Shaz

Let me start by saying I am a Miami Dolphins fan. However, I have no problem admitting the Patriots are the best team in NFL and they have the greatest QB of all-time. They are already favored to win this game by many. They cruised past the Steelers and Texans. Meanwhile Atlanta has surpassed expectations and Matt Ryan is red hot.

The Patriots defense is going to be tested like never before and (being a phins fan) I never bought the Steelers having the best offense in the NFL. That always belonged to the Falcons, they can just light it up. So can New England, but I’m not sold on them being so far from Foxborough. The Falcons should have a home edge. All that said, the Patriots are the logical pick, they are to well coached and Brady is on a mission to have Goodell hand him that trophy.

It will be close, but I just can’t pick them. Atlanta wins 37-31.

Dennis Sosic

Super Bowl LI is finally here, the New England Patriots, who are three-point favorites and the Atlanta Falcons clash on Sunday evening in Super Bowl LI for the right to hold up the Lombardi Trophy.

The Patriots are chasing their second title in three seasons and fifth since 2001. They earned this spot by going 14-2 en route to the AFC’s No. 1 seed. After blasting through the Texans and the Steelers this postseason, the Patriots will be making their ninth Super Bowl appearance (most in NFL history).

Atlanta Falcons are making their second ever Super Bowl appearance and have put up double-digit wins for just the ninth time in team history, finishing 11-5 with the NFC’s No.2 seed. They stomped the Seahawks and the Packers and their hoping to hoist the Lombardi Trophy for the first time ever.

I think this will be a highly competitive game with New England’s No. 1 scoring defense vs. Atlanta’s No.1 offense. Atlanta is so deep offensively with two multifaceted running backs, stud WR Julio Jones and a QB in Matt Ryan who will likely be named regular season MVP. Belichick’s defense is a force as well, playing the run extremely well while limiting big plays in the passing game. What’s probably most impressive about their defense is that they have so many unexpected contributors who have stepped up and have one of the most versatile groups in the game and with Belichick having two weeks to prepare, I believe that the Patriots will take away the big plays from Julio Jones and limit the effectiveness of the running game of Freeman and Coleman and they limit the Falcons below their season average of 33.8 points per game.

IF Atlanta were to win on Sunday, they would be lowest-ranked defense ever to win a Super Bowl in the new playoff era. During the season, the Falcons have forced turnovers to compensate for allowing big chunks of yards. Then the Falcons have spent the playoffs sneaking up on opponents like the Seahawks and Packers who actually may have been a bit overrated because of their reputation.

Tom Brady should have a field day against the young Falcons secondary. Please don’t overlook the fact that Brady threw for 33 touchdowns and only four interceptions this season despite a season-ending injury to his best weapon Rob Gronkowski, and the rest of the team is not exactly all Pro Bowlers. If he is able to pull out a win on Sunday, there will be a lot of talk of Brady being the greatest of all time as he passes Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana with his fifth ring. In addition, I think LeGarrette Blount will be able to pound the ball all game against the Falcons defense that gave up 4.5 yards per carry in the regular season, which is one of the worst marks in the NFL. I predict Blount will lead the way with 100-plus yards and at least one touchdown. His running should successfully open up things for Brady to have a nice day spreading the ball to all of his weapons especially WR Julian Edelman and RB Dion Lewis, each of them could catch 10 passes Sunday as Brady and their scheme will lead to them to be wide open throughout the game.

PREDICTION: Patriots win 34-31 MVP: LeGarrette Blount
It’s hard to bet against the experience and the dynamic duo of Belichick and Brady (unless they are facing the Giants), as Brady should take advantage of a young secondary early and then play ball control with Blount and pound the ball to keep the ball away from the Falcons’ offense. Patriots defense will scheme to hold Julio Jones to no big plays and slow down their running game enough to not be a factor but Ryan will throw for three touchdowns as they try to keep up with Brady but the Falcons will fall just short as the Patriots win and Tom Brady takes the trophy from Goodell.

