MURRELL COLUMN: It’s another Super Bowl with Patriots in it

Published 7:38 pm Saturday, February 3, 2018

That glimmer of hope that New England’s reported internal problems would give Tennessee an edge in the AFC divisional playoff game was shining bright after the Titans scored first.

Then, it went away pretty fast.

That’s New England for you.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Tom Brady is old, but he’s also experienced. Just when you think no 40-year-old man can possibly continue to play at a championship level in the world’s toughest team sport, his experience takes over.

Professionalism has kept the Patriots from allowing any possible animosity between Robert Kraft and coach Bill Belichick to spill onto the field. Their professionalism with respect to playing the game (hand signals and ball deflation notwithstanding) backs up the five Super Bowl titles they’ve won. The same can be said about Brady’s continued intensity.

Nothing has surfaced to back up reports of friction. If the Patriots are doing a good job of covering up any differences, much more power to them.

This is another Patriots Super Bowl, and like all the others (remember the Bears’ 46-10 drubbing in 1986?) this will be no cakewalk.

But it won’t be a one-sided Eagles affair, either.

Philadelphia plays freely, has fun, attacks every part of the field on offense and covers every part on defense. That’s how the Eagles have soared.

Scary as it seems, they look like the 2004 team Terrell Owens and Donovan McNabb powered. That team lost to New England in the Big Game, too.

Brady’s productivity has not dropped off any, but he can be rattled and rushed into throwing an interception. Don’t be surprised if Philadelphia and its defensive front force him into that or Malcolm Jenkins picks off one.

Nick Foles is writing a great comeback story and is finally the quarterback the Eagles first thought he was coming out of the University of Arizona. He’ll come out with some confidence knowing the Patriots don’t have many big names up front or at linebacker.

It won’t matter. Trey Flowers, Elandon Roberts and Malcolm Butler are playmakers. They will make plays again — game-changing ones, at that.

Most stories are best written once. If Belichick needs to write another comeback story to protect the team’s dynasty, there’s no better author.

That’s the Patriots for you. But the Eagles will come to play, just as Prince will appear in a hologram during Justin Timberlake’s halftime gig.

Final score: Patriots 28, Eagles 24. Get your hoagies and potato chips ready.

I.C. Murrell can be reached at 721-2435 or at On Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews


About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

email author More by I.C.