Tom Brady and the New England Patriots look to win their sixth championship (Courtesy of thenation.com).
The beginning of February is approaching and for New England fans, at least for the past decade or so, that means time to prepare for the Super Bowl. This year, the Patriots are facing off against the Philadelphia Eagles for Super Bowl 52 on Feb. 4. The Patriots are entering their third straight Super Bowl appearance, and quarterback Tom Brady is on his way to get his sixth championship ring.
The Eagles defeated the Minnesota Vikings 38-7 on Jan. 21 in a dominating performance to proceed to the championship game. Coached by Doug Peterson, the Vikings finished the regular season with a record of 13-3, and the Patriots finished with the same record.
The Patriots defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 24-20 on Jan. 21 and advanced to the championship match in an admittedly tough game. With five minutes left in the game, the Patriots were down 20-17 with 70 yards to go and Brady was put to the test once again. As always, he delivered.
Sending effective pass after pass, Brady led the Patriots offence to a spectacular touchdown by wide-receiver Danny Amendola. The Jaguars proved to be a tough opponent and their defense was stellar all game, but the Patriots’ offense was simply better. Comeback wins are nothing new to New England sports teams; however, this win came with a price.
During the first half, Jacksonville safety Barry Church knocked down New England’s star tight end Rob Gronkowski. He was left dazed and confused, and, for the first time in his career, has been diagnosed with a concussion. This means that if he is not cleared to play in time for Feb. 4, the Patriots will be without him.
“I think it’s going to be a close game,” said UMass Lowell sophomore Punit Motiwala. “The Eagles offense is nothing to underestimate. Nick Foles [Quarterback for the Eagles] will definitely bring a strong performance to the Super Bowl, but I think the Pats are going to win.”
The Patriots heading to the Super Bowl is nothing the league has not seen before, but perhaps Gronkowski’s concussion will prove to be more of a factor than expected. The Vikings have likewise just finished a remarkable season, with standout players such as wide receiver Stefon Diggs and quarterback Case Keenum in their lineup.
The Patriots have reached a record 10th Super Bowl appearance, while no other franchise in history has reached the game more than eight times. If they were to win this game, they would notch their sixth trophy and would tie the Steelers’ all-time record. Brady has a record of 5-2 in Super Bowl games, and last year’s legendary 28-3 comeback caused quite a stir in New England.
With the game set for 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb 4. the countdown for the Super Bowl is ticking away and fans are left to wonder if the New England Patriots will once again repeat history, or if the Philadelphia Eagles will start a new football era.