Welcome to my fourth article in my series of previews for Super Bowl LII. Today I will be talking about interesting stats I’ve seen and what they mean to the game.
Here is my schedule for the series. Articles that already up include links to the article.
Super Bowl LII – Patriots vs. Eagles: Boston Sports Mania Preview
Monday, Jan. 29: Championship Weekend Recap and Super Bowl LII First Look
Tuesday, Jan. 30: The Case for the Patriots: How They Can Win, Keys to the Game
Wednesday, Jan. 31: The Case for the Eagles: How They Can Win, Keys to the Game
Friday, Feb. 2: Super Bowl Fast Facts and Their Significance
Friday, Feb. 2: Super Bowl LII: The Final Pick and Projected Stats
Saturday, Feb. 3: Super Bowl LII Video Preview and iMovie Trailer
Sunday, Feb. 4: Watch the big game and stay tuned for my Recap!
Super Bowl Fast Facts
Below are 5 fun facts that could mean a lot to the game:
1. The Patriots have struggled to stop the run, and the Eagles are 7-0 this season when the LeGarrette Blount-Jay Ajayi duo has combined for 100+ yards
Expect the Eagles to run the ball, especially based on the fact that their 7-0 when Blount and Ajayi combine for 100 or more yards. The Patriots have struggled to stop elite running backs all season, and the Philly RB staff could just be a pain in the neck for the Pats. Will the Pats finally stop the run, or win despite failing to do so? This stat gets me a little worried, especially with LeGarrette Blount seeking revenge on New England.
2. Only eight teams won a conference championship in the Super Bowl era by 30+ points before the Eagles did. Only two won the Super Bowl. Will the Eagles look burnt out in the big game?
This brings up a good point, especially thinking about Eagles QB Nick Foles. It may be a sign that we do not see a repeat of the NFC Championship for him, and the carriage will turn back into the pumpkin. However, he had shown promise prior to that game, back in his first stint with the Eagles. Was Foles’ performance a one-time thing, or is he just a good QB looking for a little consistency? It’s good news for the Pats if Foles gets off to a rocky start.
3. In the Brady-Belichick era, none of New England’s other Super Bowl opponents have had both a Top 5 scoring offense and scoring defense. In each category, the Eagles are 3rd and 4th, respectively.
This worries me a little bit, but I don’t necessarily think it means that the Pats will lose. However, not even the Giants in 2007 or 2011 had what this Eagles team has. If they didn’t have QB Carson Wentz for three-quarters of the season though, they may be lower on the offensive side of things.
They have a lot of great weapons offensively and even acquired RB Jay Ajayi midway through the season. But if Nick Foles can’t keep up the good work, this Eagles offense will not challenge the Pats nearly as much, bringing hope for them to win. I do think this Eagles team could give New England a scare and come close to victory, but I think the Patriots are capable of beating a team with top 5 scoring offense and defense, especially with Philly’s backup QB under center.
4. Pats QB Tom Brady has as much Super Bowl experience as the entire Eagles 53-man roster combined (7 games)
This is an unbelievable stat, and Bill Belichick is great against teams with minimal playoff experience. This is the perfect example. A lot of Pats players have not played an NFL season without making the AFC Championship, while this entire Eagles roster has only made 7 combined Super Bowls. Belichick will take advantage of the lack of experience on the Philly roster. That may help him win this game.
5. According to ESPN, the most significant difference in yards per attempt between the QBs facing off in a Super Bowl was between Tom Brady and Eli Manning in Super Bowl XLII, and Brady, the much better QB lost. Can Nick Foles be the next QB to shock Brady?
2007 was Brady and Eli Manning. This year, it’s Brady against a backup quarterback (Foles). Although the YPA difference between Brady and Manning (4.0) was greater than the difference between Brady and Foles (2.9), if you are measuring this on overall performance, Manning in 2007 was slightly better than 2017 Nick Foles. But, you cannot rule out an underdog victory, especially based on these stats.
Some of these stats are favoring the Pats. Others favor the Eagles. But what it really comes down to is how these two teams match-up. I will preview that in the next article that will be posted shortly.