Super Bowl 2018: Patriots vs. Eagles Schedule, Start Time, Performers, TV InfoJanuary 22, 2018
The Super Bowl is now set with the New England Patriots taking on the Philadelphia Eagles in a battle of two teams with very different stories.
Even casual fans are familiar with New England by now, with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick competing in their eighth Super Bowl together, winning five. However, there is a new opponent for other fans to root for, one that has never won a Super Bowl in its history.
The Eagles were the No. 1 seed in the NFC, but they still didn't get much respect as underdogs in each of their playoff games. Although the squad hadn't won a playoff game in the previous eight seasons, everything is now clicking, and the group is one more win away from history.
No matter who wins on Feb. 4, it should be a memorable matchup between the two best teams in the NFL.
Super Bowl LII Info
Date: Sunday, Feb. 4
Start Time: 6:30 p.m. ET
Where: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minn.
Live Stream: NBC Live
While most football fans will be focused on the game, there is plenty of spectacle for the rest of the country to enjoy.
Before the game, three-time Grammy winner Pink will sing the national anthem, followed by a rendition of America the Beautiful by Tony Award winner Leslie Odom Jr. from the Broadway show Hamilton.
The halftime show will then feature a performance by Justin Timberlake, who will make his first appearance on this stage since the controversial show in 2004 with Janet Jackson. He also appeared with N'Sync in 2001, making the 2018 show his third time in front of the largest audience of the year.
This represents a new record for a halftime performer.
Although he might have a lot to live up to after Lady Gaga last year, the producers will likely have a few tricks up their sleeves this time around.
The Patriots beat the Jaguars in the AFC Championship Game as expected, but it wasn't as easy as many anticipated.
Brady suffered a hand injury during the week that led to double-digit stitches, per ESPN.com, and then All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski was ruled out due to a first-half concussion. The Jaguars took advantage by building a 20-10 lead in the fourth quarter.
Still, the 40-year-old quarterback found a way to lead his team back for the 24-20 win thanks to two touchdown passes to Danny Amendola, including this impressive grab with under three minutes remaining:
Even with the obstacles, there was little doubt among those watching along that Brady would find a way to escape with a win.
"He's the toughest guy I've ever met, physically, mentally," Amendola said of Brady after the game, per Lindsay Jones of USA Today.
Belichick and Brady are experienced playing at this level, while even many of the younger players have been a part of two Super Bowl titles in the last three seasons. With their talent and coaching, the Patriots won't be an easy team to beat.
However, there is no reason to count out the Eagles after what they have done this year.
Many people thought the season was over when quarterback Carson Wentz went down with a torn ACL, but Nick Foles has held his own since taking over. He was especially impressive in the NFC Championship Game with 352 passing yards and three touchdowns against the Vikings, who had the No. 1 defense in football this season.
This throw off a flea flicker was as well-placed as possible:
The performance helped the Eagles to a 38-7 blowout win in what was expected to be the closer of the two conference title games.
Mike Greenberg of ESPN described the impressive effort from the backup QB:
Philadelphia had survived without Wentz thanks mostly to its defense, which was dominant against both the Vikings and Falcons so far in the playoffs and should be a tough matchup for the Patriots. The front seven is especially impressive and could keep pressure on Brady throughout the game.
However, the biggest thing holding the Eagles back to this point was a lack of balance offensively due to a lack of trust in Foles. If he can play like this for one more game, he can lead Philadelphia to its first Super Bowl title in franchise history.