Eagles

Eagles-Patriots Super Bowl LII predictions

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Eagles-Patriots Super Bowl LII predictions

We all know what's at stake. If the Eagles beat the Patriots Sunday night, they'll bring the Lombardi Trophy home to Philadelphia for the first time. 

After decimating the Vikings, 38-7, in the NFC Championship Game, the underdog Eagles are flying high. But they'll have to beat Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the defending champion Patriots to earn their first Super Bowl victory.

Our experts all had the Birds beating the Vikings. Let's see who they have in Super Bowl LII. 

Reuben Frank (16-2)
You could tell back in training camp there was something special going on. The level of practice was so high, the competition was extraordinary, the talent was eye-opening. Did I think this was a Super Bowl team as far back as August? Not quite, but you could tell it was going to take an exceptional effort for anybody to beat this team. I did pick the Eagles to go 10-6, win the NFC East and win a playoff game. I liked what I saw that much. They've done even better than that, and on Sunday will try to win the franchise's first championship in 57 years. I haven't picked the Eagles to lose since Week 2 against the Chiefs, and I'm not changing now. They are not losing this game. Not because this is destiny or it's a great story or they're motivated by being underdogs. No, the Eagles will win the Super Bowl simply because they are the better team. I think they are stronger on both lines and can wear down the Patriots up front on both sides of the ball. By the fourth quarter, the Eagles will be rolling toward their first Super Bowl championship. And then Philly will celebrate like Philly has never celebrated before. 

Eagles 29, Patriots 20

Dave Zangaro (15-3) 
I have learned my lesson. 

Far too many times this season I've counted the Eagles out. I thought they were a 9-7 team that could maybe win 10 games and sneak into the playoffs. I thought they were done when they lost Jordan Hicks and Jason Peters in the same game. And I thought they were definitely done when Carson Wentz went down on Dec. 10 in Los Angeles. Stick a fork in 'em. 

I was wrong. And I'm not going to be wrong again. 

The Eagles are going to win the Super Bowl on Sunday night. 

It won't be easy, of course. They'll need to play another near-perfect game because the greatest quarterback of all time and the greatest coach of all time are on the opposing team. That's great for them. But if you ever needed a reminder that football is a team game, look no further than these Eagles. 

The Eagles are going to win Super Bowl LII because they're the better team. They're going to be able to take down Tom Brady and Bill Belichick because of their depth and their aggression and their coaching and their backups who haven't played like backups all season. 

Before making my prediction, I wanted to see how the Eagles handled Super Bowl week. I wanted to see if the moment looked too big for them. It hasn't; it isn't. They're focused and ready to pull off another upset. 

See you at the parade. 

Eagles 26, Patriots 17

Derrick Gunn (15-3)
And so we've reached the end of the road, and what a journey it has been for the Eagles. Not many expected them to advance this far, yet they've silenced many doubters along the way. Now the only thing standing between them and hoisting the Lombardi Trophy is New England. People I've talked to in the media all week from the Boston area have said this is not the strongest Patriots team to get this far, but they are resilient. The GOAT Tom Brady will use every weapon at his disposal. Can the Eagles' pressure up front keep Brady off balance? That is a huge factor. The Patriots' defense is generous between the 20's, but stingy beyond that. They are one of the best at defending the end zone.

Nick Foles has completed 75 percent of his passes in the playoffs and will have to be on point. He will have success through the air against New England's defense. How much remains to be seen. Can the Birds' running game keep the chains moving and keep Brady off the field? Doug Pederson will have to call the game of his life to outthink Bill Belichick. The Pats already have five trophies, the eagles deserve this one. Their time has come. It should be a good game, maybe even a great one. But when it's all said and done, the streets of Philadelphia will shout for joy. Trumpets will sound off throughout the night. Tears of euphoria will floor communities. Finally, it's your time to celebrate, Philadelphia. It's been way overdue. GO BIRDS!!!

Eagles 24, Patriots 20

Ray Didinger (16-2)
The Patriots are the defending Super Bowl champs and arguably the greatest dynasty in NFL history. To sustain this level of dominance over two decades is an amazing accomplishment. This will be their eighth Super Bowl appearance in the Belichick-Brady era, which is crazy.

But here's the thing: they are not unbeatable.

