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Super Bowl LII game plans: Why RPOs are key for Eagles, Patriots

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Gronk confident he'll play on Sunday (0:24)

Rob Gronkowski tells reporters that he hopes to be out of concussion protocol by Wednesday but it's ultimately up to the doctor. Before walking away he quickly tells ESPN's Josina Anderson that he will be playing on Sunday at Super Bowl LII. (0:24)

The Philadelphia Eagles are four-point underdogs headed into Super Bowl LII against the New England Patriots. Nick Foles & Co. are used to it, though. The Eagles, the 1-seed in the NFC, have been home underdogs in both of their playoff wins.

The Patriots, the 1-seed in the AFC, are beatable. The Jacksonville Jaguars showed that two weeks ago, jumping out to a double-digit lead before Tom Brady led New England back from the dead. That's Brady being Brady.

In putting on the tape of both of these teams, I see distinct strengths -- and weaknesses -- for each. I see scheme, personnel and execution tweaks I would make if I were coaching in Minneapolis. I see how each team can win on the NFL's biggest stage (Sunday, 6:30 p.m. ET on NBC).

Here are three keys for each team to take home the Vince Lombardi Trophy:


Three keys for the Patriots

1. Create matchups in the passing game with running backs

Why it's important: During the regular season, the Eagles' defense ranked No. 1 against the run, allowing only 79.2 yards per game. And while Patriots running back Dion Lewis can slip tackles in the hole -- he averaged 2.6 yards after contact this season -- Philadelphia is not a team to run right at or pound the rock against. That's where the versatility of James White and Rex Burkhead creates an advantage, and New England can show off its depth. Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels can use his backs and devise matchups in the passing game that will allow the Patriots to win on third down and in the red zone.