Upon dying his hair green in honor of being drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles, cornerback Jalen Mills quickly adopted the nickname “Green Goblin.” Mills embraced the moniker given to him by the fans, and even made it his twitter handle. This Sunday, however, Mills must embrace more than just the title of Green Goblin. In order for the Eagles to win, Mills must channel his inner Goblin and unleash it on the Patriots.
For those who are unaware, the Green Goblin is a popular comic book villain, and the arch nemesis of Spider-Man. His real name is Norman Osborn- an incredibly wealthy, intelligent, and successful businessman and scientist. After being exposed to a hazardous chemicals in a lab experiment, Osborn gains superhuman strength, stamina, durability, agility and reflexes. These abilities coupled with his genius level intellect made him a seemingly unstoppable force, and he used his abilities to terrorize the citizens of New York City.
Instead of terrorizing New York natives, however, Mills must use his inner Goblin to terrorize the New England offense. The first thing Mills must summon is the high IQ and calculated approach of the human side of Green Goblin- Norman Osborn. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are going exhaust everything in their arsenal in an attempt to throw Mills off his game, and it’s important that he stays one step ahead of them and holds his ground. If Mills is smart enough to not bite on sluggos and trust his technique, it’ll be awfully hard for the Patriots to exploit that matchup.
The high IQ to know how the Patriots intend to beat him is one thing, but the young corner also needs the athleticism and physicality to deal with their passing game.
That’s where the superhuman reflexes, strength, stamina, and speed of the Green Goblin comes into play. Reflexes will be key for Mills when lined up with Pats’ WR Danny Amendola. Amendola is incredibly shifty, and craftily finds openings in the defense. Mills has to stick to him like glue and nearly mirror the route to win this matchup.
Superhuman speed would be a welcome addition when trying to cover the speedy deep threat Brandin Cooks. Cooks routinely blows passed his matchup and is always a threat to take one to the house. Mills will need every ounce of speed he has to stick with Cooks, but if he can prevent Cooks from getting behind him, it’ll go a long way towards helping the Eagles win.
In arguably the most difficult matchup, Mills must conjure up the strength required to take down Rob Gronkowski. Gronk is an absolute freight train at tight end, and has given defenders hell over the course of his career. He’s a matchup nightmare for defensive coordinators, as he is too strong for cornerbacks to handle and too fast for linebackers to keep up with. A Green Goblin, however, is the perfect matchup for a beast like Gronk. Mills must be as relentless and fearless as the Goblin that oppresses NYC to get the better of Gronkowski, and I think it’s a challenge he relishes given how expressive he’s been at the Super Bowl media festivities.
Lastly, Mills will need to tap into the superhuman stamina of the Green Goblin. Eagles players have been adamant all week that they absolutely have to play 60 minutes against the Patriots. They are simply too talented and well-coached to get lackadaisical against at any point in the game- as evidenced in their insane 25 point comeback in last year’s Super Bowl. Mills can lead by example and give his all until the clock strikes zero.
Mills has played well the entirety of the season and is a huge reason why the Eagles are still playing football in February, but on Sunday he’ll have to be more than a young, up and coming cornerback. He’ll have to be the secret weapon the Eagles depend on to topple the empire in New England. If Mills fully evolves into the Green Goblin, I like the Eagles chances of leaving Minnesota with a Lombardi trophy.
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