We saw them lose two Super Bowls to the New York Giants, and those Giants teams were very similar to the Eagles — a fierce pass rush that frustrated Brady, an offense that was able to control the football and, most of all, a team playing with no fear. The only way to beat the Patriots is to attack them from the first snap to the last. Atlanta let them back in the game in last year's Super Bowl and blew a 25-point lead. Jacksonville led them in the fourth quarter in the AFC title game, let up and lost.

The Patriots know how to play the big games — they've been in enough of them — but this is not a particularly talented team. The Eagles are better across both lines and their wide assortment of weapons will test even a master defensive strategist like Belichick. The Patriots have Super Bowl experience and that's not to be discounted, but the Eagles have overcome so much to get here I don't see them stopping now.

Eagles 27, Patriots 24

Andrew Kulp (15-3) 
After everything that's happened, how unexpected and unlikely this Eagles' season has been, there's no way I'm picking against them now. I think they're the better team, too.

Eagles 34, Patriots 17

Corey Seidman (13-4) 
The Patriots put up 24 points and barely beat the Jaguars, who had one of the NFL’s best defenses this season. I think the Eagles’ defense is better, and they do have the personnel to combat an elite tight end. 

Two things scare me: An early 14-0 Patriots lead, or the Eagles being up by less than a field goal and giving Brady the ball back with 90 seconds to go. 

If the Eagles play a relatively clean game — maybe one turnover, two is really pushing it, three and you’re losing — they have more total talent and playmakers than New England, especially defensively. 

Months ago, around Week 9, I joked to Barrett Brooks in the NBC Sports Philly newsroom that the tale of the Eagles’ season would involve Nick Foles having to step in and lead them to their first Super Bowl win. It was a 100% joke, a play-out-every-scenario-in-your-head-kinda thing. Wish I tweeted it. 

Eagles 30, Patriots 24

Hudrick's 2018 NFL mock draft 1.0

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Hudrick's 2018 NFL mock draft 1.0

Mock draft season is here. The Super Bowl Champion Eagles will hold the No. 32 overall pick. Here is Paul Hudrick's mock draft 1.0 to get you ready for the 2018 NFL draft in Arlington, Texas. 

1. Cleveland Browns – Sam Darnold, QB, USC (6-4/220)
Darnold has work to do mechanically, but his intangibles are off the charts. Mentally and as a leader, he has what it takes to make it in Cleveland. He'd benefit from watching behind DeShon Kizer to start the season.

2. New York Giants – Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA (6-4/218)
If it were me, Rosen is the guy if I'm taking at quarterback. His footwork and toughness in the pocket are second to none in this draft. There are questions about his maturity, but moments like this make me believe he'll be just fine.

3. Indianapolis Colts – Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State (6-4/275)
The Colts need an impact pass rusher and Chubb is the best there is in this draft. He's also a nasty customer, something Indy could use a little more of.

4. Cleveland Browns (via Houston Texans) – Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State (5-11/223)
You already drafted your future franchise QB, now give him a serious weapon to work with. Sure, there are things Barkley needs to improve on, but he has the potential to be a perennial All-Pro.

5. Denver Broncos – Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame (6-5/329)
With Darnold and Rosen gone, the Broncos pick the best offensive lineman in the draft. Of all the players in the draft, Nelson seems like the most can't-miss prospect. He has the potential to make the Pro Bowl as a rookie.

6. New York Jets – Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma (6-1/220)
This is where things get interesting. You might look at Mayfield and think his antics and off-the-field issues wouldn't fly in New York. I look at it like this: What prospect has dealt with more scrutiny over the past year than Mayfield? I see a Kirk Cousins-like QB with a little more attitude.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Minkah Fitzpatrick, S, Alabama (6-1/201)
This is a perfect fit. Fitzpatrick is a versatile DB who will help fix the Bucs' biggest flaw. Fitzpatrick can cover, has excellent range and he's physical. Easily the best safety in this draft.

8. Chicago Bears – Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama (6-1/190)
When mock drafts first started coming out, Ridley wasn't regarded as a top-10 pick. I have no idea why. This guy has it all. He's an explosive and precise route runner who can be effective catching balls all over the field. He's a true No. 1 receiver, which the Bears desperately need.

9/10. Oakland Raiders (coin flip) – Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia (6-1/225)
Smith earned being a top-10 pick after his play during the CFP. He's a monster. He plays sideline-to-sideline and will be a welcome addition to a Raiders' defense that has some pieces but has struggled.

