Super Bowl LII predictions
The mighty Lanthorn sports staff select their Super Bowl winners
Robbie Triano: Patriots 24, Eagles 21
Whether you like it or not, Tom Brady and the Patriots are going to win their sixth Super Bowl. I’m sorry to spoil the game well before it begins.
You may hate Brady. You may believe their organization is comprised of a tribe of cheaters. Hell, there are people in there who would willingly sell their souls to their lord and savior...Bill Belichick.
But if you’re think the Eagles are actually going to win this game, let me take you on a walk down reality-check road with a couple of questions: Are you really going to bet against the most dominant franchise in all of sports during these past two decades?
Do you truly believe Nick Foles--let me repeat--Nick Foles will be the quarterback who finally hoists the first Super Bowl trophy in franchise history? I mean, he's been playing alright. But...really...this guy?
Have you ever heard of who plays quarterback for New England? He's kind've a big name. Do you know what GOAT stands for? Do you know that the value of his five Super Bowl ring is actually worth more than our entire lives? Well, for now at least.
Here's how I think it's going to play out.
With about four minutes left in the fourth, Tom Brady will be trailing, but will have the football. If you see this crazy look in his eyes, just know the game is over.
Remember last year? Greatest Super Bowl comeback ever? How about two weeks ago? Remember when Patriots made Blake Bortles cry real life tears live during the highest rated TV program since last year's Super Bowl?
Thing is, I don't even consider myself a Patriots fan. I was sadly born into a Lions family, but will continue to faithfully bleed Honolulu Blue till the very day I die. But if you can't respect how consistently dominant the Pats are each year, you just need to swallow your pride the accept reality. Just accept that they will continue to win with Brady/Belichick and that their fans have more fun.
But really, I just want to see Roger Goodell hand over the trophy.
*BONUS CONSPIRACY THEORY* If Tom Brady retires after this, the Pats are going to get Kirk Cousins. If this is actually true, remember this name, Robbie Triano, and he how told you so.
Kellen Voss: Patriots 27, Eagles 14
We have all been around toddlers who are learning to walk for the first time, and it’s the cutest thing in the world. They often stumble at first, only able to take one or two steps. But occasionally, it appears that a toddler has finally figured out how to walk, taking six or seven steps in a row before eventually stumbling over with a frustrated demeanor and a somber look on their face.
That six or seven steps in a row is what this postseason has felt like for Nick Foles. Yes, he has looked great all postseason long and has managed to lead Philly to the Super Bowl despite being in the backup quarterback role all season long. And while he looked unstoppable last week, he has never played in a big game like this. I have a gut feeling he’ll lose his nerve and we’ll see the Nick Foles we all know and love as he throws his second interception before the end of the first half.
With Bill Belicheck’s expert coaching, Matt Patricia’s complicated defense (can’t wait to see you in Detroit, Matt) and the best NFL quarterback in history at the helm, expect to see the Patriots' dynasty dominate yet again. We’ve been lucky the last 10 years to see some exciting Super Bowls with crazy finishes. This will not be one of them, as the Evil Empire that is New England will add another championship to its hefty resume.
Brady McAtamney: Patriots 23, Eagles 17
It's hard to contest that the Patriots and the Eagles are the two best teams in their respective conferences, even if the wunderkind Carson Wentz is still hurt for Philly. Luckily for the birds, they are armed with one of the “elite” backup quarterbacks in the NFL in Nick “Napoleon Dynamite” Foles who is surrounded by a more-than-capable offensive line and offensive weapons galore in guys like Alshon Jeffrey, Zach Ertz, Nelson Agholor, Jay Ajayi and LeGarrette Blount.
Unfortunately, the underdogs (a label they have so comfortably embraced) are going up against the Greatest of All Time times two in Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. They are surrounded by a coaching staff that features two soon-to-be head coaches (hello, Matt Patricia) and a team that has come out victorious in 14 of their last 15 games and—oh, yeah—won last year’s Super Bowl on the back of one of the greatest comebacks in the history of sports.
