The Philadelphia Eagles got thrown a curve ball on their way to glory. That occurred late in the season at the L.A. Coliseum against the Los Angeles Rams, as starting quarterback Carson Wentz, who had been cruising along with his eye on the league’s MVP award, tore his ACL and was out for the season. The Eagles inserted a veteran in his place – Nick Foles, who had been part of a previous “era” of Eagles football under the controversial and much-maligned Chip Kelly, then went to Kansas City and the Rams before his return to the City of Brotherly Love. And things were very choppy for a while, as Foles struggled against the New York Giants and Oakland Raiders. And it looked like the Super Bowl hopes in Philly were short-circuited. But not so fast; the Eagles, who had clinched home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs, beat the Atlanta Falcons and Minnesota Vikings as underdogs, and here they are, at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis for Super Bowl 52 against the New England Patriots, beginning on Sunday at 6:30 PM ET. It’s televised by the folks at NBC, and VietBet patrons can get reduced juice on this game beforehand, with a ton of props along the way, and can place wagers while the action is in progress, through the facilities of Live Betting Ultra.
Patriots vs Eagles – Super Bowl 52 Odds:
In the Super Bowl 52 odds that have been posted on this game by the folks at VietBet, the Eagles are the underdogs yet again:
New England Patriots -4
Philadelphia Eagles +4
Over 48.5 points -110
Under 48.5 points -110
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Foles has been excellent in the two playoff games for the Eagles, with a 141.1 passer rating. Part of the reason for his effectiveness involves the fact that the staff, principally head coach Doug Pederson and offensive coordinator Frank Reich, have tailored some stuff that suits his strengths. This includes the run-pass option, also known as “RPO,” which allows the quarterback the ability to decide whether the play is going to be a run or a pass after the ball is snapped. Foles had to make decisions like this in his first tour of duty in Philadelphia, when he was nothing short of outstanding in 2013. In that season, he had a total of 29 touchdown passes (including two in the playoffs) and only two interceptions. Among the other highlights were seven touchdown passes in a single game and the MVP award in the Pro Bowl. Remember that in the NFC title game, he had been facing the Vikings, with the #1 defense in pro football, and he made them look pedestrian, throwing for 352 yards against a stop unit that had held ten of the previous 13 opponents below 200 through the air.
Foles completed 49 of 63 passes combined against Atlanta and Minnesota, and here is what was the most pleasant surprise from the standpoint of Eagles’ fans – his passer rating actually elevated against pressure, to 147.9. This bodes well for him, since it is likely that New England is going to try to rattle him. The Eagles lost left tackle Jason Peters, a perennial Pro Bowl participant, to an injury earlier in the season, but the do indeed have two All-Pros on the offensive line in center Jason Kelce and right tackle Lane Johnson, who hardly ever allows his opponent to even pressure the quarterback.
Of course, it is always going to help if you’ve got a ground game to rely on, and that is an area in which the Eagles have a lot of depth, even though they may have underachieved a bit at times. Jay Ajayi, who made the Pro Bowl last season as a member of the Miami Dolphins, in the wake of three different 200-yard games, has emerged as the primary back, but there is someone else with a lot of playoff experience. LeGarrette Blount was a member of the Patriots last season, as VietBet patrons know, and between those guys and rookie Corey Clement, the Eagles have the potential to both pound inside the tackles and get to the outside, and there is hardly anything that can keep an opposing pass rush at bay better than an effective rushing attack. What has to be understood is that the Pats have allowed 4.6 yards a carry this season, which ties for 30th in the NFL, and the strides they made on defense after the first four games of the season were mostly done against the pass.
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By Charles Jay