The Philadelphia Eagles are underdogs in this game versus the New England Patriots. We all know that. But the spread isn’t exactly double digits and the Pats haven’t blown out anyone in the Super Bowl, ever. So this one on its merits is a good matchup. But what will put Philly over the hump to take home the Vince Lombardi trophy and make underdog betting enthusiasts happy? We highlight three keys to how the Eagles could win Super Bowl 52 on Sunday.
3 Reasons Why the Eagles could win Super Bowl 52
The Ertz effect!
Zach Ertz is one of the most complete tight ends in the league. He isn’t flashy and he’s battled several injuries in his career, so maybe that’s why he is also one of the most underrated tight ends in the NFL. The Patriots do not have a great linebacking corps, and they’re certainly not great at pass coverage. With Nick Foles getting more and more acclimated to this offense as a starter, he’s relied a little less on Ertz recently. But guess what? Ertz hasn’t gone anywhere. If you’re going on straight matchups it only makes sense that he’ll be a major factor in this game.
A less than friendly environment
The Patriots are loved and hated equally around the country. With this game being played in Minnesota, New England will not have the benefit of a heavy Pats crowd. Rather, the rabid, desperate-for-a-title Eagles fans will come in droves and be louder than most recent Patriots Super Bowl opponents. Remember, Tom Brady has played his two playoff games at home. This will effectively be a road game. So noise level and hate for the Pats could be a factor as the game winds down.
Rob Gronkowski returned to practice. But how effective will he be in this game after suffering another concussion? New England might not get all that much out of him, perhaps using him more like a decoy. I know that Brady won without Gronk last week in the second half. But can he do it again if the big tight end can’t make big plays? The Eagles need to pay careful attention to Gronkowski’s body language. If he isn’t on his game then they shouldn’t double him, allowing their defense to blitz more and disrupt Brady. Philly’s defense is damn good.
Dave Trentadue is a radio producer and reporter in Montreal, Canada. Follow @davetrentadue