After six months of football, the biggest championship game in the world is set. The New England Patriots will meet the Philadelphia Eagles Feb. 6 in Super Bowl XXXIX at Jacksonville’s Alltel Stadium. With their 41-27 defeat of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Patriots will attempt to win their third Super Bowl in four years when they match up against the Eagles.
The Patriots avenged the loss the Steelers gave them on Halloween night and in the process made the Steelers’ star quarterback Ben Roethlisberger look like what he really was this season: a rookie. The Eagles will need a lot of help if they want to defeat the Patriots, and they hopefully will be getting that if star receiver Terrell Owens returns to play in the big game.
Corey Dillon (although he was stuffed by the Steeler’s defense yesterday and only picked up 73 yards on 23 carries) is finally getting his wish to play on Super Bowl team. It’s a far cry from his days with the Cincinnati Bengals when he once said that he’d rather flip burgers than play for a lowly team such as the Bengals.
Yet, everybody seems to be happy now. The Patriots are returning to the Super Bowl and the Bengals are an up-and-coming team with the recent additions they made in the past couple of seasons. The Bengals received a quality draft pick as a result of the Dillon trade in safety Madieu Williams, who had a good rookie year for the Bengals and is poised to make some noise for the Bengals in the 2005 season. The Patriots are led by one of the great mastermind’s in today’s NFL, Bill Belichick. This guy was run out of the head coaching job for both the Cleveland Browns and New York Jets, somehow resurfaced with the Patriots and currently owns a 9-1 postseason playoff record. Only the legendary NFL coach Vince Lombardi rivals the record. Lombardi’s name is fittingly the name of the trophy that is given to the Super Bowl winner. Wouldn’t it be weird, fifty years down the road, if the commissioner of the NFL says to the Super Bowl winner, “And now here’s the Bill Belichick trophy for winning the Super Bowl?” This isn’t likely, but crazier things have happened in the history of professional sports.
What’s so odd about the Patriots is that Bill Belichick has taken all of these castoffs and made them into a Super Bowl dynasty. The leader of them all is quarterback Tom Brady. Brady was a sixth round draft pick in the 2000 NFL Draft out of the University of Michigan.
Although the Patriots beat my favorite NFL team, the Indianapolis Colts, and I’d like to see the Eagles defeat the Patriots, they are just too good of a team.
The Eagles will have to play their best game in franchise history to defeat the Patriots Feb. 6.