14-0, Eagles get flustered, Hoyer plays the last few minutes, Pats win 38-7.

  42. Hoping to see another body bag game like the one back in 1990. the eagles opponent didn’t fair to well.

  43. 1st ~ I want my Patriots to win
    2nbd ~ just let me win 1 qtr in the $100 a square pool I’m in. If that happens and Patriots lose. It’s a whole lot easier to take. 🙂

  44. Close first half then the second half features the Patriots no huddle and ball control to fatigue the Eagle Defense. That seems to be a scenario of the Pats in recent games.

  45. The only way the Patriots win is if holding by their OL is ignored by the officials (which seems likely). They can’t stop the Eagles front four. Brady is going to be hit and harassed like he hasn’t been all season. This is by far the best team they’ve faced and if you follow the NFC at all you know it.

  46. 1historian says:
    February 3, 2018 at 6:38 pm

    We Pats fans have been accused of being arrogant – Guilty.

    Question – If your team were in the Superbowl for the 8th time since the millennial and was going for its 6th world title in 17 years – wouldn’t you be arrogant?

    Pats come out fast, run the no-huddle right out of the gate so the Eagles can’t do defensive switches and take a quick lead at 14-0, Eagles get flustered, Hoyer plays the last few minutes, Pats win 38-7.

    _____________________________________________________________________

    And you wonder why delusional fills in the blank with the sentence “Patriots fans are ________”

    Just saying from the door, there isn’t a chance- a single chance- the Patriots score 38 points ( or more ….or ANY total in the 30’s…just so we’re clear ) on this defense. Zero. Again, cut and paste it if you have to. I know I won’t see it again. But, please feel free to file it away for yourself. Go right ahead.

  47. Pats come out fast, run the no-huddle right out of the gate so the Eagles can’t do defensive switches and take a quick lead at 14-0, Eagles get flustered, Hoyer plays the last few minutes, Pats win 38-7

    -snicker- ‘flustered’

    Yeah, you go with that. Flustered. They sure looked “flustered” going down 7-0, at home, two weeks ago. 38 unanswered points later, I would really hate to see what they do when they are in full control throughout.

    Because, ya know, they were ……flustered.

  48. ocgunslinger says:
    February 3, 2018 at 6:55 pm

    Close first half then the second half features the Patriots no huddle and ball control to fatigue the Eagle Defense. That seems to be a scenario of the Pats in recent games.

    That is the scenario, when the opponents begin to get conservative and their coaches play not to lose, like Quinn and Mularkey did, after building a big lead.

    You think the same thing is going to happen with Pederson. That’s hilarious.

    Simple question: Point out one game, even one game situation, where Doug Pederson wasn’t aggressive in his gameplanning and subsequent play calling.

    Just one. You think that’s all of the sudden change? Just because he’s going to be ‘mezmorized’ by the Patriots’ MYSTIQUE AND AURA ( That just keeps getting more and more hilarious every time I type it) and stop being aggressive?

    Good luck with that. Let us know how it turns out.

  49. Eagles defensive front four will be key! If they are on point, it will be a long day for tommy boy! Put pressure on him and make him look like Twinkle-toes Flintstone!

  50. This is going to be a great game and a close game. The score will show that right to the end. The difference make will be game management inside five minutes left. Bill is an expert and the Patriots keep playing to win until there is no time on the clock. There is no lead and play defense to hold it. That strategy will lose against the Pats. I won’t predict a game winner but will predict Philly up by two with 5 minutes left to play. Then we’ll see how discipline plays.

  51. I don’t like either team, but a tie is out of the question. Not really interested in watching this one. Eagle fans suck worse than Patriot fans, but my team is NFC, so, I just hope Philly barely wins in the last two minutes.

  52. The Eagles won.

    Both offenses were dominant, both defenses seemed like they played hard, but in the end, the Philly pass rushers (Go B. Graham!!!) finally got through and forced a fumble which was the key drive in the game.

    The Eagles won. The Eagles won. The Eagles won.

    I’m never going to get sick of typing that. The Eagles won.

  53. Gonna print this “analysis” as a dartboard from Dumb and Dumber.

    Fly Eagles Fly, SB LII Champions!

  54. It’s fun reading all of these comments after the game is over especially those who were absolutely adamant that the Pats would win and even going as far as saying the Eagles had no business being there. Lol. I am an Eagles fan and have watched tons of football. As I watched the season unfold, I was impressed. I thought with Wentz we could absolutely contend for the Super Bowl, and I admit that I doubted after Wentz went down. I was telling others that I wouldn’t be surprised if the Eagles were one and done in the playoffs. I didn’t think we would have the fire power to get past this Vikings after we beat the Falcons. Once we beat the Vikings, however, the Eagles had me believing again just like I did when Wentz was upright. It was after that game that I had great confidence and a very very strong gut feeling that we would win with the main driver for that gut feeling being the Eagles’ stubbornness and fight. I knew they were the hungrier team at that moment and were simply going to find a way to make it happen. I believed. I doubted. Then I believed again. What an amazing run and storied season for Eagle fans.

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