Taylor Schloemer — Sports Editor
Patriots 34, Falcons 31
These two teams are even in terms of skill in my eyes, so this comes down to who do I respect more. For me, the easiest way to earn respect is by continued excellence. I respect the San Antonio Spurs more than I do the Golden State Warriors. It is what drew me to support Manchester United. Therefore, I am taking the villains here.
Both Matt Ryan and Tom Brady will air it out, but Atlanta’s ground game will provide fits for the Patriot’s defense. Expect Julio Jones to be shut down by the Pats, who will in turn lock down former lacrosse player Chris Hogan.
Look for Brady to turn to Martellus Bennet, the best TE2 in the league, and perhaps more valuable than Gronk. At the end of the day though, Brady will be the difference. And Stephen Gostkowski is a good kicker, and he will drill the game winner as time expired.
Yes, I am reusing a narrative.
Thomas Evanella — Sports Staff Writer
Falcons 34, Patriots 31
Statistically, the Patriots look to have a slight edge over the Falcons in the Super Bowl. While the Falcons will enter the big game with an elite offense, they will face a defense the likes of which they have not faced this year. The Patriots defense is a criminally underrated unit, allowing a minuscule 15.4 points per game.
However, they have never faced an offense as prolific as the Falcons’. Led by MVP frontrunner Matt Ryan at QB, Atlanta is well equipped for the Patriots. Julio Jones, arguably the top wide receiver in the NFL, may get the attention, but Atlanta’s offense is deep and loaded with weapons. Taylor Gabriel provides Ryan with a speedy option at receiver, and could turn out to be a major x-factor. Additionally, Atlanta’s run game does not get enough credit. Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman combined for 1,599 yards and 19 touchdowns.
On defense, pass rushing Vic Beasley will look to terrorize the unflappable Tom Brady. Beasley recorded 15.5 sacks on the season, and is the headliner on a unit that is capable of causing headaches for opponents. Need proof? Just ask Aaron Rodgers. With so many weapons, an MVP QB, and a swarming defense, the Falcons will come out on top in Super Bowl LI.
Connor Dunn — Spectrum Staff/ Sports Columnist
Patriots 31, Falcons 23
The number one scoring defense versus the number one scoring offense, one team must succumb to the other’s strength. Last time I checked, the Super Bowl is the championship of the NFL and I still believe in the mantra of almost every high school coach in America. Defense wins championships. Experience also helps too, and the New England Patriots have the NFL’s leading defense, the infamous Tom Brady, and the cut-off sweatshirt king Bill Belichick.
Yes, Matt Ryan has had an MVP-worthy season along with a dangerous weapon in Julio Jones, but the league’s best wide receiver Antonio Brown was schemed out in the AFC Championship game. Look for coordinator Matt Patricia to dial up his dynamic defense again in route to Roger Goodell’s semi-awkward Lombardi Trophy presentation to Brady and the New England Patriots.
Cody Tusler — Sports Staff Writer
Falcons 41, Patriots 31
Falcons have arguably the best offense this year and this year’s MVP is Matt Ryan. The offense has played great all year with 58 total touchdowns. Ryan has had a career year with 4,944 yards, 38 touchdowns, to 13 different targets, seven interceptions, completing 69.9 percent of his passes and a rating of 117.1, all career highs.
With the run game, Atlanta has arguably the best one-two punch in Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. Freeman totaled for 13 TD’s, 11 rushing and 2 receiving, and Coleman added 11 scores, 8 rushing and 3 receiving.
I don’t know how anyone can go against that offense, but they don’t have a half bad defense either. Vic Beasley Jr. led the league in sacks in just his second year in the league with 15.5. He can line up as a defensive end or and outside linebacker. Falcons have good mix of veteran and younger players.
At the end of the day, it will be a tough game and both teams are great on both sides of the ball. Falcons are going to be winners at the end of the day.
Ben Grundhauser — Sports Contributing Writer
Patriots 38, Falcons 31
This should be one of the most exciting super bowls in recent memory. The Patriots have the number one defense in the playoffs and the Falcons have the number one offense. Something must give and the way I see it, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are the best duo out there when it comes to the playoffs and I see them raising a historic fifth super bowl.
The game will be high scoring, maybe even the highest scoring ever, but that won’t help the Falcons in this game. Although I hate to admit it, Brady is one of the greatest quarterbacks this game has ever seen and he is going to find a way to pull this one out for the Pats.
Casey McCarty — News Editor
Patriots 42, Falcons 36
The New England Patriots will win 42-36 over the Atlanta Falcons.
Both of these teams have very high caliber offenses, so really this game will come down to which team’s defense will show up.
Frankly, I believe the Patriots to have a better defense overall, one capable of slowing down the lethal offense of Matt Ryan.
Besides, who gives a Falc if its Brady and Belichick’s seventh Super Bowl, and who cares that some people (me) got really upset a few years ago when the Pats intercepted the Seahawks in the end zone from the one yard line to win the game.
If anything, I want Brady to win this game so he’ll pull a Peyton Manning and retire after this year and spend the rest of his days making awkward Papa John’s commercials.
Erik Jonasson — Opinion Editor
Patriots 21, Falcons 21
I know there are a lot of questions out there concerning the most recent Super Bowl to be played this Sunday. Let me answer some of those here.
The game of football is all about inches. It is also about points. The team that scores (and scores slightly more than the other team) will win this game.
I like looking at the game play of Tom Brady this year. He has scored more points than the other team at least 14 times. He has the formula down.
Now Matt Ryan, he is also good at that. That Julio Jones guy is pretty good at scoring point here too.
I know through the regular season this means stuff, but this is the post season.
Tom Brady will throw for at least 400 yards with maybe 3 TD to 1 INT. Julio Jones surprises with 235 yards and 2 TD. Rodger Goodell runs for 200 yards and 17 fines.
Final score: 21-21, Patriots will win by cheating in the tiebreaker.