Question of the Week: Who Will Be the Super Bowl LI Champions?

By Charlie Enberg, Maroon-News Staff

While it would have been great to see a Rodgers vs. Brady Super Bowl, the Falcons vs. Patriots comes in at a close second. This matchup features two explosive offenses capable of prolific scoring. Matt Ryan is having a stellar season surrounded by talent on both sides of the ball. Julio Jones is unquestionably the best receiver in the league, but what makes the Falcons even more dangerous is their running game, led by Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman. While both are excellent downfield runners, they become even more threatening in the  passing game. Stopping the Falcons is near impossible due to their versatility and ability to score in different ways. However, the Patriots have Tom Brady, arguably the best quarterback, and player, of all time. Though Brady is not surrounded by the same caliber of talent as the Falcons, he has consistently proven he can make do with any roster he is given. LeGarrette Blount has been a dominant power back and James White has been able to use his speed to contribute in the passing game and running game. Even without Gronk, the Pats receivers, led by Julian Edelman, have been able to work seamlessly with Brady to make their air attack one of the most formidable in the league. Though the Falcons may have the edge on paper, I just do not feel confident betting against Brady. He has the poise, ability and experience to lead the Patriots to yet another Super Bowl and, thus, solidify his place as the best of all time. My prediction is the Pats win in a close game that comes down to the final drive.

By Eric Fishbin, Assistant National Sports Editor

For the first time in his career, Matt Ryan is going to the Super Bowl.  After knocking off the Green Bay Packers, the Falcons will represent the NFC and square up against, the New England Patriots from the AFC.

The Patriots took down the Steelers to reach the big game, and  39-year-old Tom Brady looks as good as ever.  

There are a bunch of questions heading into the game. Will the Falcons offense produce against the superb defense of the Patriots?  Can Brady win his fifth Super Bowl?  Is Matt Ryan elite? In just their second Super Bowl game in franchise history, the Atlanta Falcons will look to capture their first championship while the Patriots seek out number five.  

Super Bowl LI is going to prove to the world the prowess of the Falcons offense, powered by Ryan, Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman.  Brady and his bunch will put up points, but not enough to outlast the NFL’s top scoring offense.  

Expect a big game from the league’s second best receiver Julio Jones, and look for him to rake in over 150 yards with two scores, culminating with him earning the Super Bowl MVP. For your prop bets, expect the coin toss to be heads (of course), the first score of the game to be a touchdown and take the over on Giselle Bundchen being shown at 1.5 times during the broadcast.  For the real stuff, I have the Falcons beating the Pats 34-28.  It’s gonna be a good one, enjoy.

By Connor Oliver, Maroon-News Staff

Super Bowl LI pits a storied New England Patriots team, led by Tom Brady and coaching great Bill Belichick, against an Atlanta Falcons team who has only made one Super Bowl appearance, back in 1998, in which they were defeated by the Green Bay Packers. However, this new iteration of the Falcons has cruised through the playoffs, looking like they have the talent and leadership to challenge New England. Additionally, the Patriots first playoff game opened the door for criticism, as they appeared slightly out of rhythm, even as they soundly defeated the Houston Texans.

This coming Sunday will be a battle between two great quarterbacks, with Tom Brady trying to cement his legacy as the greatest of all time by winning the Super Bowl at the age of 39. However, to win the game, the Patriots are going to need to find an answer for the stellar Falcons offense, featuring Julio Jones and Matt Ryan, which has lit up the league throughout the regular season and playoffs. New England’s coach, Bill Belichick, seems to be a master at removing his opponent’s best option. The Patriots are known for their ability to adapt to any opponent, mitigate their best weapon, and find new and effective ways to score the ball. They have an uncanny ability to win games they should lose, probing opponents weaknesses while preventing them from exercising their strengths. If the Falcons can keep their high octane offense flying, they have a good chance of winning. However, thanks to the experience of the Patriots and head coach Bill Belichick’s propensity to plan and adapt, the Patriots have the advantage going into the Super Bowl.