While the playoffs have thus far been short on drama, the Super Bowl should at least be entertaining.
Two of the league’s top QBs and high firing offenses will meet in Houston this weekend to determine the landing place for the 2016-17 Lombardi Trophy.
So, who’s going to win? We’ll get there in a moment. First, we need to update the standings – Andy was the only one to miss a game in championship weekend. It was his first miss of the postseason.
Will the game live up to the hype? Here’s what our crew of writers thinks:
Anthony: Patriots 33, Falcons 31
I’m more excited for this Super Bowl than any other in recent memory–probably since the Bears faced the Colts well before I had children. Two exciting offenses that pretty much no defense has had success against racking up points should be a blast to watch. That said, I think the Patriots defense will provide slightly more resistance than the Falcons defense will. So, while the game will be tight, that should be enough of a differentiator to give Angry Tom the title, returning him to just regular Tom.
John: Patriots 31 Falcons 28
I’m expecting – or at least hoping – for a really good game, as is usually the case when New England’s involved. The Falcons have scored 28 or more points in eight straight games, but I just can’t bet against Bill Belichick with two weeks to prep. And I expect Tom Brady and the Pats offense to find opportunities to poke holes in a solid but very young Falcons D.
Andy: Patriots 35 Falcons 32
The Falcons are for real. The offense is impressive. The defense is young and getting better. They are peaking at the right time. They will put up points Sunday. That said, the Patriots have been on a mission all season. As soon as Jacoby Brissett and Jimmy Garoppolo were able to lead New England to a 3-1 start while Brady seethed in the background, it was clear the Pats were the frontrunner. They’ll channel that all into this weekend, getting out to a big lead and holding on in the end.
Tony: New England 34 Atlanta 24
I will have to give Roger Goodell credit — he found a way to make me kind of want to see New England win. All he had to do was suspend their top player using little evidence and quasi-science (when I suspect that both could have been found), and keep pushing it into the public when everyone wanted it to go away. Avoiding going to any Patriot playoff games, and lying about how awkward it would be to hand Robert Kraft/Tom Brady the Lombardi Trophy this week just adds to it.
On the other hand—everyone loves the underdog, especially in the face of Darth Belichick and the Galactic NFL Empire…and who better to play Luke Skywalker and win the affection of the princess that turns out to be his sister than the team from Georgia. I guess the Packers would have worked in that scenario too.
Unfortunately for Matt Ryan, there’s no Han Solo to shoot first or Chewbacca to rip someone’s arms out of their socket—and the Patriots are just too experienced at channeling the Dark Side to their cause. Brady will win the MVP, even if he throws 3 picks and it is the defense that wins them the game—because everyone wants him up on that platform, just to see how awkward it can get. And as the NFL drops another season into the carbonite chamber (used to freeze all garbage before released into space), the crowd will cheer “We hate you again!” to which Brady & Belichick will respond with that Han Solo smirk and say “We know.”