More predictions from our staff:
My Super Bowl Prediction is the Patriots win 23-21. It will be a hard fought defensive battle on both sides, but at the end, Tom Brady will be Tom Brady and lead them down the field and set it up for Gostowski to win it.
The Eagles have tons of talent, and if Carson Wentz was healthy, this would be a close one, but the Patriots have the greatest quarterback of all time, the greatest coach in football history, and a culture of winning Super Bowls. Thoughts and prayers go out to the city of Philadelphia, because we all saw what happened after they won the NFC Championship, so I can't even imagine what will happen when they lose the Super Bowl.
31-28, Patriots win Ring Number 6
As Patriots Super Bowls always are, this is definitely a close one. The first quarter, the Patriots finally break the curse and score a touchdown in the first 15, and are subsequently up 10-7 heading into the 2nd Quarter. The 2nd shows not much doing, as both teams fail to score. Both defenses play their hearts out, with incredible efforts from both Duron Harmon and James Harrison on the Patriots side, and an extreme lockdown of the Patriots top receivers by Patrick Robinson. The third quarter however, the Eagles come alive, as Jay Ajayi and LeGarrette Blount torch the Pats run D and both score touchdowns, putting the score at 21-10 with 5 minutes to go in the quarter. Brady finds “that little running back from New England on a 4th and 2 to keep a long drive going, and manages to find Chris Hogan just before the start of the fourth, keeping the game close at 21-17. Then, it’s showtime. After an interception by Devin McCourty on the Eagles first drive of the fourth quarter, the Patriots are set up inside the Eagles 50. The drive ends with a beautiful passing play from TB12 to Brandin Cooks as he burns Patrick Robinson and Co. to give the Patriots back the lead. The Eagles answer right back however, as Nick Foles drives downfield, utilizing the clock to his advantage, and finding Zach Ertz in the end zone, setting up a terrifying final 5 minutes for New England. But just as he’s done so many times before, Tom Brady orchestrates one of his signatures late-game drives, and finds the hero of these playoffs, Danny Amendola, for the eventual, game-winning score with just under a minute left. The Eagles desperately try to drive the length of the field, but can’t get close enough to kick a field goal, and time expires. The MVP trophy is gifted to Tom Brady, and the city of Boston rejoices now that they’ve finally gotten, “One More”.
Pats 24 - Eagles 17
This Eagles team is a worse version of the Jaguars team that the Pats beat last week. None of their RBs are as good as Fournette. Their defense isn't as good. Their QB (despite a career game last week) is probably worse than Blake Bortles. Pats > Jags > Eagles. Simple equation for a 6th title.
Patriots - 27
Eagles - 23
There's been an enormous sense of duty coming from the Patriots in the second half of the season. Obviously anything short of a Super Bowl is a disappointment for the Pats, but this year getting to US Bank Stadium felt expected more than ever. I've seen this kind of momentum behind a season only once before, and it didn't scare me enough then. It does now. With that fear being stated, I still predict NE to come out on top. Philly's defense is scary, and Jay/Blount is a potent backfield. The Eagles are going to be fired up, so I predict an entertaining first half for the first time in Pats SB history. It will almost definitely be physical. Nevertheless, Belichek is a sociopath. Brady is a sociopath. It's a beautiful combination. A blowout would be nice, but it feels impossible.
My prediction is as ambitious as it is superstitious. 31-20, Patriots win it. The sum of those numbers is 6 - as in 6 Super Bowl Rings for Tom Brady and the Pats. The Eagles will find that they don't have enough size in their secondary to cover New England’s vast pallet of physical weapons. Although Philadelphia has some speedy corners, a TB12 Method engineered Rob Gronkowski will be able to out-muscle them for big gains. I also expect a liberal dose of nibbling, dump-passes to the backfield and Danny Amendola crossing routes - typical of a Patriots’ Super Bowl attack. Philly makes it to the red zone 4-5 times, but a reinvigorated James Harrison ultimately leads the front, stifling their backs and forcing them to settle for field goals. I have it close going into halftime, Pats just barely ahead, with a score of 17-14. New England runs away with it in the second half, after a few Belichickian adjustments.