By Caleb Vargas, Luke Martin, Austin Chastain and Cody Marble – Collegiate Staff
With the Super Bowl right around the corner, four of our sports writers here at The Collegiate give you the lowdown on what to expect heading into Sunday. Make sure you stock up on your wings and mini weenies, because this super bowl is going to be an explosive one you’re not going to want to miss.
If you’re a fan of offense, you will enjoy the upcoming Super Bowl as it should be an absolute shootout. The New England Patriots, with quarterback Tom Brady, boast the third best scoring offense in the NFL at 27.6 points per game. That is behind the New Orleans Saints at 29.3 points per game, and their Super Bowl opponent the Atlanta Falcons, with quarterback Matt Ryan and star wide receiver Julio Jones, at 33.8 points per game. This game will come down to the wire, 10 of the last 16 Super Bowls have had lead changes late in the fourth quarter. The Falcons’ run has been incredible, but it’s hard to pick against Tom Brady and a standard, but clicking, offense, I have the Patriots winning an absolute thriller of a Super Bowl and Tom Brady winning his fifth ring, 38-34.
Any team that embarrasses the red hot Green Bay Packers a week removed from their eighth straight win the way the Atlanta Falcons did deserves to be considered a major threat. The offense is absolutely potent and though New England yields one of the game’s all-time decorated quarterbacks in the hands of Tom Brady, I’ve given Atlanta a slight edge on offense. New England is always a proven force on the field, and will still be, even without Gronk. New England allowed just a 62 percent passing completion but with Matt Ryan’s breakout QB rating of 117.1, I can see him finding holes in New England’s defense. Though the Pats stick out defensively, considered the best by many analysts, I am more impressed by New England’s ability to protect Tom Brady on the offensive front. With all of this said, it’s gonna be a close one. I project a fairly back and forth game, and potentially high-scoring. This affair, I predict, will end with one team making one bigger play within the final minutes. As he is also in the running for league MVP, I believe he will walk away with Super Bowl MVP and after an 18-year drought, I pick Atlanta as the team to leave victorious after an exciting 33-29 game.
This year’s superbowl will be an electrifying high powered offense showdown. On either side we have arguably the two most dominant scoring offenses in the league. Tom Brady comes in holding the record for the best touchdown-to-interception ratio of all time at 14.0 from this year as well as the second best touchdown-to-interception ratio OF ALL TIME at 9.0 set in 2010. Matt Ryan isn’t a pushover if you compare his stats, however. He hasn’t thrown an interception since week 13 and his falcons just manhandled the seemingly hottest team in football being the Green Bay Packers coming off an eight-game win streak. When it comes down to this game, the biggest difference isn’t going to be the offense. It’s going to be the defense. Although Atlanta has a prolific offense with various weapons all around they showed us in the game against Green Bay that they are prone to mistakes. There were four occasions during that game where the ball could’ve clearly been intercepted or there was a possible fumble. New England just so happens to have the best turnover differential in the whole league. They won’t let mistakes like that slide. The key for New England on defense is to maintain a lock down on Julio Jones, which they showed us they can do against Antonio Brown and the Steelers and force Matt Ryan and his Falcons to make mistakes. Bill Belichick is one of the most precise, surgical defensive minds in NFL history and i’m sure he’s got quite the plan to stop the Falcons’ offense. On the opposite side the Falcons’ key to victory is pressuring Tom Brady. One of the Falcons’ differences with the Patriots is the lack of experience in this atmosphere. Tom Brady alone has been to more super bowls than the Falcons franchise. The pass rush of the Falcons is going to be critical. The team should be relying on the experience of two lineman who have played over 10 plus seasons and especially one Dwight Freeney who has plenty of experience against Tom Brady. If the Falcons can manage to force Tom Brady out of his comfortable pocket and handle their inexperienced jitters, they will walk away from this super bowl as the champions with a 35-31 victory.
Expect this year’s Super Bowl to be a shootout between two great quarterbacks, Atlanta Falcons’ Matt Ryan and New England Patriots’ Tom Brady. Although both quarterbacks are great the defensive units will play better. Defense wins championships and at the end of the day, New England has a better defense. They have many underrated players who deserve more respect. During the Super Bowl we are going to see a couple break out players from the patriots. At the last second we are going to see one of those breakout players make a huge play and end the game with 44-41 final. And Brady will then tie Charles Haley win five Super Bowl rings.