The Collegian sports writing staff gives their takes on who will win next Sunday’s big game between the New England Patriots and the LA Rams.
Brennen: Do I want to go with the dynastic overlords known as the Brady Bunch? Or the somehow-even-less-charming-but-still-loveable underdogs, the L.A. Rams? The question almost seems to come down to a coin flip. Heads, the Patriots win and Belichick can stop frowning for three seconds. Tails, the Pats beat themselves and a Rams fan eats horse poop.
Notice that I left it to the Patriots to win or lose. Time and time again, New England has controlled the Super Bowl. They could underperform, and we all watch the pros reenact Alabama vs. Clemson. Or they could win by a nigh unpredictable margin. The Rams will show up and hope for the best. Since I am obligated to make a prediction, I say Patriots over Rams 24-21.
Hannah: I’m going to be honest and say that once I saw the way the Steelers’ season was going, I stopped caring on some level about the NFL. However, the L.A. Rams’ winning the NFC was something I would not have seen coming. I hope they continue to do the unexpected and beat the Patriots. New England has dominated the NFL over the past two decades and once a team becomes dominant there are two options: become complacent or continue to excel. I feel the Patriots will become complacent and fall to the L.A. Rams 30-27.
Chris: I wish we lived in a world where one team hadn’t won almost a quarter of the Super Bowls played in my life, but we do, and wouldn’t you know it, that team is back in the big game again. The plucky underdogs from Foxborough who we still talk about as if they hadn’t gotten caught cheating in the past. That sordid history aside, the duo of Belichick and Brady is a hard one to beat. Ask the Falcons — the duo’s mental toughness shows up greatest when they face the worst odds. They will likely beat the Rams, because having been there makes a difference, but God, I hope the Rams put up a fight after having been gifted their spot by that egregious no-call against the Saints. Patriots win 35-24.
Lindsey: Maybe one day soon I will be able to enjoy football without the looming inevitability of a handful of teams vying for the title year after year.
But life is unfair and we don’t always get what we want, Cheryl. My only optimism for this game is rooted in that there are two scenarios. One: the Patriots, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick get another ring, and Brady gets to ride off into the sunset and stop terrorizing the league. Two: the Rams win, Belichick sacrifices another cornerback a la Malcolm Butler, and they make another run next year. I don’t know which I want, but after Clemson embarrassed Alabama, I don’t feel safe in predicting outcomes. Altogether, the Rams will win 26-24. Go team.
Justin: Dread it, run from it, destiny still arrives. Remember when New England started 1-2? When Brady and Gronk were washed-up?
When Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs were ready to become the new AFC dynasty? Haters have been rooting for the Patriots to fail for years now, and guess what? WE’RE STILL HERE. I’m not stupid enough to believe that this team is infallible. We are exactly one year removed from the disappearance of Malcolm Butler and the alchemical change of Nick Foles into prime Eli Manning.
But if you are fool enough to bet against this team when it’s firing on all cylinders, I’ve got some snake oil to sell you. Kyle Van Noy is out there looking like Khalil Mack, the running game is tearing teams up and wearing them down, Julian Edelman is catching everything in a 10-foot radius… and Brady. Tom Terrific. He’s got a fire in his eyes and a zip in his arm that I haven’t seen since coming back from the Deflategate suspension. Eat your heart out, Jared Goff.
Patriots 31, Rams 20.