PHILADEL­PHIA over NEW ENG­LAND by 1

Playbook Football (Midweek Alert) - - Nfl -

The GOATs have it. The 2017 Bill Belichick and Tom Brady Tour con­cludes the first Sun­day of Fe­bru­ary at U.S. Bank Sta­dium in Min­neapo­lis when New Eng­land’s topranked of­fense (394.2 yards per game) takes on the league’s top-ranked scor­ing de­fense (al­lowed 15.8 PPG) – the eighth time such a Su­per Bowl matchup of this sort has oc­curred. Thus the ques­tion begs: with eight dif­fer­ent teams hav­ing won the Su­per Bowl the last 9 years, can Brady lead his team to an un­prece­dented 6th NFL cham­pi­onship? Let’s take a look in­side the numbers and see where the edges in this game ex­ist. The good news for the Pa­tri­ots is this will mark New Eng­land’s record-set­ting tenth Su­per Bowl ap­pear­ance. Last year New Eng­land be­came the first team in NFL his­tory to win five Su­per Bowls with the same com­bi­na­tion owner (Robert Kraft), head coach (Bill Belichick) and quar­ter­back (Tom Brady). Su­per Bowl LII will mark Belichick’s 39th post­sea­son game, top­ping Tom Landry (Dal­las Cow­boys) and Don Shula (Mi­ami Dol­phins). Brady’s four Su­per Bowl MVP awards ranks him ahead of Joe Mon­tana for the most in Su­per Bowl his­tory. Fur­ther­more, Brady’s five Su­per Bowl wins ties him with Charles Ha­ley, set with the San Fran­cisco 49ers and the Dal­las Cow­boys. FYI: le­gendary Green Bay Pack­ers QB Bart Starr won five NFL cham­pi­onships (three NFL cham­pi­onship ti­tles and two Su­per Bowls). Edge: NEW ENG­LAND No, we’re not re­fer­ring to our Pres­i­dent. In this case, it’s all about the stop-units. Con­sid­er­ing that teams with the bet­ter de­fense have won a whop­ping 42 of the previous 51 Su­per Bowls, it’s not sur­pris­ing to learn that the seven previous teams own­ing the No. 1 scor­ing de­fense are 6-1 SU and ATS (straight up, against the spread) in head-to-head games against No. 1 of­fenses. Edge: PHILADEL­PHIA The edge here is clearly in fa­vor of the Pa­tri­ots, with Bill Belichick and Tom Brady hold­ing all the cards. To­gether, the dy­namic duo owns more post­sea­son wins than any­one in NFL his­tory – and it ties to a huge ex­pe­ri­ence edge in this matchup: Brady owns 36 ca­reer post­sea­son starts com­pared to Philly QB Nick Foles’ THREE. Brady’s 11 game-win­ning drives in the 4th quar­ter dur­ing the post­sea­son is also 5 more than run­ner-up John El­way. Yes, he is that good. It should be noted, how­ever, that Foles’ 122.1 QB Rat­ing this post­sea­son – on 49 of 63 pass com­ple­tions for 598 yards with 3 TDs and 0 INTs – ranks ahead of Brady’s 105.0 QB Rat­ing – 61 of 91 for 627 yards with 5 TDs and 0 INTs. Foles’ 75% com­ple­tion per­cent­age in con­sec­u­tive play­off games trails only the great Joe Mon­tana, plus the Ea­gle QB owns the 2nd best TD-INT ra­tio for a sin­gle sea­son – be­hind Tom Brady. Un­der head coach Doug Ped­er­son, the Eagles have ranked first in the NFL in Time of Pos­ses­sion each of the last two years (32:16 in 2016 and 32:41 in 2017). Edge: NEW ENG­LAND The Eagles and Pa­tri­ots faced 6 com­mon op­po­nents this sea­son, namely the At­lanta Fal­cons, Carolina Pan­thers, Den­ver Bron­cos, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Charg­ers, and Oak­land Raiders. Philadel­phia was 5-1 SU and 4-2 ATS while out­gain­ing five op­po­nents for a net of +331 yards in the stats. New Eng­land went 4-2 SUATS, man­ag­ing to out­gain three foes for a net of +11 yards. The Eagles took on five play­off squads, go­ing 4-1 SUATS, while New Eng­land was 7-2 SU and 6-3 ATS against fel­low play­off teams. Edge: PHILADEL­PHIA As we al­luded to ear­lier, we’ve all heard that “de­fense wins cham­pi­onships” and while that state­ment may be true, it will be up to Philadel­phia’s de­fense to dis­rupt New Eng­land’s high-scor­ing at­tack. That’s be­cause the team with the most to­tal yards in the Su­per Bowl is 39-12 SU. And the team with the most rush­ing yards is 38-12 SU (the Pa­tri­ots and the Fal­cons each rushed for 104 yards in Su­per Bowl LI). Edge: EVEN When it comes to hand­i­cap­ping the Su­per Bowl, this much we know for sure: win­ning the NFL MVP award has been the kiss of death for quar­ter­backs in Su­per Bowl games. Our all-know­ing data­base con­firms the fact that MVP win­ning quar­ter­backs have strug­gled in the big game since the in­cep­tion of the Su­per Bowl in 1967. New Eng­land’s stir­ring come­back win over the At­lanta Fal­cons in Su­per Bowl LI last sea­son was the lat­est in another tale of MVP QB woes. Col­lec­tively these NFL MVP Su­per Bowl quar­ter­backs are 6-14 SU and 5-13-2 ATS in all games, in­clud­ing 0-7 SUATS since 2002. Ar­guably, the most in­fa­mous loser was Bal­ti­more Colts NFL MVP QB Earl Mor­rall, whose team lost 16-7 as an 18-point fa­vorite to Joe Na­math and the New York Jets in SB III. Last year’s record break­ing come­back win by the Pa­tri­ots over At­lanta’s MVP award-win­ning QB Matt Ryan was just the ic­ing on the cake. With Tom Brady ex­pected to be an­nounced as the NFL MVP for the 2017 sea­son, we’ll pay close at­ten­tion to the Pa­tri­ots’ fate in Su­per Bowl LII. Edge: PHILADEL­PHIA (should Brady win the MVP Award)

