FMQB: Welcome to the Bold North
The city is abuzz, the game is 48 hours away, and much like our last election you’re basically going to be upset with whoever wins! It’s pretty sweet to have the Super Bowl in my own town, I live 4 miles from the festivities and it’s neat to actually have Minneapolis put on the map for once. More info next week, but I got to work at the Super Bowl experience!!!
Welcome to Minneapolis:
Despite me wanting nothing more than winter to be over, we’ve actually had a surprisingly mild January for Minnesota. Have had at least two 40 degree days, probably four other 30+ degree days. But the football gods laughed and laughed when they sent down single digit weather for all the tourists at the end of this week. This will look great for scheduling another Super Bowl here… For the record, Minnesota has a tendency to overuse slogans. My main pet peeve is the “State of Hockey,” but the “Bold North” slogan is really starting to inch up there for me.
Awards are announced tomorrow. Here are my thoughts:
MVP: Brady. Gurley should be in the conversation though
Rookie of the Year: Alvin Kamara. Had Hunt not had a mid season slump, he would have ran away with it
Offensive POY: Todd Gurley
Defensive POY: Calais Campbell
Coach of the Year: Sean McVay, hands down should win this
Hall of Fame class: Great names on here, I’ll go with a full class of 6. Brian Urlacher, Ray Lewis, Terrell Owens, Randy Moss, Steve Hutchinson, and Kevin Mawae.
Stat of the Week:
13 of the last 14 teams wearing their road white jerseys have won the Super Bowl. The Pats are in white again this year.
Stat of the Week #2:
The last team to win 3 of the last 4 Super Bowls was also the Patriots, with a fresh faced Tom Brady. Wouldn’t it be crazy to bookend a career with a dynasty each time?
Stat of the Week #3:
In their previous 7 Super Bowl appearances, the Patriots have never scored in the 1st quarter but are still 5-2 in those games. All 7 games have been within a TD
Stat of the Week #4:
In the past 17 years, Brady and Belichick have made 8 Super Bowls and won 5 of them.
Stat of the Week #5:
Expect a close game:
How close have all the Patriots Super Bowl games been? 3, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4, and 6. And the 6 that was an outlier was last year’s OT victory. They’re essentially 5-2 in close games, that’s what it comes down to. Without two flukey games (Seahawks and Falcons), they easily could be 3-4 in Super Bowls. Would they still be considered a dynasty, or would Brady be the guy who couldn’t get it done? Heck, they could easily be 0-7 in those games too.
Quote of the Week:
“What’s the difference between this Super Bowl and any of your previous 7?” Reporter
“This one is in Minnesota” Bill Belichick
It doesn’t seem like there’s been a ton of talk around Carson Wentz this week. But in a bizarre scenario that hasn’t happened in 30 years, Foles could win the Super Bowl and not remotely have a chance at being the Eagles QB next year. No matter what happens, he’s going to be backing up the prior MVP candidate.
I almost don’t dare say it, but are the Patriots better when Gronk is off the field? They’re 1-1 when Gronk plays, and technically should have lost that Seattle game. They’re 1-0 when he’s hurt and last week didn’t score until Gronk was out. I just wonder if in the back of Brady’s mind, if something isn’t open does he use Gronk as a crutch and does that get him into trouble. Just a thought, not necessarily bold enough to back that statement as he’s likely going to hold every tight end record by the time he retires.
The Eagles also have their fair share although they’ve thrived without Carson Wentz, Darrin Sproles, and Jason Peters. At somepoint that will catch up with them though.
With Brady being the Comeback Kid, we at least know we can stay tuned for the entire 4 quarters as NO lead is safe. For the Eagles to win, they need to give the Patriots a heavy dose of Jay Ajayi and LeGarrett Blount while having Foles do another 75% completion percentage and not turn over the ball. They’ll also need their defense to step up, and the more they can pressure and hit Brady while not sacrificing coverage, the better chance they’ll have to win. Luckily for Eagles fans, they’ve proven they can do each of those concepts collectively.
For the Patriots to win, they simply have to do their job. Belichick is also famous for taking one opposing player completely out of the game. For the Eagles, I think he targets either Ajayi but more likely Zach Ertz the tight end. He’s a security blanket for Foles, and while they have fairly good receivers, they should be coverageable by the corners. So look for Safety or extra linebacker help on Ertz.
But ultimately I think it comes down to QB matchups. Can a backup QB, one who almost left the league after bouncing around to 3 different teams really take down the greatest QB of all time? It’s a David vs. Goliath battle, and sorry folks, I’m taking Goliath. I think Brady gets this one in their most lopsided affair. 27-17 Patriots. Keep in mind my predictions this postseason have been abysmal, but I’m 3-3 in Super Bowl predictions and have also picked the winner’s score 3 times in that stretch!
They say time heals all wounds, and while I’m still bitter about the Patriots beating the Rams back in 2001 (and likely cheating to do so), I’m to the point in my life where I’m truly in awe of Belichick and Brady. There are SO many good QB’s out there right now, many of which either won one or no Super Bowls because of how dominant Brady is. It’s nearly impossible to dominate now a days compared to 50 years ago, because kids play sports year round, get individualized attention, and typically hit that 10,000 repetition act by age 12. It’s why a “Babe Ruth” is so rare now, because every kid that is a rare talent has 100 other kids putting in more work. There’s just not as much of a gap between first place and second place anymore. So we are truly witnessing greatness. Something that 50 years from now we can tell our grandkids that we saw the best QB of all time. In saying that, even as me not being a Vikings fan, I’m not exactly jumping on board to give Eagles fans anything to celebrate after their behavior two weeks ago. It pains me to do this, but Go Patriots.
Memes of the Week:
Preview of Next Week: