Who's going to win Super Bowl LI?
The Lanthorn sports staff make their picks for Super Sunday
Beau Troutman — Patriots 38, Falcons 21
My boss tells me I need about 50-100 words here, but if could, I’d fill this entire space with only four words: Tom Brady, Bill Belichick. Yes Falcons’ receiver Julio Jones is a freak. Yes quarterback Matt “Matty Ice” Ryan has a cool nickname. And yes, Falcons’ coach Dan Quinn has a Super Bowl ring from his time as the Seattle Seahawks’ defensive coordinator. But Brady and gang are going to get their fifth ring here. New England truly is the model sports organization. “But they cheat!” Well, as former Cubs’ first baseman Mark Grace once said, “if you’re not cheating, you’re not trying.” I don’t care what happens Sunday night—deflated footballs, hidden cameras, Gisele Bundchen, whatever—Belichick will be rocking a hoodie-cutoff, hoisting the Lombardi Trophy yet again after his team of rag tag nobodies (who the hell is Chris Hogan?) dismantles Atlanta.
Josh Peick — Patriots 27, Falcons 21
I don't think I have ever picked the winning team, so I'm going to pick New England hoping that Atlanta wins. The fact of the matter is that Atlanta is a team full of players that have never made it to the big game, and Tom Brady will be playing in his eighth Super Bowl. I repeat, eighth Super Bowl. The Belichick/Brady combo is hard to bet against, especially on the big stage. I would not be shocked if Brady wins his fifth title, but I hope my pick jinxes him and he ends with a career 50 percent winning percentage in the Super Bowl.
Jacob Arvidson — Falcons 38, Patriots 30
Brady and the Patriots have bounced back from Deflategate with a vengeance and are clearly good enough to win another ring. However, the Falcons have Julio Jones and the most potent offense in the league right now. Bill Belichick is known for shutting down a team's best weapon, but the Falcons have a plethora of weapons on offense, so the Patriots will need a way to stop each and every one of them, which is quite the tall task. This will be an offensive game that will intrigue and engage a lot of people.
Robbie Triano — Patriots 35, Falcons 30
Here's my plan for Sunday: I'm going to wake up and know this isn’t going to be a normal Sunday, because this is the Sunday of all Sundays (honestly, the day and the day after should be national holidays, but that's for another column). I'm going to sit on my couch and watch Julio Jones run all over the place while simultaneously filling my face with whatever food or liquid that’s in sight. Mid-way through the fourth quarter, I’ll realize that I’ve been sitting on the edge of my seat, awaiting the next iconic play or moment to fill my Twitter feed for a week. And by the time it's all over, I'll be leaning back, watching Roger Goodell handing the trophy to Tom Brady and the Patriots. Deflate that.
Brendan McMahon — Falcons 35, Patriots 34
Super Bowl LI features the two highest scoring offenses in the NFL this season, led by Tom Brady and Matt Ryan who were among the most efficient passers in the league. The Patriots not only have an elite offense, they led the NFL in total defense allowing only 15.6 points per game. The Falcons rank near the bottom in most defensive statistics but you never would have guessed it by watching them in this postseason.The Patriots are three point favorites, but I am placing my bets on the Falcons.
Jake Carroll — Falcons 38, Patriots 24
I’m not going to lie, I hate seeing the Patriots in the Super Bowl every single year. I’m a fan of Tom Brady because he went to the University of Michigan but that’s about it. I’m jealous of the New England Patriots and their success when the Lions can’t even get a playoff win. I’ve always been indifferent to the Falcons, though. For that reason, I’m picking the Falcons.
Brady McAtamney — Patriots 31, Falcons 27
Let me preface this by saying that I like both of these teams. I've been a fan of Tom Brady ever since I was a kid and Julio Jones has been my headline fantasy football player for the last three years. Being able to watch these guys do what they do is an absolute treat and this Super Bowl has the potential to be a classic thanks to them. That said, there's another side of the ball, one that wins championships, and the Patriots are stronger there than the Falcons. In a game with offensive stars galore, it'll be the Patriots' defense that seals the deal.