9/10. San Francisco 49ers (coin flip) – Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa (6-1/192)
Jackson fits the mold of the modern corner with his length and ability to press. He's also showed the ability to play off and excel in zone. The 49ers will be an intriguing team next season and Jackson will add to that.

11. Miami Dolphins – Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech (6-5/250)
Edmunds possesses unbelievable size and athletic ability. He'll excel at blitzing and covering tight ends at the next level.

12. Cincinnati Bengals – Connor Williams, OT, Texas (6-6/320)
The Bengals clearly made a mistake in letting Andrew Whitworth go to the Rams. Their first step in rectifying that would be to take the best tackle in the draft.

13. Washington Redskins – Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming (6-5/223)
You've all likely heard it by now: Allen has all the physical tools, he just needs work. Well, it's absolutely true. From a physical standpoint, there isn't a more gifted QB in this draft. Give him a couple seasons to sit behind Alex Smith and hope Jay Gruden can get the most out of Allen.

14. Green Bay Packers – Arden Key, EDGE, LSU (6-6/265)
Key was a beast his sophomore season (11 sacks), before a junior year mired by injuries and inconsistency. He has all the tools to be a disruptive NFL edge rusher. Can the Packers get it out of him?

15. Arizona Cardinals – Orlando Brown, OL, Oklahoma (6-8/360)
With the top four quarterbacks off the board, the Cardinals look to bolster their offensive line. Brown is a road grader that should help pave the way for star RB David Johnson. Does Brown have enough athleticism to play the left side? I believe he does.

16. Baltimore Ravens – Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU (6-4/218)
Sutton is an interesting case. He has great size and is pretty quick for a bigger receiver. He dominated in the American Conference and should test well at the combine. His stock could rise, but he'd be a great fit for the Ravens.

17. Los Angeles Chargers – Vita Vea, DT, Washington (6-4/344)
Putting Vea on the inside with Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram on the outside seems unfair. He's the most athletic 344-pounder I've ever seen.

18. Seattle Seahawks – Derwin James, S, Florida State (6-3/215)
James was once thought of as a top-10 talent but struggled last season coming off an injury. He's the type of physical, versatile player that will thrive in Seattle and possibly replace Kam Chancellor.

19. Dallas Cowboys – Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama (6-2/308)
Payne showed how disruptive and dominant he can be in the National Championship Game. If the Cowboys can get that player to show up every week, he'll be giving the Eagles trouble for years.

20. Detroit Lions – Marcus Davenport, EDGE, UTSA (6-6/255)
There may not be a player riding a bigger hype train than Davenport. He has great measurables, was extremely productive and should test well. The Lions are perpetually in need of pass rushers.

21. Buffalo Bills – Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan (6-2/282)
There are a few mocks out there that have Hurst ahead of Payne. I will say that Hurst was a more consistent player this season, but Payne is younger and has a bigger upside. Still, Hurst should help the Bills immediately.

22. Buffalo Bills (via Kansas City Chiefs) – Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado (6-1/190)
Like Jackson, Oliver fits the mold of the prototypical NFL corner. He also fits the mold of what head coach Sean McDermott has looked for in his corners.

23. Los Angeles Rams – Denzel Ward, CB, OSU (5-10/191)
I'm not as high on Ward as others. I thought he got bullied by bigger receivers. With that said, he has excellent footwork and speed to mirror receivers up and down the field.

24. Carolina Panthers – Harold Landry, EDGE, Boston College (6-3/250)
Landry would've probably gone around this range if he'd come out last year (16 1/2 sacks). He wasn't as productive this season (five sacks) but is certainly worth a shot here for the Panthers.

25. Tennessee Titans - Billy Price, C, OSU (6-4/312)
The Titans have bookend tackles but could use help in the middle. Price's issue might be that he's a little too aggressive at times. Better than the alternative. He's tough, athletic and plays with an edge.

26. Atlanta Falcons – Will Hernandez, G, UTEP (6-2/348)
Hernandez is the second-best guard in this draft. He had a nice week at Senior Bowl that will likely make him first-rounder.

27. New Orleans Saints – Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama (6-3/234)
Evans would've looked great in midnight green, but I don't see any way he gets to pick 32. Recruited as a pass rusher, Evans became an inside 'backer for Nick Saban. That versatility should serve him well as a 4-3 OLB.

