Super Bowl LII: Press Association assess key talking points

Last Updated February 02 2018, 09:33NFL
Tom Brady of the New England Patriots
Tom Brady of the New England Patriots

Press Association Sport details five talking points before Super Bowl LII in Minnesota.

The New England Patriots will bid to tie the Pittsburgh Steelers' record of six Super Bowl titles on Sunday when they attempt to win their third championship in four years.

New England are in their eighth Super Bowl in 17 years, all of which have been achieved with Bill Belichick as head coach and Tom Brady at quarterback, while their opponents the Philadelphia Eagles have never won the Lombardi Trophy.

Here Press Association Sport details five talking points before Super Bowl LII in Minnesota.

Can Belichick and Brady be stopped?

New England are favourites to win it all again. Not only are they talented and well coached, they also rise to the occasion when the chips are down, having overturned a 28-3 deficit to beat Atlanta in Super Bowl LI. Hope for Philadelphia comes from a stout defensive line which could spook 40-year-old Brady. In both of his two Super Bowl defeats, the New York Giants managed to pressure Brady by primarily using just a four-man front and Philly have the personnel to follow that formula.

How big of an impact will Jay Ajayi have?

There will be British interest at the U.S. Bank Stadium in the shape of Eagles running back Jay Ajayi. The Londoner left for the States when he was seven but is the poster boy for the sport in his homeland. Ajayi was a mid-season pick up for Philadelphia and will share the load with ex-Patriot LeGarrette Blount but will still see plenty of the ball, particularly if New England do not establish a big lead early on.

Which Nick Foles will turn up?

Philadelphia's hopes are pinned on their inconsistent back-up quarterback and how he performs under the brightest lights. Since filling in for the injured Carson Wentz, Foles has won two play-off games and was outstanding in the NFC Championship Game against Minnesota. Foles is capable of incredible performances, having once thrown seven touchdowns in a game, but can often be underwhelming too.

Can Justin Timberlake avoid another 'Janet' moment?

The half-time show garners just as much interest as the game itself and this year's performance may elicit even more intrigue given Justin Timberlake's last Super Bowl performance. It was Timberlake who ripped Janet Jackson's top, briefly exposing a breast covered by a nipple shield, in a moment that stunned the world. However, Timberlake has already ruled out any special guests this time around so the possibility of yet more controversy looks highly unlikely.

Is another Super Bowl thriller on the cards?

NFL fans have been spoiled in the sport's showpiece event in recent years. Last February's contest featured a record comeback that was completed in overtime while three years ago New England snatched victory from the jaws of defeat with a last gasp goal-line interception from Malcolm Butler. Only one of the past 14 Super Bowls have been decided by more than 14 points so history suggests these contests usually come down to the wire.

Related links

Most Read

Luka Modric (left) collects his World Cup Golden Boot award, while Kylian Mbappe wins young player of the tournament1

66/1 Modric wins Golden Ball

He may not be getting his hands on the World Cup trophy, but Luka Modric was the recipient of the tournament's Golden Ball award.

France captain Hugo Lloris lifts the World Cup trophy2

France win 2018 World Cup

France are world champions for the second time after beating Croatia 4-2 in a thrilling World Cup final in Moscow.

Check out the rumours in today's papers3

Sunday Paper Talk

Real Madrid are ready to break the world record with a £200m bid for Eden Hazard after the Chelsea forward hinted his time at Stamford Bridge might soon come to an end.

Check out our free horse racing selections and preview for today's action4

Monday's racing preview

Anita Chambers fancies Airshow at Windsor and she has a tip for every race in the UK and Ireland.

Brandon Stone with the biggest title of his career5

Stone shoots 60 for Scotland shock

South African youngster Brandon Stone is on the verge of one of the biggest shocks in European Tour history after a closing round of 60 in the Scottish Open.

Most Read

Luka Modric (left) collects his World Cup Golden Boot award, while Kylian Mbappe wins young player of the tournament1

66/1 Modric wins Golden Ball

He may not be getting his hands on the World Cup trophy, but Luka Modric was the recipient of the tournament's Golden Ball award.

France captain Hugo Lloris lifts the World Cup trophy2

France win 2018 World Cup

France are world champions for the second time after beating Croatia 4-2 in a thrilling World Cup final in Moscow.

Check out the rumours in today's papers3

Sunday Paper Talk

Real Madrid are ready to break the world record with a £200m bid for Eden Hazard after the Chelsea forward hinted his time at Stamford Bridge might soon come to an end.

Check out our free horse racing selections and preview for today's action4

Monday's racing preview

Anita Chambers fancies Airshow at Windsor and she has a tip for every race in the UK and Ireland.

Brandon Stone with the biggest title of his career5

Stone shoots 60 for Scotland shock

South African youngster Brandon Stone is on the verge of one of the biggest shocks in European Tour history after a closing round of 60 in the Scottish Open.

Racing Tips

Check out our free horse racing selections and preview for today's action

Monday's racing preview

Anita Chambers fancies Airshow at Windsor and she has a tip for every race in the UK and Ireland.

Find out who our team are backing ahead of today's racing

Sporting Life: Daily Nap

Richard Mann previews Monday's action with the Sporting Life Daily Nap running at Ayr for Sir Mark Prescott.

Get your bets on!

Our best bets

Check out all of our available betting tips and previews of the forthcoming sporting action.

Next Race Off
21:55 Gulfstream
8
(8)
Trophy Chaser
J: Leonel Reyes
3
(3)
Vegas Tycoon
J: Tyler Gaffalione
4
(4)
Jackson
J: Emisael Jaramillo

Football Tips

Neymar in action for Brazil against Serbia

Sporting Life: Tipping record

A look at how the Sporting Life recommended bets have performed in July 2018.

Get your bets on!

Our best bets

Check out all of our available betting tips and previews of the forthcoming sporting action.

We have two best bets for the World Cup final

World Cup final betting tips

There's a David v Goliath battle in the World Cup final but will France prove just one game too far for Croatia? Paul Higham has two best bets.