With Brady and his Gronk-of-mass-destruction seemingly good to go for the big game, it looks like the only thing that could possibly slow their roll is themselves. Don’t get me wrong, the Eagles deserve to be the NFC’s representative in Minneapolis, especially after decimating the hosting Vikings in the conference title game, but they simply won’t be enough to get in the way of the GOAT and a sixth ring.
Louis Ricard: Patriots 17, Eagles 10
This has to be the most surprising matchup in recent history. On one side of the ball sit Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, the most dominant duo in football history. On the other side? A dude who went camping last summer to meditate about his football career and a head coach whom only true fans know.
When I put it this way, it seems like there is no point in watching the game, and to be honest, I did think it was going to be a blowout for the longest time.
Nick Foles is not the greatest of all time by any means, but if there is one thing I’ve learned about him, it's that he gets the job done. Statistically speaking, our camping fanatic is better than Carson Wentz in terms of wins, touchdown-interception ratio and healthy knees. His team rallied behind him when he had to come in following the MVP candidate as the season was coming down to an end, and he prevailed.
Then there is the actual GOAT (and there is no debate about that): Tom "Piercing Blue Eyes" Brady. The 40-year-old is going for his sixth ring, and that’s quite frankly absurd.
Here’s the deal. Philadelphia’s defense is fun to watch, and they love to pressure the quarterback with all different kind of schemes. Their issue is the deep and outside ball, something the brand-new Patriots receiver Brandin Cooks loves to catch. If—and I mean when—Brady sees the mismatch and the man-on-man coverage, I expect him to toss it up for Cooks to chase it down the field and make a few big plays in the game.
Philly will keep it close and this will be a low-scoring game, but ultimately, who would you trust with two minutes left on the clock in the fourth quarter, Tom Brady or Nick Foles?
D’Angelo Starks: Eagles 31, Patriots 27
“The Patriots are AFC champs” may officially be the most common phrase used in modern sports. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick have done it again, and—no surprise—the Patriots are favored over the Eagles on Super Bowl Sunday.
On the flip side, the Eagles saw Nick Foles swoop in and save their Super Bowl chances after the tragic injury to Carson Wentz.
This is what I expect to happen Sunday: The Eagles' defense will make Brady a little uncomfortable with its strong front seven, and Foles will play just well enough for the Eagles to secure a 31-27 victory. Foles will then sign a $100-million deal with the Browns, and all will be right with the world again.
Arpan Lobo: Eagles 23, Patriots 21
First things first, Blake Bortles and my beloved Jacksonville Jaguars deserve to be in the Super Bowl. If it weren't for the high-level collusion between the NFL and crooked Tom Brady, they would be in Minneapolis. Sad!
Now that that's out of the way, I think that writing off Philadelphia isn't exactly a foregone conclusion. Even with Nick Foles' limitations, the Eagles' defense has been opportunistic enough to set the offense up with short fields and make opposing offenses struggle throughout the playoffs.
While Brady might seem invincible, he has lost two Super Bowls before. Each time, he was heavily favored against a team from the NFC North. I think the Eagles are able to make the game ugly enough and keep it close before nailing a game-winning field goal to win 23-21.
Jenna Fracassi: Patriots 30, Eagles 24
As a diehard New York Giants fan, I cannot get myself to root for the Eagles come Sunday. As much as I would love to see Tom Brady lose, I don't see it happening in this matchup. I would, however, like to mention that Eli Manning and the Giants are the only team to defeat the GOAT and the Patriots in the Super Bowl. Dilly dilly.
The Eagles will be relying heavily on their defense and their running game against a strong Pats offense, and it's likely they will find themselves tired out as a result. Brady and Nick Foles are obviously not on the same level of play, either. No comparison. Combine that force with the coaching of Bill Belichick—the happiest-looking coach in the NFL—and the Patriots are pretty much unstoppable.
Likewise, Brady is one of the most, if not the most, reliable quarterbacks in the league. That's why he is now in the running for his sixth ring. Also, it's about time for him to hang up the ol' cleats. As this may be the last game Brady ever throws a deflated ball, he's going to make it count.