The Super Bowl is the highlight of the year for every NFL fan. Nevertheless, the game always has a negative side. After the game, it will take seven months until the next (real) NFL match. Yet we look at it from the positive side and in this edition of 5-on-5 we look back to the wonderful game of last Sunday. Five editors discuss the game and the main storylines, the future of the Patriots and Nick Foles and give a first prediction for the Super Bowl.
1. The Super Bowl was a wonderful duel. Now it is still fresh in the memory, but how do we look back on this competition in ten years?
Toon Aerts (TA): In ten years, Super Bowl LII is still a classic. We will probably be a little more critical for both defenses, because they were pretty worthless (on that ONE play of course of course). In ten years’ time, we will still wonder how a quarterback can throw 505 yards to step out of the field as a loser with replica jerseys cheap.
Chris van Dijk (CvD): This Super Bowl remains a special edition, just like the one with the Seahawks and the Patriots. The catch of Foles becomes a classic, especially because of the video of Inside the NFL, which shows that the idea of Foles comes from.
Luuk Dokter (LD): For me it was the most entertaining Super Bowl I saw. This will always be the story of a back-up quarterback that has the impossible to play. Super Bowl LII and Nick Foles are inextricably linked and so it will also go into history with 25% off 100% sports authority coupon printable 2018.
Thomas Klink (TK): Like a beautiful, spectacular Super Bowl. Moreover, Philadelphia is the first, so as Eagles fan I will always remember this anyway.
Jurian Ubachs (JU): Obviously as ‘the first of Philly’. With Wentz there is a franchise QB, who really wants to win his (real) own first Super Bowl. We will also see it as the kick-restart of Foles’ career, which can almost certainly count on a good contract with a team other than the Eagles. In addition, there is a chance that this lost Super Bowl could be considered ‘beginning of the end’ for Brady and Belichick, if the results go downhill from here … but that moment has been sought for years and has never been correctly identified.
2. A lot happened in the game. Nick Foles caught a touchdown; the Patriots were good for more than 600 yards offense. Both teams missed PAT’s and the Patriots also a field goal. All these plays have been widely measured. What has been an important underexposed story for you during the competition?
TA: The absence of Malcolm Butler in the Patriots defense was remarkable and has had a lot of impact in my opinion. That defense, which went through a very positive evolution during the season, was completely absent at the most important moment. The Eagles could run and fit that it was a sweet delight. It is no coincidence that the combined offensive yards record was shattered on Sunday.
CvD: Doug Pederson coaches Bill Belichick. The Eagles opted for aggressive playcalling, both at the end of the second quarter and later in the fourth quarter at fourth down. The Patriots left earlier in the game a chance to go for 4th & 1 within the 10-yard line. All of Pederson’s choices seemed to work out well, while Belichick’s were questioning.
LD: The absence of Butler. Eric Rowe was his replacement on the cornerback position, but left a lot of Eagles offense. Much has been said and said about it, but it is of course unbelievable that a player who played 98% of the defensive snaps, but once Special Teams gets action in the Super Bowl.
TK: Not so much a story, but a play that has absolutely made the difference is the 4th down conversion of Zach Ertz, with about 5 minutes to play. Because of what happened after that, that play got a little underexposed, but that was very much a clutch!
JU: Several candidates, including the whole Butler story, but the real story are the aggression in the Eagles play calls. Not only the trick-play, but also going for it on 4th-and-1 to keep the ball in the fourth quarter, was decisive. It was not faultless, but Doug Pederson has shown how to approach New England.
3. With the Super Bowl the season is up, so we can look forward to the new season. Will we receive a rematch of this Super Bowl next year or will you see another favorite to reach the final next year?
TA: I think the Green Bay Packers will be close to it next year and I expect a lot from the Seahawks with fit Russell Wilson. From the AFC it would be possible that we could again designate the Patriots as the best team. I’m going for Packers vs. Patriots in SuperBowl LIII.
CvD: At the moment I see the Eagles and Patriots as a favorite in their conference. In the NFC several teams had to deal with injuries and possibly come back strong next season, but Philadelphia gets Wentz back, so that should be enough. When Brady, Gronk and Bill come back, the Patriots are of course favorite again. The only challenger I see is Jacksonville, but then the team has to manage to find another quarterback to take that final step. Maybe Foles can bother the Patriots again next year.
LD: I do not see either team pick up the upcoming Super Bowl. There is too much uncertainty among the Patriots and I feel too little sustainability with the Eagles. For me there is already a lock for the next match-up to the Vince Lombardi trophy: the San Francisco 49ers. Jimmy Garoppolo, the next GOAT from Bill Belichick’s stable, was the essential puzzle piece. Unfortunately he came too late to make a run for the final battle, but it does enable the Niners to run relatively fast. The roster looks good and this off-season will only get better.
In the AFC, the Jags might be a surprise, but the good old Steelers also have a chance every year. Finally, it can also be the case that franchises that were heavily built up this season (Chargers and Bills) will start shaking up the AFC.
TK: As long as Brady and Belichick are with the Patriots, they can always reach the final. It will be more difficult for the Eagles; people will want to be paid and due to cap issues and low (and few) draft picks the chance of reinforcements will be minimal. If they can keep the team complete there is always a chance, but often you see a kind of saturation in the year after a Super Bowl victory. I think the Rams will represent the NFC next year in the Super Bowl.
JU: The Eagles are top favorite to re-host the NFC in Super Bowl LIII. At the Patriots much depends on whether Belichick and Brady both continue. If they do, they will certainly interfere in the fight for the AFC ticket and real vs fake Nike NFL jersey.