Tom Brady led the Patriots back from a 14-3 deficit in the AFC Championship on Sunday and will play in his eighth Super Bowl on Feb. 4. His opponent? Nick Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles.
That’s right. Nick Foles. A guy who was a backup just over month ago.
Well, that was then. This is now.
“I think that this is going to be a great Super Bowl,” 2017 Sportscaster of the Year Kevin Harlan said on Tiki and Tierney. “I see two teams very even. I see creativity on both offenses. I think they’ve got some pretty good, smart coaching defensively. Jim Schwartz is a very smart coach who’s a coordinator for the Eagles. I think they’ve got enough parts to kind of flex a little bit what they do on defense. I think they can be as imaginative as any and give a lot of different looks. I’m pretty confident they’re going to give Brady all he can handle, and vice versa. I think Matt Patricia will do the same thing with Foles.”
The Patriots held the Jaguars out of the end zone in the second half of their 24-20 win Sunday, while the Eagles turned an early 7-0 deficit into a dominant 38-7 victory. Patrick Robinson returned a Case Keenum interception 50 yards to the house to tie the game at 7, and Foles took it from there, finishing 26-of-33 for 352 yards and three touchdowns.
“I think we’re underestimating Foles a little bit, as we have the entire time he’s taken over for Wentz,” Harlan said. “It was such a blow to lose this MVP candidate. Nick Foles is a backup, but he was kind of an afterthought. Certainly last night had to give him great confidence.”
Foles is now 49-of-63 (77.8 percent) for 598 yards, three touchdowns, and zero turnovers in the postseason.
“I see a lot of equal on both sides,” Harlan said. “I see lines that are about the same. I see the way they can attack you basically about the same. I think they both bring in, especially Philadelphia, a defense that can make game-changing plays. We saw a bit of that last night. But the offense of Philly, I think, is just as effective as what we’re going to see from New England. So I kind of feel that this is going to be a very close Super Bowl.”
The Patriots opened as a five-point favorite, but the spread has since jumped to 5.5.
Harlan expects thrilling action throughout.
“I like this game,” he said. “You’ve got the two No. 1 seeds. They’ve been the best teams in their respective conferences most of the season, if not all. They’re coming in with great momentum, strong wins, confidence – I love everything about this game.”