It may as well be said now, but expect that Patriots to romp over the overrated Eagles. Atlanta is a far cry from the Patriots on either side of the ball. Expect a 48-13 rout. If Terrell Owens is healthy, toss on another seven for the Eagles. The Eagles have not nearly enough to counter against the weakness of the Patriots, namely their secondary minus Law and Poole. Their absence does not seemed to have mattered much regardless.
The primary difference in the Pats-Steelers game was the rookie inexperience of Ben Roethlisburger, who has had an amazing rookie campaign, contrasted with the superlative and poised play of Super Bowl veteran Tom Brady. Roethlisburger's three interceptions were the difference maker here in paving the way for 17 Patriot points, 7 directly and 10 indirectly. He played well, but to expect a rookie QB to not make any key errors in this game and given the circumstances would have been naïve.
The Patriots held the Steelers' superlative rushing game that had averaged over 150 yards-per-game throughout the season to 32 carries for 118 yards from the running backs. Ben Roethlisburger added 45 more in a valiant effort to spark the team following his error-filled play primarily in the first half.
The Patriots are simply too good and know how to gameplan around their weaknesses on any given week and have players that continually step up in Bill Belichick's culture. In this game, they also took the 12th man out of the mix by going up 10-0 within the first nine minutes of play.
As to the Super Bowl, to make matters worse for the Eagles, Richard Seymour should be back from injury as well. Not that Seymour will provide the difference, but he may very well be the cake icer just prior to the half. The neutral field also helps ice this game for the Patriots.
The Patriots also paid back the Steelers for interrupting their winning streak which ended at 21 games by terminating the Steelers' 15-game winning streak. The difference over the game earlier this season was the presence of Corey Dillon and Deion Branch who were collectively responsible for 194 yards and 2 touchdowns worth of offensive production. Why anyone believed that their presence would not be most significantly appreciable is beyond comprehension. However, many believed that the Steelers could not lose this game.
Over in the NFC, the Eagles earned the right to become fodder for the Patriots en route to their second straight and third Super Bowl win in four years. The Eagles managed to put up 27 points at home against a very average Falcon defense. Certainly it appears unlikely that they will break the 20-point barrier against a much tougher Patriot defense on a much better coached team.
As well, the Eagles have only beaten three teams with winning records on the season, namely the Ravens and Packers, two teams oppositely off balance from O to D, and the Falcons also possessing only an average defense along with a one-dimensional offense. The Patriots are anything but imbalanced and one-dimensional. The Eagles will have their hands full from start to finish on both sides of the ball.
Meanwhile, the Eagles have only played three defenses the caliber of New England's. They scored only 3 points vs. the Steelers, only 15 vs. the Ravens, and 28 vs. the Redskins. Versus the Steelers, the Eagles were held to only 113 net yards of offense with Terrell Owens.
The only team similar to the Patriots that the Eagles have faced on the season hailing from the below average NFC East, is the Steelers. Although in Pittsburgh, the Steelers rushed for over 200 yards with their RBs alone. Expect more of the same from Corey Dillon & Co. Perhaps not 200-yards, but a dominating rushing game to be certain.
Either way, this season's "Super" Bowl doesn't figure to be so super. Whatever they are, lay the points and watch the Eagles lay an egg to disappoint their fans in Philly.