When: Sunday, February 4th at 6:35pm EST
Where: U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Spread: Patriots -4.5
The Greatest Football Event Of The Year
NFL fans will be treated to a real-life David vs Goliath match-up on Sunday when the Philadelphia Eagles take on the defending champion New England Patriots in Super Bowl 52. Tom Brady is aiming for an unprecedented sixth Super Bowl ring, but he’ll have to get through the Eagles’ dominant defensive line to make history.
The Eagles were left for dead after star quarterback Carson Wentz tore his ACL in Week 14. Backup Nick Foles played well in a 34-29 win over the Giants, but looked dreadful against the Raiders and the Cowboys, leading the offense to 13 measly points in five quarters. Foles has come alive in the playoffs though, completing 78% of his passes for 10.4 yards per attempt with zero interceptions. Foles played the game of his life in the NFC Championship Game with 353 passing yards and 3 TDs against the Vikings’ top-ranked defense.
For the Patriots, it was business as usual in the AFC. After cruising to a win against the Titans, Bill Belichick’s squad was challenged by an inconsistent Jaguars team. Jacksonville held a 20-10 lead in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t finish as Brady threw a pair of touchdowns in the final 10 minutes to send New England to their eighth Super Bowl in 18 years.
The Eagles’ Strengths
The Eagles represent a unique challenge for the battle-tested Patriots. Without Carson Wentz, the Eagles’ strength lies in the trenches. The Eagles offensive line has done a great job giving Nick Foles time in the pocket and clearing running lanes for Jay Ajayi and LeGarrette Blount. On defense, no one generated more quarterback pressures this year than Philadelphia. Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, and rookie playmaker Derek Barnett have harassed quarterbacks and running backs all season. The Eagles allowed the fewest rushing yards in the league by a comfortable margin and had four defensive linemen with five or more sacks.
The Patriots’ Strengths
On the flip side, Tom Brady and the offense are the strength in New England. Both Brandin Cooks and Rob Gronkowski had 1000-yard receiving seasons and slot receiver Danny Amendola has filled in admirably for the injured Julian Edelman. Dion Lewis, Rex Burkhead, and Mike Gillislee each had five or more rushing touchdowns and reigning Super Bowl MVP running back James White had 56 catches. The Patriots can beat you in an endless number of ways and the Eagles often struggle with shifty, pass-catching running backs.
Can the Eagles win their first Super Bowl in team history? Or will the Patriots match the Steelers with six Super Bowl trophies? Al Michael and Cris Collinsworth have the game on NBC, giving streamers plenty of opportunities (although admit it, you’re going to a party).
The Super Bowl Halftime Show by Justin Timberlake
The Super Bowl halftime show has become as much of a tradition as the game itself. Although the Big Game has been around since the 1960s, the halftime show didn’t feature big name pop-stars until the early 1990s, with the New Kids On The Block. The response was so positive that the pop and rock stars have become a Super Bowl mainstay. Keeping with tradition, this year Justin Timberlake will be taking the stage at half-time days after the release of his new album, “Man of the Woods”.
Justin Timberlake will be performing for the THIRD time, which is more than any other performer. His last appearance was the infamous 2004 Super Bowl performance along side Janet Jackson. If you don’t remember, that was the occasion that coined the term “wardrobe malfunction”. This incident caused pop stars to take a back-seat to classic-rock acts until 2011. In 2011 the halftime show featured The Black Eyed Peas, Usher, and Slash. At this time it’s a mystery if Timberlake will be joined on stage by any other big names.
Super Bowl Commercials
As if the game AND the halftime show aren’t enough reason to watch, you have the commercials. Some people tune in for the ads alone. Commercials have become a MAJOR feature of the Super Bowl. Advertisers pay millions of dollars to have their ads played in front of the millions of eyes that will be tuned in to the game. Not only are the advertisements entertaining, they can be influential.
For example the most influential, “1984” Apple advertisement introduced the notion that commercials can contain a plot rather that just being a 30-second forgettable jingle. This commercial aired during the Cold-War and featured some pretty heavy themes. Additionally, it was directed by legendary director Ridley Scott which made it a stand-out among the competition.
Other memorable Super Bowl Ads have carved out a spot in history for being hilarious, like the Budweiser Frog or the Whassup?!? guys. Some are unforgettable because they break norms, like the 2011 Volkswagen Star Wars spot which was released ahead of the Super Bowl and started a new trend. There are emotional ads like the famous “Mean Joe Green” Coke commercial from 1980.
It’s just another reason to watch.
How To Watch Super Bowl 52 Without Cable
DirecTV now offers all of the channels that you need in their base package, “Live A Little”. Along with NBC, CNBC, NBCSN, as well as other networks like CBS, FOX, and ABC. You get roughly 60 other channels for $35/month.
The offer a FREE TRIAL. Give it a try!
YouTube TV is gaining traction as a live streaming service. Their service has NBC, CNBC, CBS, ABC, and FOX. All for $35/month which includes over 50 channels PLUS limitless Cloud DVR. They offer a free trial.
Hulu With Live TV
Hulu With Live TV includes NBC and other major networks. You get over 55 live channels AND access to the Hulu on-demand library. You can record up to 50 hours of live TV with Hulu’s cloud DVR.
You can access NBC which streams the game. Simply subscribe to a one-month Sling Blue package for $25 that lets you stream over 40 channels such as NBC. An added advantage comes as Sling TV offers discounts if you pre-pay.
You can watch the Super Bowl on Sling TV either through their free 7-day trial or subscription.
PlayStation Vue is a great way to watch the Olympics, especially if you’re a gamer. The most affordable “Access” package includes most of the channels that you need at $39.99/month.
Remember, the game is on SUPER BOWL SUNDAY. February 4th at 6:35 pm ET on NBC. Don’t miss it.