28. Pittsburgh Steelers – Carlton Davis, CB, Auburn (6-1/203)
I like Davis more than Ward, but going off the hype, I'll mock Davis here. Joe Haden doesn't seem like a candidate to return for the Steelers and they could use more help at corner.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars – Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville (6-3/200)
The Jags are giving Blake Bortles another shot. Taking Jackson hedges their bets. No doubt Jackson has work to do with his mechanics and accuracy (though he's much improved), but putting him in the same backfield as Leonard Fournette with a dominant defense would be awfully intriguing.

30. Minnesota Vikings – Isaiah Wynn, G, Georgia (6-2/300)
The Vikings' O-line was vastly improved in 2017, but could still use more help. Wynn provides versatility, having played left tackle for the Bulldogs but projecting as a guard at the next level.

31. New England Patriots – Mike Hughes, CB, UCF (5-11/191)
This is an interesting spot. If Rob Gronkowski decides to retire, look for South Dakota State TE Dallas Goedert as a possibility. With Malcolm Butler on his way out, Hughes could make a solid tandem with Stephon Gilmore.

32. Philadelphia Eagles – Taven Bryan, DT, Florida (6-4/291)
If Beau Allen leaves in free agency, the Eagles are left with Destiny Vaeao and 2017 sixth-round pick Elijah Qualls at DT. With Jim Schwartz's D-line rotation, they'll need more depth and competition at the position. Enter Bryan. Don't be fooled by the lack of production (four sacks in 2017), Bryan has impressive physical traits that will translate to the NFL. He's an attacking style player, the perfect fit for Schwartz's scheme. He's got a quick first step and consistently blows offensive lineman off the ball. Asking him to be a rotational piece, especially in pass rush situations, would be the ideal way to bring him along.

Movie about former Eagle's life in the works

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Movie about former Eagle's life in the works

Pretty soon, you'll be able to see Jon Dorenbos' incredible story on the big screen. 

Producer and Philly native Mike Tollin, thanks to the Eagles' Super Bowl win, is fast-tracking a movie about Dorenbos' life, according to Deadline Hollywood. 

Tollin has been involved other sports films such as Summer Catch, Radio and Coach Carter.

This movie, which will be based on a book Dorenbos is writing with Larry Platt, will be based around Dorenbos' story back to when he used his magic as a coping mechanism to deal with childhood tragedy. 

For those who don't know his story, Dorenbos was just 12 years old when his father murdered his mother. Long before he became a professional long-snapper for the Eagles, Dorenbos used magic as an escape from reality. He continues to perform magic and was a hit on America's Got Talent.

Dorenbos, 37, played 11 seasons in Philadelphia before he was traded to the Saints last offseason. Upon his arrival in New Orleans, doctors found an aortic aneurysm. That ended his football career and sent him for open-heart surgery. 

Even though he wasn't a part of the roster, Dorenbos was included during the Eagles' playoff run. He was in Minnesota when the Birds won the Super Bowl, he paraded down Broad Street, and he's getting a Super Bowl ring. 

"Jon and I have been talking about this for a while, and I once told him we needed a third act, but I didn't mean nearly killing himself," Tollin told Deadline. "This is about overcoming obstacles and turning tragedies into positives and the story is so unlikely that I thought we'd need a coda to say the story was true. We have that, with Jon and the beautiful wife he just married, Annalise, in the parade with confetti falling on their heads."

Dorenbos told Deadline that going with Tollin, whom he has known for a while, was an easy decision and he sold him the book option for $1. 

There's no release date yet, but because of the recency of the Super Bowl win, the plan is to fast-track the movie. Tollin said the plan is to have the movie out by the time the Eagles are starting to defend their title in next year's playoffs. He said he's already talking to an A-list star about the project. 

"I have learned that the sooner you accept your reality, the sooner you can look at the positives in life," Dorenbos told Deadline. "My reality was that I lost both of my parents. My dad went to prison and my mom was killed. My sister and I stayed with a temporary foster family for a bit, until my aunt, my mom's sister, got custody of us. I loved magic. It was really the only time that I didn't think about all the crap, the counseling therapy, the grieving. I would sit at a table, shuffle cards and learn moves, for 10 hours at a time. As a kid, it taught me it was OK to be alone and work toward something. 

"I am a slow, pudgy white guy who never thought he would play football. I made two Pro Bowls and guess what? All I did was stay on the path and show up every day when others jumped off the path."