Super Bowl LII predictions

PFW staff split on favorite Patriots holding off the underdog Eagles

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When I put the two coaching staffs, the Eagles' 53 and the Patriots' 53 side by side, it's hard not to give Philadelphia a slight edge. They appear to be a more talented team. But Bill Belichick is the GOAT. Tom Brady is the GOAT. And when it comes to tight ends, and he's healthy, Rob Gronkowski is — you guessed it — the GOAT. Nick Foles isn't the best quarterback on his team. I'm not picking against the Patriots again until they lose.

Patriots 27, Eagles 20 — Hub Arkush

As soon as we knew the Patriots and Eagles would again meet in the Super Bowl, I immediately thought of the last Super Bowl rematch — Patriots-Giants — and the formula Big Blue used in both triumphs. Philadelphia has the same kind of word-class D-line depth to harass Tom Brady for 60 minutes with only four rushers, constantly fresh. Unlike those Giants clubs, the Eagles also have the ball-control offense to keep their entire ‘D’ fresh. Those are the elements that keep this one close for four quarters, but the fourth quarter belongs to Brady and Belichick. Again.

Patriots 27, Eagles 21 — Arthur Arkush

In the last decade, the New England Patriots have had their way in the National Football League. I think that ends this Sunday in Minneapolis. When the Philadelphia Eagles first lost left tackle Jason Peters and then quarterback Carson Wentz, they weren’t supposed to do a thing in the playoffs. Left tackle Hal Vaitai has more than filled in for Peters. Quarterback Nick Foles has not played with any confidence since he was a starter for the Eagles back in 2013, when he completed 64 percent of his throws, threw 27 touchdowns to only two interceptions and went to the Pro Bowl. Last week in the NFC Championship game, the Foles we saw in 2013 was back. Personally, I just think its Philly’s year.

While I don’t see a blowout, I see a Philadelphia win by 7. — Greg Gabriel

The Eagles’ deep defensive line might be the story — not too different from the Patriots’ two Super Bowl losses in this generation. I think the Patriots will struggle to protect Tom Brady early and (sounds familiar) he’ll have to dig them out of a hole. But this time, the hole is just a tad too deep. The Eagles’ aggressiveness on both sides will be just enough to make up for their occasional missed tackles on defense. They’ll have success running it, and Nick Foles won’t be a turnover machine. He’ll emerge as a stunning Super Bowl champion QB.

Eagles 31, Patriots 27 — Eric Edholm

Defense wins championships, and the Eagles have the much better defense. However, no one wins more championships than Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, and that combo outweighs the Eagles' defensive edge. With Brady's right hand completely healed and Rob Gronkowski's head completely cleared, the Patriots' offense will run more efficiently than it did in the AFC title game. With two weeks to prepare, Belichick and his staff will devise a way to limit the effectiveness of Nick Foles. The Eagles' backup quarterback has been brilliant in the postseason, but his Cinderella story turns into a pumpkin in Super Bowl 52.

Patriots 24, Eagles 17 — Bob LeGere