Dominant Patriots and Underdog Eagles Face Off In Super Bowl



The Eagles defense has been instrumental in their success. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

Julia Engelhardt
We put up a Schoology poll to ask PC students who they think will win the Super Bowl

After an exciting and competitive year of football, we have finally reached the climax of this NFL season, the Super Bowl. This year, the big game features the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots. While both teams certainly deserve to play this February, their paths to the Super Bowl varied drastically.

Before the season began, not many predicted that the Eagles, the NFC champions, would make it this far. They were coming off of a 7-9 season in which they finished last in their division and failed to make the playoffs for the third consecutive season. However, a stellar sophomore season from quarterback Carson Wentz along with tough defensive play led the team to a record of 13-3 and the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs.

Despite their success, the Eagles have had their fair share of troubles. Wentz, considered an MVP candidate at the time, tore his ACL during a Week 14 game against the Rams, sidelining him for the remainder of the season. Backup Nick Foles was forced to step in at quarterback, leading many to believe that the Eagles’ season was over. Once again, the Eagles silenced the doubters, going on a playoff run that included a 15-10 victory over the Atlanta Falcons in the Divisional Round and a 38-7 demolition of the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship Game. Now, Foles and the Eagles find themselves facing the Goliath Patriots as they look for their first ever Super Bowl victory.

A significant population of Eagles fans exists at Pine Crest, including biology teacher Mr. Schwartz. He shared his thoughts on the Eagles’ season and their upcoming Super Bowl game.

Although Mr. Schwartz certainly wasn’t expecting a Super Bowl victory heading into the season, he believes this Eagles team is special.

“Going into the season, I didn’t have the highest expectations,” he said. “I was hoping for improvement over last season’s 7-9 record with perhaps a wild-card berth. I never would have guessed they’d be the No. 1 seed out of the NFC. It wasn’t until week 8 or 9 that I began to think this season could be something special.”

Mr. Schwartz was initially concerned when Wentz was injured, but based on the Eagles’ recent play, he is confident they can win the Super Bowl.

“They’ve played the underdog role each of the past two weeks and won, and I believe the can do it again on February 4,” he said. “As well as the defense has been playing, if Nick Foles can limit the mistakes, I don’t see any reason why they can’t shut down New England and win their first Super Bowl.”

While the Eagles have been an underdog all season long, it seemed as if the Patriots were a lock to make Super Bowl as soon as they stepped on the field for their first game.

Last season, the perennial contenders, led by future Hall of Famer Tom Brady, finished 14-2, a record that placed them atop the AFC. They capped off the year with a stunning 34-28 Super Bowl win against the Atlanta Falcons, a game that saw them fall behind 28-3 before rallying to win in overtime. This year was much of the same, as the Patriots once again finished as the No. 1 seed with a 13-3 record.

After taking care of the Tennessee Titans 35-14 in the Divisional Round, the Patriots suffered a setback when Brady injured his throwing hand in practice before the AFC Championship Game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Nevertheless, Brady fought through any pain, willing the Patriots past the Jaguars 24-20. In the Super Bowl, Brady will get a chance to solidify his legacy as the greatest player of all time by winning his sixth Super Bowl.

Patriots fans are abundant at Pine Crest, none bigger than freshman Max Perlman. He discussed the Patriots and the Super Bowl.

“This season has had its ups and downs, but I never lost hope,” he said. “The Pats continued their usual dominance on and off the football field. Brady’s playing better than ever. And the late pickup of James Harrison to make up for some of our injures was pure genius by Belichick.”

Max also spoke about the Patriots matchup with the Eagles.

“I’m a little nervous about this Super Bowl,” he said. “Nick Foles has really stepped into Carson Wentz’s shoes, and the Eagles’ D is dominant. Still, I think it’s better than trying to play the Vikings at home. I have faith in the Pats to pull this one out.”

These two phenomenal teams will meet in Minneapolis, Minnesota on February 4. It’s sure to be a great game of competitive football, and both the Eagles and Patriots have a legitimate shot at winning it all. Although we never know who will emerge victorious beforehand, we can always make predictions. My best prediction is a 27-20 victory for the Patriots, as the Eagles’ Nick Foles-led offense likely won’t be able to keep up with Tom Brady and the Patriots. No matter the score, the Super Bowl will be an exciting and fun game to watch.