A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

Super Bowl 52 Preview

Quarterbacks+Tom+Brady+%28left%29+and+Nick+Foles+%28right%29+square+off+this+Sunday+for+Super+Bowl+52.
courtesy of Spotrac
Quarterbacks Tom Brady (left) and Nick Foles (right) square off this Sunday for Super Bowl 52.

The NFL season comes to a close on the biggest stage in North American sports when the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots face off in Super Bowl 52 this Sunday. The Patriots are gunning for their sixth Super Bowl victory, all spearheaded by future Hall-of-Fame quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick.

The Eagles have never won a Super Bowl and are looking for revenge in this one, as the Pats beat them 24-21 in Super Bowl 39. Although the Patriots’ legacy is iconic, I’m picking Philadelphia to win this one and unseat Belichick and Brady.

New England is a heavy favorite going into this game. The Eagles are still without their MVP candidate quarterback, Carson Wentz, who they lost for the season due to a torn ACL in a week 14 victory over the Los Angeles Rams. Tom Brady is still playing at an unbelievable level considering he turns 41 this summer. However, Philadelphia has a lot of momentum right now, coming off an absolute beatdown of the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC championship game. Most people wrote the Eagles off after Wentz’s injury, but Nick Foles has done a remarkable job filling in for him.

Foles had one excellent full season as the Eagles quarterback in 2013, when he threw for 27 touchdowns and only two interceptions, according to pro-football-reference.com. Since then, he has been mediocre at best, but after taking over for Wentz, he’s played with a lot of heart  guiding the Eagles to the Super Bowl. Foles has a plethora of talented pass-catchers to throw to, including wide receivers Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor. He also has one of the best tight ends in the league in Zach Ertz, who scored eight touchdowns in only 14 games this season.

Ertz’s counterpart is going to be the x-factor for New England. Superstar tight end Rob Gronkowski is a matchup nightmare. He suffered a concussion during the Patriots’ victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC title game. He plans to play in the Super Bowl, but his situation is definitely worth monitoring throughout the game. Whether or not he will be his usual, dominant self remains to be seen.

The one thing that sways me towards picking The Eagles is their defense. They’ve allowed only 307 yards of total offense per game this season, good for second in the league. They play with a lot of swagger and aren’t afraid of anything or anyone. Look for defensive ends Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham to rush Brady early and often. If they can slow down the Patriots’ run game, they will have a good shot at capitalizing on any mistakes that Brady and Co. might make.

I’m taking the Eagles to win Super Bowl 52 by a score of 27-24. I think the Eagles’ defense is going to be tough on Brady. I predict  they will make a big play at some point to sway momentum. On the other side of the ball, I look for the Eagles to dominate in the run game with backfield duo Jay Ajayi and LeGarrette Blount. Nick Foles is going to do enough to get the job done and bring the Lombardi trophy to Philadelphia for the first time.

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About the Contributor
Ian MacGregor
Ian MacGregor, Sports Editor
Ian McGregor is a Sports editor at Santa Rosa Junior College’s Oak Leaf. He is pursuing a career in Sports journalism and is most interested in basketball and football. He also has an undying love for Cleveland, particularly their basketball team, the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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