Hulser's Super Bowl LII Preview | Bonehead Picks

Hulser’s Super Bowl LII Preview

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Two of the National Football League’s most hated teams will be clashing at Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis as the Philadelphia Eagles will be facing the New England Patriots.

The hatred towards Philly stems due to their fan base, a vulgar bunch that takes things to new lows, but are filled with die-hards who will bellow “FLY EAGLES FLY!” over and over until their voice box goes out.

The hatred towards New England stems from, well, the entire organization. Whether it is SpyGate, Tom Brady’s success, Tom Brady’s hot wife, Bill Belichick’s lack of cracking a smile, DeflateGate, their five Super Bowl titles, the referees in their back pockets . . .

As you can see, I can go on and on there with reasons for hatred.

The Philadelphia Eagles are a feel good story this season as front-runner for MVP Carson Wentz went down with a season ending injury, leaving Nick Foles in charge of leading the team the rest of the way.

While Tom Brady who is now 40 years young is looking BETTER than in his youth as he lead the Patriots to dominant wins down the stretch and a miraculous comeback against Jacksonville in the AFC title game. He’s like a fine wine, only better with age.

So, what are they keys to victory for each team in the Super Bowl?

For the Patriots to win their sixth Super Bowl title, they must:

1) Protect Brady – The New England Patriots must protect their Quarterback from the immense pressure Philadelphia will bring with their blitz packages and unique defensive style. Jacksonville for three quarters were wreaking havoc on Brady, something that can’t happen if they want to win their sixth title.

2) Stop the run – Philadelphia will want to keep the ball out of Nick Foles’ hands as much as possible even though he showed flashes of his 2013 season in the NFC title game against Minnesota. Jay Ajayi has run amok on New England when he played for Miami. If New England stops the run, it means more throws from Foles and that could lead to big trouble for Philly.

3) Gronk the decoy – Rob Gronkowski will obviously be getting double teamed in many scenarios. Brady will often still find a way to get the ball to Gronk anyway in that coverage. The best way to utilize Gronk is put him in the slot and have him run those deep and corner routes to open up the screen game and underneath throws. That is when Brady will find Danny Amendola, Dion Lewis and a host of others who will tire out the Eagles defense from all the chasing on screens and dink/dunks.

For Philadelphia to win their FIRST Super Bowl, they must:

1) Calm Nick Foles down – It will be a nerve wracking opening drive for Nick Foles. You can’t blame him at all for being so nervous on the grandest stage of them all. His supporting cast from his o-line to his receiving corps to his running backs must make it easy for him on that opening possession. Create some lanes for the backs, give him good protection and just keep his confidence up. Hold the ball for at least five minutes on that first possession. Which leads to my next key.

2) HOLD THAT BALL! – Tom Brady can’t beat you if he doesn’t have the ball. The time of possession battle is going to be very critical in ALL four quarters. Jacksonville did a great job the first three quarters in the AFC title game and then it all just fell apart. They tried doing too much and every failed third down conversion meant Tom Brady is getting the ball back. The blockers are going to need to make running lanes and the running attack must scratch and claw for yardage to keep those chains moving and the clock running. By doing so, it will lead to open lanes in the passing game via the deep ball or some quick slants or even some good screen passes. As long as passes are completed and the chains are moving, the clock will wind. Philly will need to hold the ball for at least 35 minutes to have a shot to win, maybe even 40 minutes.

3) PRESSURE! PRESSURE! PRESSURE! – 

Tom Brady is a very dangerous man. Tom Brady with all the time in the world is downright lethal. I keep going back to the AFC title game where Jacksonville had Brady on the ropes and all of a sudden in the fourth quarter they just couldn’t muster anything up in any phase of the game. Philly can’t let Brady have all day to throw and make decisions. Someone will get open and even if they aren’t he will find a way to get the ball in a six inch space and complete the big pass. They must blitz and must get to him as fast as possible. If Brady has to throw the ball away or make a throw he does not want to, it is the only way to force a turnover or a punt. New England may start slow and look lost the first quarter or too. Do NOT let that make you change anything. Continue to apply pressure from all fronts. This is the last game of the season and your opportunity to win Philly’s first Super Bowl, leave it all out on the field.

 

Hulser’s Prediction:

New England Patriots 38 Philadelphia Eagles 33

MVP is Tom Brady.

 

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