The Super Bowl is all set. And however unlikely it might’ve been, the two No. 1 seeds, New England and Philadelphia, will face off in a rematch of the 2005 nail-biter.
Coming off the Minneapolis Miracle, the Vikings were America’s darling, and the favorite in Philadelphia. The Eagles proved that they shouldn’t be doubted in any game. Backup QB Nick Foles led a high-flying offense attack to a blowout of the lifeless Vikes.
While everyone expected the Patriots to take care of business and beat the Jaguars, New England needed another Hall of Fame performance from Tom Brady to send the Patriots to their record 10th Super Bowl. Brady, with an injured thumb that needed more than 10 stitches, led an epic comeback against the best pass defense in the NFL without the best TE in NFL history, his favorite wide receiver and no running game.
Now that we have two weeks to wait before Super Bowl LII, the hype machine will blow every single storyline out of proportion. Here are the storylines you’ll hear, and get bored of, the most over the next couple weeks.
Tom Brady’s Thumb Injury
This really shouldn’t be a storyline, but it inevitably will be. Brady, who reportedly sprained his thumb and got stitches after injuring it in practice, was as impressive as ever against a historically good defense in the Jaguars. With two weeks to recover, Brady should be just fine against a ferocious Eagles defense.
All eyes will be on Brady’s thumb, though. Spectators will observe practice to make sure that no freak accident happen again. Whenever Brady talks to the media, we’ll undoubtedly get close-ups of Brady’s hand to see whether it’s healed.
But injuries to star players are inevitably talked about. Brady’s won’t be the most pressing, though.
Rob Gronkowski’s Concussion
The Patriots struggled without Gronk — who left the game with a concussion — until Brady lit it up in the fourth quarter.
Gronk was noticeably wobbly after taking a helmet-to-helmet hit. The star tight end will have to go through the typical concussion protocol. And even though it’s hard to gauge how fast someone can return from a concussion, there’s almost no doubt that Gronk would miss the Super Bowl, especially with two weeks before the big game.
Bill Belichick surely won’t give us any answers, which will make the speculation about whether Gronk will play even louder.
Can Foles Duplicate His NFC Championship Game Performance?
When the media isn’t talking about Brady’s hand and Gronk’s head, they’ll be speculating whether Foles has a repeat performance in him. The Eagles’ reserve QB put together an extremely impressive performance against a stingy Vikes defense.
Foles has proven to be an extremely valuable backup in the NFL, and potentially a starter in the future if he keeps playing at a high level. While we’ll rightly get questions wondering if Foles can put together a similar performance, we’ve seen Foles play like this before. Under coach Chip Kelly, Foles had one of the most surprising years for a QB in recent memory.
Eagles coach Doug Pederson has proven to be a quality offensive coach, both with gameplanning and playcalling. But he’ll be going up against the best ever in Belichick. It will be fun to see the two go head-to-head, but it won’t be fun hearing if Foles is capable of playing well.
Related – The NFL’s Drug Policy is Outdated