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Last year, the over 110 million football fans who tuned in to watch the Super Bowl witnessed the New England Patriots make history — once again! After trailing 28-3 against the Atlanta Falcons in the third quarter, the Patriots made a nail-biting comeback ending the game with a 34-28 win in overtime. This was not only the first game in the fifty-one-year history of the Super Bowl to go to overtime but also the first to feature a comeback of more than ten points. On Sunday February 4, the New England team, along with their star quarterback Tom Brady, hope to continue their winning streak, and shatter more records, as they face off against the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl 52!
The Patriots will begin making history just by showing up at Minnesota’s U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday, for what will be their tenth Super Bowl appearance. No other NFL team has managed to make it past eight. Should the New England team defeat the Eagles, they’ll have won three times over a four-year stretch, a feat only accomplished by two teams — the Dallas Cowboys in 1992, 1993, and 1995, and the Patriots themselves in 2001, 2003, and 2004. Winning their sixth Lombardi Trophy will also tie the team with the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most Super Bowl championships by any NFL team.
Bill Belichick, who will extend his own record with an eighth appearance as head coach, could also become the first coach in NFL history to win six Super Bowls. He, of course, owns the previous record as well. However, while the league’s longest-tenured coach certainly deserves credit, he could not have achieved the accolades without help from Tom Brady.
Drafted by the team in 2000, Brady is a two-time NFL MVP, a record four-time Super Bowl MVP, and the only quarterback to win five Super Bowl championships. Sunday’s game is even more significant for the charismatic and talented player. At 40 years, 185 days old, Brady will be the oldest starting quarterback the Super Bowl has seen, and the first non-kicker or punter over the age of 40 to ever play in the championship game. To claim the title of the oldest quarterback ever to start a game though, Brady will have to edge out Atlanta Falcons’ Steve DeBerg, who was 44 years and 279 days old when he played against the Jets in 1998. Luckily for fans, age is just a number for Brady, and he doesn’t plan to retire soon. “I’d like to play until my mid-40s,” he said. “ is not going to be my last year.”
The talented football player is also primed to attain another first on Sunday: winning the Super Bowl after leading the NFL in passing yards this season. Though many quarterbacks, including Brady, have achieved both honors, none have managed to snag them in the same year. Hopefully, Brady, who completed 385 of 581 passes for an impressive 4,577 yards, just shy of his 2011 season record of 5,235, will be able to end the jinx.
Eagles fans, meanwhile, will be crossing their fingers for a different celebratory moment as the players make their third trip to the Super Bowl. While the people of Philadelphia have enjoyed victories in baseball (two World Series wins by the Phillies), basketball (NBA title by the Sixers), and even ice hockey (two Stanley Cups by the Flyers), the Lombardi Trophy has been elusive for their beloved NFL team. “The way this town views the Eagles is at a different level. This is really a football town, first and foremost, so I can’t even imagine what it would be like if they pulled this off,” said fan Chris Kunda.
With so much at stake for both teams, Super Bowl 52 is guaranteed to be exciting — so be sure to tune in, even if it’s just for the half-time show or fun advertisements! Let us know who you’re rooting for in the comments below!
Go, Patriots! Go, Eagles!
Resources: Wikipedia.org, digtialtrends.com,bleacherrport.com, fortune.com