By Ethan Smith, Sports Editor
January 21, 2018
The NFL playoffs have thrown fans into many different directions this NFL postseason, but in the end, the top seeds in the AFC and NFC will host their respective conferences in Minnesota at US Bank Stadium for Super Bowl 52 on Feb 4th.
The New England Patriots, led by Tom Brady, defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 24-20 after trailing 20-10 for most of the 4th quarter. Brady surged throughout the 4th quarter without star TE Rob Gronkowski, while the Jag’s (Jaguar’s) offense nearly came to a halt and could get nothing going in the 4th quarter. Blake Bortles played the game of his career for the Jaguars, throwing for 293 yards and 1 TD, but Tom Brady’s 290 passing yards and 2 TDs were the difference. The Jaguars overachieved this season by making it this far after defeating the Buffalo Bills and Pittsburgh Steelers, so the future is bright in Duval County.
The NFC Championship game was contrary to the AFC Championship game. The Vikings stormed down the field on their first drive to go up 7-0 on the road against the top seeded Eagles, but they would go on to not score for the rest of the game in what ended up becoming a blowout. The Vikings were looking to become the first team to play at “home” in a Super Bowl as their stadium plays host to the game this year, but they came up short in underwhelming fashion. The Eagles have been without starting QB Carson Wentz for a good part of the season, but Nick Foles played stellar throwing for 352 yards and 3 TDs in the victory. The Eagles rolled to a victory behind their offensive firepower and great defensive play with the final score being 38-7.
This matchup may be déjà vu to those whom may be Eagles or Patriots fans. These two teams met in the Super Bowl on Feb 6, 2005 in Jacksonville. The final score of that game was 24-21 in favor of the Patriots, and it marked Tom Brady’s second Super Bowl victory as the QB of the Patriots in his career. He will aim for his sixth against the Eagles on Feb 4, 2018. The Eagles have not played in the Super Bowl since this game, and they will also be looking for their first Super Bowl victory in team history. The Patriots enter the game with a 16-2 record, which just so happens to be the same record they had when they faced the Eagles in 2005. The Eagles enter at 15-3, which also just so happens to be the record they had going into that same Super Bowl against the Patriots. They were both #1 seeds that year as well. Déjà vu seems to be full in effect for this one.
Will Brady lead the Patriots to their sixth Super Bowl in team history? Will the Eagles finally get their names into the history books as Super Bowl Champions? Can the “underdogs” take down the Belichick dynasty. Find out Sunday Feb 4, 2018 on NBC at 6:30ET.