Stop us if you’ve heard this before: the New England Patriots are in the Super Bowl. For Boston fans, with a roster that was never expected to get this far, it’s thrilling. For the rest of the country, it’s a recurring nightmare you can’t wake up from. But hey, the new kids on the block, led by young captains Jared Goff and Sean McVay, aren’t too shabby. In this week’s sports roundtable, writers from both sides of the divide make their predictions for the Big Game.
Matt Severino, Campus Correspondent
There are very few things nearly the entire country can agree on. One of them is rooting against the Patriots. Sorry New England. Yet another Super Bowl is upon us and the Patriots are favored to hoist the Lombardi trophy when the confetti falls. But I see this one ending differently. I think Todd Gurley is going to get back to running the ball like he is capable of doing which will help the Rams’ offense air it out. New England never goes down easily and this time will be no different. Brady will have his chance to win at the end, but an Aaron Donald sack and a forced fumble will help Los Angeles take the crown in Atlanta. 31-23 Rams.
Neil Simmons, Campus Correspondent
While this might not be the strongest Patriots team to make the Super Bowl in recent years, I still believe they are more than capable of winning this game. Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh absolutely terrify me, but the Patriots have already made it past a pair of strong pass rushing teams without letting up a single sack. Tom Brady is still Tom Brady and Belichick will conjure some black magic to build a defensive scheme that slows the Rams’ potent offense down just enough. I may be a blind homer but I like New England to take home a sixth ring by the score of 31-28, with Duron Harmon picking off a Hail Mary pass to finish it.
Jorge Eckardt, Staff Writer
There is no doubt in my mind that the final score will be 28-24, because Tony. Romo. Is. Never. Wrong. I will go a step further than Romo though, and pick the Rams to come out on top. While this is mainly because I am a Jets fan and can’t stand Brady and the Patriots, I do think the Rams have a legitimate chance to win this game. They have one of the most high-powered offenses in the NFL that is led by an underrated Jared Goff who finished the regular season with more yards, touchdowns and a higher passer rating than Brady. Their defense boasts arguably the best defensive line in the NFL and their secondary, if everyone plays up to their potential, can be top five in the league. The Rams are the more talented football team, but yes the Patriots are still the Patriots, and that’s why the game is going to be close. At the end of the day though, the Rams will take home the ‘ship. Please.
Danny Barletta, Campus Correspondent
The Rams are a very good football team, probably one of the best that the Patriots have played in any of their Super Bowls. I said at the beginning of the season that they were the best all-around team in football. However, the Patriots are the Patriots, and they seem to always win in the Super Bowl when they are up against a “better” team. They feast on people doubting them, and that’s why even though this is one of the weakest Patriots teams in the past five years on paper, I think they will win this game, because games aren’t played on paper. So I’m sorry 97 percent of America, but Tom Brady and Bill Belichick will be bringing a sixth Lombardi Trophy back to New England after defeating the Rams by a score of 26-20 on Sunday.
Andrew Au, Campus Correspondent
Being a huge Giants fan and seeing the Patriots in the Super Bowl every year annoys the hell out of me. With that being said, I believe the Patriots will edge this one out 20-17. Tom Brady is still playing at a very high level, and their defense has been able to hold out tough opponents. I just believe the Rams, being as talented as they are, are too inexperienced, and I believe Jared Goff will crack under pressure. As you saw in the NFC Championship game, they weren’t able to get Todd Gurley going as they would have liked. Although the Rams have a very good defense and pass rush, Brady and Belichick will probably find a way to get the ball out quickly to guys like Gronk, Edelman and Sony Michel. I just feel like the Patriots, being a much more experienced team, will edge this one out in a close game.
Sean Janos, Campus Correspondent
This is going to be a weird Super Bowl. These defenses like to surrender a lot of yardage, but don’t give up many points. While both defenses give up around 360 yards per game, the Patriots only allow 20 points per game while the Rams allow 24. Consequently, I think this is going to be a game where “bend don’t break” defense reigns supreme. The Patriots will win on a game winning field goal in the final seconds (classic) by a final score of 21-18. There will not be a single touchdown scored all game, just 13 field goals. Stephen Gostkowski will take the Super Bowl MVP by successfully kicking seven field goals on just as many attempts.
Sam Newton, Campus Correspondent
The annual game between the Patriots and whoever wins the NFC championship, also known as the Super Bowl, should be as exciting as any other in the Tom Brady-Bill Belichick era. Surprisingly, all nine of the Patriots’ Super Bowl appearances have been decided by eight points or less. With both the Patriots and Rams receiving criticism from opposing fans about not deserving to be in the Big Game based off several controversial calls in the AFC and NFC championship games, I believe both teams will prove doubters wrong in what will be another extremely exciting contest. It’s amazing that Brady will be going up against the same franchise that he beat in his first Super Bowl 17 years ago. Both offenses are capable of putting up a lot of points, with talented players at the skill positions all over the field. However, each team’s defense is sure to make an impact during the game at some point. Although the Rams may be a more talented bunch, the clutch play and experience of Brady, Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski always seems to come through in a game’s biggest moments. The final score will be 30-23 Patriots, with Jared Goff throwing an interception to seal the victory for Brady and Belichick’s sixth Super Bowl win.