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Tim Hasselbeck on K&C predicts Patriots over Eagles in Super Bowl LII

Kyle DaLuz
January 29, 2018 - 8:29 am

During his weekly interview appearance with Kirk & Callahan Monday morning, ESPN analyst Tim Hasselbeck took the favorite with his prediction for the Super Bowl, predicting the Patriots to win their sixth Lombardi Trophy this weekend in Minneapolis against the Eagles.

While sources have told WEEI's Kirk Minihane that Rob Gronkowski will "absolutely be ready to go" come kickoff Sunday night, he is still in the NFL's concussion protocol despite returning to practice. Hasselbeck tabbed Malcolm Jenkins, the 6-foot, two-time Pro Bowl safety, as the defender the Eagles will throw the tight end's way. 

"Obviously, there's going to be a lot of attention on Rob Gronkwoski and his health," he said. "Malcolm Jenkins is an interesting match-up for Gronkowski with his experience playing corner and his size."

Given the attention paid to Gronkowski, Hasselbeck believes that it will be the outside receivers that puts New England over the top come Sunday, with the likes of Brandin Cooks and Chris Hogan playing a key role in the Patriots' gameplan.

"We're going to end up looking at this game and it's going to end up being about the guys outside, and those will be the guys making a difference in this game, which will be interesting considering that's not how it's worked for the Patriots this year," he said.

Offensively for the Eagles, it all will come down to Nick Foles.

"Foles has not played nearly as well as Wentz had played. He just doesn't make decisions as quickly. Really the reason they were playing so well was Wentz's ability to create," Hasselbeck said. "Foles can play well and play well as a starter, they're just not nearly as dangerous. There's stuff that's had to come out of that offense with him being there.

"They can run the football with a variety of backs. They're not Kansas City or the Titans for that matter, in being able to run a Saturday offense, but at the same time, some of the finger prints left from Chip Kelly, you do get some of that run-pass option stuff which is hard on corners and hard on safeties."