Sunday was a wild day for NFL fans across the nation. The New England Patriots’ 24-20 comeback victory didn’t surprise anyone except the Jacksonville Jaguars. On the other hand, the Philadelphia Eagles once again shocked the world, decimating the top defense in the NFC by a 31-point margin.
Like any Super Bowl, analysts will be searching for every compelling storyline they can find in the two weeks leading up to the game. So, here are some of the storylines that you’ll be hearing about.
Super Bowl XXXIX Rematch
Back in 2005, Donovan McNabb and the Eagles’ comeback attempt was thwarted by the Patriots’ defense. Despite dealing with an injury earlier in the game, safety Rodney Harrison was able to intercept a tipped pass to seal the victory for New England.
At the time, it was the Patriots’ third Lombardi Trophy in four years. Both teams have come a long way since then. Both rosters have changed significantly, but a couple of constants remain–Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.
Who will come out on top this time around?
Ex-Players From Both Teams
Defensive end Chris Long and running back LeGarrette Blount were both contributors on last year’s championship-winning Patriots team. Blount led the league with 18 rushing touchdowns, while Chris Long notched 4 sacks and 3 pass deflections in New England.
Now, both players find themselves in the Super Bowl for the second straight year. This time, they’re on the opposing side.
Meanwhile, New England’s roster lists Patrick Chung, Dion Lewis, Danny Amendola, and Eric Rowe. All of which have donned Eagles green in previous seasons.
Dynasty vs. Dogs
New England will be making their 8th Super Bowl appearance in the last 17 years. They are accustomed to being the favorites, and we are used to seeing them on this stage. At this point, any season that doesn’t end in Brady hoisting the Lombardi Trophy is considered a failure.
On the other side, Philadelphia has been counted out since would-be MVP Carson Wentz went down. Donning dog masks after each playoff win, the Eagles have embraced the underdog label. With nothing to lose and everything to prove, the Eagles are hungry as they approach their toughest challenge yet.
Coordinators On The Way Out
Bill Belichick’s underlings have been a hot commodity since the early days of the Patriots’ dynasty. However, none have come close to replicating the success of their mentor.
New England’s coordinators on both sides of the ball have been name-dropped in head coaching rumors for the past several seasons. After the Super Bowl, they are both finally leaving the nest.
Defensive coordinator Matt Patricia will head to Detroit, while offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels will take the reigns in Indianapolis.
As usual, head coaching vacancies will be filled by coaches from the best teams. But, will the media swirl be a distraction for Patricia and McDaniels as they get closer to putting New England in their rearview mirrors?
Out With Old, In With The New?
Now, an Eagles team led by Nick Foles has reached the Super Bowl. The Eagles are not even close to full strength, having lost a plethora of starters across the board. They are led by a coach whose hiring was faced with much scrutiny just two short years ago.
They’ve overcome every obstacle they’ve faced and stand head-and-shoulders above the rest of the NFC. With everyone healthy, along with another Howie Roseman draft class, Philadelphia has the potential to be the next dominant force in the NFL.
As the days roll on, more storylines will emerge. Without a doubt, Super Bowl LII will be exciting for fans on both sides.
If anyone has an extra ticket, don’t hesitate to DM me on Twitter (I’m willing to mortgage my future to see this game).