There have been 7 re­peat cham­pi­ons in Su­per Bowl his­tory, the last be­ing the New Eng­land Pa­tri­ots when they de­feated Philadel­phia, 2421, as 7-point fa­vorites in SB XXXIX.

20 of the last 24 win­ning quar­ter­backs have owned a QB Rat­ing of 92.6 or bet­ter en­ter­ing the con­test (New Eng­land).

Su­per Bowl fa­vorites of 5 or less points in ‘dou­ble rest’ af­fairs – a week of rest be­fore their first play­off game and week of rest prior to the big game – are 2-9 SUATS (New Eng­land).

Teams en­ter­ing the Su­per Bowl off an ATS loss in the cham­pi­onship game are 2-7 SU and 2-6-1 ATS since 1980 (New Eng­land).

The NFC has con­trolled the last 33 Su­per Bowls, go­ing 20-13 SU and 19-12-2 ATS. How­ever, the AFC is 13-7 SU the last twenty games (the NFC was 13-0 SU from 1985 through 1997).

Teams who man­age to score less than 20 points in the Su­per Bowl are 1-23 SU and 3-20-1 ATS since 1980. Teams that score 27 or more points in the Su­per Bowl are 27-3 SU and 24-5-1 ATS since 1980.

The SU win­ner of the Su­per Bowl game is 43-6-2 ATS. Pick the win­ner of the game you’ll likely have a win­ning ticket. Edge: NEW ENG­LAND The odd­s­mak­ers have done their best job post­ing Over/Un­der to­tals on Su­per Bowl games. That’s con­firmed by the fact that there have been 27 ‘Overs’ and 23 ‘Un­ders’ in the his­tory of the big game – with no to­tal avail­able in the in­au­gu­ral game. Four of the last five Su­per Bowls have played ‘Over’ the to­tal. Edge: NONE Remember, Philadel­phia was the only team in the league this sea­son to put up 400 yards on the vaunted Min­nesota de­fense, and the fact is that teams in Su­per Bowl games com­ing off a SU un­der­dog win in a cham­pi­onship game are 11-7 SU and 13-4-1 ATS since 1980 against foes not com­ing off an un­der­dog win. With un­der­dogs barking loudly dur­ing the play­offs this sea­son, win­ning at an 8-1-1 ATS clip, the Pa­triot king­dom looks to be in trou­ble. Like Philly’s own Rocky Bal­boa, we give the Eagles a puncher’s chance to de­throne the de­fend­ing champs. Yo, Adrian!

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