David Klein

The only person to defeat Bill Belichick in the Super Bowl (as a coach) is Tom Coughlin – and he would be the first person I would call. Belichick knows clock management better than anyone – besides perhaps Coughlin (who blew it up in the Pats’ face at the end of Super Bowl’s XLII and XLVI). In fact the Super Bowl XLVI Giants were only 9-7 in 2007, going up against an undefeated New England juggernaut. Randy Moss had about 243 TD’s that year.

That being said, none of the Patriots have ever faced a more powerful offense in a playoff game. Ever. Statistically, even the 2001 St. Louis Rams with their “Greatest Show on Turf” have not put up a better Points per Game or Yards per Attempt than this team. And to be certain, Ty Law and Rodney Harrison will not be playing Sunday to help out shutting down Julio Jones.

But Tom Brady does not lose big games – even if he is carried around by Casper the Friendly Ghost and imaginary “Tuck Rules” sometimes, its still Tom Brady and its still gonna be the Patriots 21-20.

Allen Sircy

It’s hard to bet against a team that can score everytime they have the ball. When you think about it it’s both teams. The Falcons were on fire against the Packers two weeks ago and couldn’t be stopped on offense. The Patriots also were scoring at will against the Steelers in the AFC Championship Game. Everyone is talking about Tom Brady getting the Super Bowl trophy from Roger Goodell and how he is redeeming himself for deflategate and the four game suspension earlier this year. I think the man everyone will be talking about it Dan Quinn who will be leading the Falcons to their first ever Super Bowl victory. He was the mastermind behind the Seattle defenses a few years ago and I think with two weeks off he will have a gameplan for Brady and the Pats.

Falcons win 31-23

Stephen Morgan

Sunday night, the NFLs 51st annual super bowl will be played. This spectacle annually captures the attention of the entire nation. Monday morning practically everyone will discuss their take on the game, what they thought of the halftime show, bigtime plays, or hilarious commercials. Sunday night, all eyes will be on the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons.

New England enters this game full of confidence, led by quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick. Its really hard to bet against the Patriots dynasty at this point. They have played in the super bowl 6 of the last 15 years and won 4 times. Now both Brady and Belichick will hold the record for most super bowl appearances by a player or coach with 7. For Tom Brady, winning this game will set him apart from quarterbacks Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw. With a win, Brady would be the only quarterback to win 5 super bowls and would tie pass rusher Charles Haley at 5 wins. Bill Belichick has established himself as the best coach of our generation, in my mind. Leading his team to 7 out of 16 super bowls, Bill Belichick continually demonstrates supreme mastery of head coaching. Even without Brady, Belichick coached his team to a 3-1 record. He will undoubtedly have surprises and strategies in place for Atlanta.

The Atlanta Falcons enter this game under complete opposite circumstances. Matt Ryan, quarterback for Atlanta, has never played in a super bowl before. He played tremendously this year though and possesses the ability to lead his team to victory. Head coach Dan Quinn coached in Seattle for 2 super bowl appearances. Although Sunday will be his first super bowl as a head coach, I expect to see surprises and strategies from him on par with Belichick.

The game could go either way, but I’m picking Atlanta to win a close low scoring game. The Falcons defense really stepped up at the end of the season. Vic Beasly Jr played sensationally, and their secondary has playmakers. I think the Falcons defense will frustrate Brady for most of the game and limit what NE can do offensively. Despite NE having the top rank defense this year, they just don’t impress me like Seattle’s and Denver’s defenses did. At some point I look for Matt Ryan to get in rhythm and put up 2 or 3 touchdowns. Brady will definitely keep them in the game until the end, but in the final drive he gets sacked and maybe picked off to end the game. Final score Atlanta 27 NE 23.

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Allen is a die-hard football fan who has covered the NFL since 2007 and has written for numerous sites online covering football, MMA and pro wrestling. Allen is based out of Nashville and has a sales background as well as a career managing fighters in the UFC, Bellator and Strikeforce.

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