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Patriots Look To Flowers, Butler To Deliver Super Bowl Plays

January 31, 2018

The New England Patriots can secure their third Vince Lombardi trophy in four years when they play the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII at US Bank Stadium.

Tom Brady and the Patriots’ offense have been the main cog in driving the team towards the Super Bowl for the second year on the bounce.

The 40-year-old has displayed no signs of decline despite his advancing years. He has continue to make plays throughout the season, picking up the slack when the defense got off to a horrendous start.

Brady has been at his imperious best in the post-season. First he dissected the Tennessee Titans with ease before he managed to overcome a hand injury and the Jacksonville Jaguars’ defense to send the franchise into their 10th Super Bowl.

However, the defense has played their part in recent weeks. The unit was maligned after Bill Belichick’s men lost two of their opening three home matches of the term. Matt Patricia’s defense was on course to give up the most points and yards in the history of the NFL.

Belichick and Patricia ensured that would not be the case, ending the term in the top five for fewest points allowed. They have maintained that level of form in their two playoffs matches, producing the key holds when necessary, including Stephon Gilmore’s key pass deflection on fourth down in the AFC Championship game.

We’ll now break down the three players that hold the key for New England in Super Bowl LII.

Trey Flowers

Flowers has been a big-game player
Credit: Getty Images

Flowers was a standout of the last Super Bowl. The 24-year-old came to the fore in the fourth quarter against the Atlanta Falcons, playing a crucial role in the Patriots incredible comeback. He notched 2.5 sacks in the contest, producing a valuable takedown of Matt Ryan to knock Atlanta out of field-goal range. Flowers was almost unstoppable that day and he has maintained that level of form in the 2017 season.

The defensive end has had a lot on his plate this term after the departure of a number of veterans after the triumph. He has been forced to assume a leadership position after just three seasons in the NFL. However, Flowers’ performances have not dipped and he has even taken them to new heights in the post-season. He notched a sack of Marcus Mariota in his team’s win over the Titans. The defensive end was a constant presence in the backfield to limit the production of Blake Bortles and Leonard Fournette in the second half of the AFC title game.

Flowers appears to be a player for the big occasion. However, the 24-year-old will have his work cut out against a talented Eagles’ offensive line. Nick Foles has been vulnerable against pressure in the past and it will be a vital factor on Sunday. Back Flowers to notch over .5 sacks at odds of +200  at BetOnline. Also take the over for him to have more than 4.5 tackles at -115  with Bovada.

Malcolm Butler

Butler made arguably the biggest play in the history of the Super Bowl when he intercepted Russell Wilson on the goalline three years ago. The cornerback was thrown into the contest to replace the struggling Kyle Arrington after barely playing during his rookie season. However, he made the play of a lifetime as he jumped Ricardo Lockette’s route and made the pick to secure the Vince Lombardi trophy for Belichick’s men.

That moment has kickstarted a second dynasty for New England, which could see the franchise win three Super Bowls in four years for the second time. Butler has modelled himself into a leading cornerback in the NFL, earning a Pro Bowl nod in 2015. However, he has not been at his best in the 2017 campaign. The 27-year-old was not handed a new long-term deal by New England and has played the year on the restricted free-agent tag.

There was a possibility that he could have been traded to the New Orleans Saints, but he remained with the Patriots. He has shown lapses not present before, including being beaten twice by Corey Davis in the Divisional Round.  He showed a semblance of his best form in the AFC Championship game and the Patriots will need that level of production once again.

The cornerback will likely draw Nelson Agholor in coverage. Foles will need to be on point with his throws otherwise Butler could make another decisive play in the Super Bowl. Back him to snag an interception at odds of +400  with BetOnline. He 27-year-old is a sound player therefore back him to notch over four tackles at -115  with Bovada.

Patrick Chung

Chung faces a massive task

Chung is an unheralded player, but has the opportunity to win his third Super Bowl with the Patriots. He was part of the 2011 team that was beaten by the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI. Chung was the unfortunate player that was beaten by Mario Manningham for a pivotal catch that allowed New York to drive into a lead they would not surrender. The safety played one more term with New England before leaving for the Eagles for the 2013 campaign.

However, he struggled during his time in Philadelphia and under promise of a new role returned to the Patriots. The 30-year-old has been an integral part of the defense since. Chung’s versatility and toughness have been a hallmark of the defense. He has played in almost every role in the secondary, covering wide receivers, running backs and tight ends.

The defensive back allowed Marcedes Lewis to put the Jaguars ahead in the AFC title game, but improved to lock down the tight end in the second half. Chung will likely face off against Zach Ertz in the Super Bowl – a contest that could decide the match.

Ertz dominated Harrison Smith in his side’s win over the Minnesota Vikings. Chung is a good player, but does not boast the calibre of Smith. He was physical with Lewis and that will be essential in holding Ertz in check. It will be a battle to limit the Eagles’ tight end, but should he keep him under 60 yards and out of the endzone – it will be a successful day for New England. Back him to have over 5.5 tackles at odds of -115  and to have more tackles than Mychal Kendricks at -115  with Bovada.

Tips Summary

Trey Flowers To Record Over 0.5 Sacks Super Bowl LII
Sunday 4th February 2018 18:30 ET (23:30 GMT)
Odds: +200

Trey Flowers To Record Over 4.5 Tackles Super Bowl LII
Sunday 4th February 2018 18:30 ET (23:30 GMT)
Odds: -115

Malcolm Butler To Record One Interception Super Bowl LII
Sunday 4th February 2018 18:30 ET (23:30 GMT)
Odds: +400

Malcolm Butler To Record Over Four Tackles Super Bowl LII
Sunday 4th February 2018 18:30 ET (23:30 GMT)
Odds: -115

Patrick Chung To Record Over 5.5 Tackles Super Bowl LII
Sunday 4th February 2018 18:30 ET (23:30 GMT)
Odds: -115

Patrick Chung To Record More Tackles + Assists Than Mychal Kendricks Super Bowl LII
Sunday 4th February 2018 18:30 ET (23:30 GMT)
Odds: -115

  • Malcolm Butler
  • New England Patriots
  • Patrick Chung
  • Super Bowl
  • Trey Flowers

    About the author

    Eric Roberts
    Eric Roberts

    Sports Journalist

    Eric has been a sports journalist for over 20 years and has travelled the world covering top sporting events for a number of publications. He also has a passion for betting and uses his in-depth knowledge of the sports world to pinpoint outstanding odds and value betting opportunities.