On February 4 at US Bank Stadium in Minnesota, the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles will battle one another for the most coveted prize in the NFL: the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
For the New England Patriots, this will be their eighth appearance in the big game with Tom Brady under center and Bill Belichick as the head coach. The Eagles will be playing in their fourth Super Bowl. However, unlike the Patriots, the Eagles have never won the game.
Enter history by Metallica. Okay, that’s not a real song, but there is history to be made this Sunday by both teams.
The most obvious one, as I just mentioned, is seeking that first-ever Super Bowl championship for the city of brotherly love. The Eagles premiered as the best team in the NFL, led by second-year quarterback Carson Wentz, who emerged as an MVP candidate under head coach Doug Pederson. The last time the Eagles were in the Super Bowl was against the team they’re playing this Sunday. It’s a rematch of the teams, but with very different rosters. Donovan McNabb pitted his team against Brady in 2004, and came up just short in a thrilling contest.
Fast-forward 14 years, and a new quarterback will attempt to dethrone Brady. And no, his name isn’t Eli Manning, but nor is it Carson Wentz. Instead, Nick Foles, a backup to the injured Wentz, will take the snaps on Sunday, trying to lead his team to a huge victory.
Wentz suffered a season-ending injury when he tore his ACL against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 14. Since then, Foles stepped in the final three weeks of the season and led his team to a No. 1 seed in the NFC. However, many were concerned that Foles wouldn’t be able to muster any playoff wins when he struggled against the Oakland Raiders and Dallas Cowboys to close out the season. A comeback win against the Atlanta Falcons, and the demolition of the Minnesota Vikings, has given Foles the confidence to do it one more time in the biggest game of his career.
In NFL history, only nine teams have won a Super Bowl with a backup quarterback. The last quarterback to accomplish such a feat? Brady in 2001, when he took over for an injured Drew Bledsoe in Week 2 of that season.
Now, Foles isn’t a true backup quarterback, because he was the Eagles’ starter during the 2013 season, but returned to Philly after brief stints with the Rams in 2015 and the Kansas City Chiefs in 2016. This Philly team is better than the one he commandeered, even if he threw seven touchdowns against the Oakland Raiders then. If Foles can build off his success in which he played a perfect game in the NFC Championship game, then surely he can go punch-for-punch with many who call him the GOAT, and bring the city their first Super Bowl.
History in the making isn’t on just one side, however. If Brady and Co. win on Sunday, then Brady will further cement himself as the greatest quarterback to ever play the game. That may be a tough pill to swallow for majority of the country that aren’t Patriots fans. Winning six Super Bowls is just stupidly absurd, and it’s a feat we may never see again in our lifetime. But whether you love or hate the man, it’s impossible not to tip the hat to him.
Even without their top wide-out in Julian Edleman, Brady continued to torch the league with Brandin Cooks, Robert Gronkowski, Dion Lewis, and anyone else who plays in the backfield with him. They made mincemeat out of the Tennessee Titans, and needed a big-time comeback against the Jacksonville Jaguars. No stage is too big, and no light is too bright for Brady.
Super Bowl LII will have history written all over it, and we just need to know the only question that matters: who will win it all?
Enjoy the game, everyone!