Professional Sports

THE SPORTS SHAQ: End of football season is in sight

The 2017 football season is coming to an end with the Super Bowl approaching in nine days.

After defeating the Jacksonville Jaguars in another comeback win, the New England Patriots are back again for the second consecutive time representing the AFC. Their new opponent is the Philadelphia Eagles, who defeated the Minnesota Vikings in a very convincing blowout win and is representing the NFC in Super Bowl LII.

In the AFC title game, Tom Brady, shook off a hand injury and threw for two touchdowns. One was a four-yard touchdown pass to Danny Amendola with only 2:48 remaining in the game. That touchdown helped New England rally back to the Super Bowl with the 24-20 comeback victory over the Jaguars.

The AFC championship game was Brady’s 54th comeback win and he was playing with tape on his throwing hand to protect a cut that he received during practice and required more than 10 stitches to close.

Brady completed 26 of 38 passes for 290 yards for the Patriots, who will play the Eagles Feb. 4 in Minneapolis.

The Jaguars led 20-10 early in the fourth quarter, but they could not hold on against the defending champions.

In the NFC Conference title game, it was not as close. The Vikings scored a touchdown on their opening drive and that was all she wrote for them.

The Eagles dominated the entire game. Nick Foles and the soaring Eagles ruined the Vikings chance to be the first team to host the Super Bowl in their own building.

Next season will be the Atlanta Falcons turn. We will see if they can get back on track and become the first team to host the Super Bowl in their own building.

Foles threw for three touchdowns and the Eagles made big play after big play, winning the NFC title in a striking 38-7 defeat of the Vikings.

Case Keenum on the other side could not get much going. He threw for only one touchdown and had two interceptions along with one fumble. The Vikings defense did not have an answer for the Eagles.

Both the Patriots and the Eagles are playing at a very high level. Can Foles and the Eagles offense have another game where they are clicking on all cylinders?

I do not know but what I do know is that this Eagle defense is definitely a force to be reckoned with. It does not matter how many players go down for that team, the next player up continues to show that they still will not miss a step.

Going up against Brady will be a difficult task because we all know how hard it is to beat Brady and Bill Belichick, especially in the Super Bowl. Only one quarterback has been able to do it and that was Eli Manning and he did it twice.

We could argue that if Manning was the quarterback for the Jaguars, they would have won the AFC title game and be on their way to Minnesota to play in Super Bowl LII.

Super Bowl LII should be an interesting game to watch. The elite Eagles defense going up against Brady and his offense will be one to see.

Will the Eagles defense do what the Jaguars defense could not do for an entire game? They will have to consistently bring the pressure and try to make Brady as uncomfortable as they possibly can. The advantage they have is, they can usually bring the pressure needed with their front four, allowing them to drop a couple of players to help in coverage. That will take away some of the open lanes for Brady to throw in. Even then Brady can find a way to pick a part any defense.

The Eagles will have their hands full as well trying to cover all the weapons Brady now has. His number one guy and probably the biggest mismatch is Rob Gronkowski who suffered a concussion in the AFC title game. He has two weeks to get ready and we believe he will be.

He also has Brandin Cooks, Amendola, Chris Hogan, and Dion Lewis who can all put pressure on the Eagles defense.

We have all doubted Foles enough and he has proven us wrong the past two weeks by beating outplaying Matt Ryan and then what that offense did against Keenum. Super Bowl LII, we are ready.

Shaquita Newton is a sports blogger. She can be reached at superstarproductions622@gmail.com.