February 05, 2005

Frinklin Football Forecast: Super Bowl 39


Without Terrell Owens, the Eagles are down to two bona fide playmakers: QB Donavan McNabb and RB Bryan Westbrook. McNabb is an exciting player capable of hurting the opposition with both his arm and feet, but he’s shown an unfortunate tendency to make mistakes against quality opponents. Westbrook, who will line up everywhere on offense is a cat-quick scatback. It will up to the Patriots’ active and smart linebackers to control him. I’m sure Owens will see the field, but expect New England’s physical secondary to beat him up whenever he’s on. Owens can’t be expected to be in football shape.

New England
The Pats can hurt a team in many different ways. In a switch from their previous Super Bowl teams, this team can eat up yards and clock behind Corey Dillon. Dillon, a great player who was on some awful teams, has had an great year and seems to be intensely focused. The QB is Tom Brady of course, and he has an arsenal of lesser-known but talented receivers led by Dion Branch and speedster David Givens. Brady is smart, always plays under control and very seldom makes a mistake.

Edge: New England


The Eagles are fast, tough and blitz like lunatics. Up front Corey Simon and Jevon Kearse are pass rushing oriented, and leave the run to massive DT Darwin Walker and MLB Jeremiah Trotter. Three-quarters of the Eagles secondary are heading to the Pro Bowl, and CB Sheldon Brown, who isn’t headed to Hawaii, may be the best of the bunch. Both safeties, Michael Lewis and Brian Dawkins, are headhunters who might have problems with New England’s multiple wideout looks.

New England
It really is stunning that the Patriots are here, considering their two best defenders, DE Richard Seymour and CB Ty Law have missed much of the season. Seymour will play on Sunday, but Law will not. The Pats secondary seems to be in shambles, starting rookie Randall Gay and second-year man Asante Samuel. New England’s nickleback will again be receiver Troy Brown. The linebackers are among the best in football, led by Tedy Bruschi.

Edge: Even

While everyone has concluded that Bill Belichik is one of, if the not the best coach of all time, Eagle coach Andy Reid has been ignored. That’s an unfair slight to Reid, who brought the Eagles up from lousy to a team with four consecutive NFC title appearances. Belichick will lose his brilliant coordinators after Sunday, as Charlie Weis will head to Notre Dame and Romeo Crennel will take over the Cleveland Browns. The Eagles coordinators are just as good, and bizarrely underrated. On offense, Brad Childress will have to find a way to attack the Patriots secondary, and Jim Johnson will have to solve the Pats offense.

Edge: New England, but not by much

Prediction: New England 24, Philadelphia 14

Posted by Frinklin at February 5, 2005 05:31 PM
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