BOSTON (CBS) — There’s only one Sunday left in the NFL season. Only two teams remain.
Super Bowl LI is almost here. The New England Patriots and their No. 1-ranked scoring defense will square off against the Atlanta Falcons and their No. 1-ranked scoring offense at NRG Stadium in Houston, as Tom Brady and Bill Belichick look to win their fifth Super Bowl with the Pats.
Here’s how the WBZ-TV, WBZ NewsRadio 1030 and 98.5 The Sports Hub teams see Sunday’s big game playing out:
Steve Burton, WBZ-TV Sports
Another Lombardi Trophy is going to 1 Patriot Place.
Patriots 38, Falcons 27
Dan Roche, WBZ-TV Sports
This game has fun written all over it with two of the highest scoring offenses in the game and with two of the top QBs in the NFL.
There is also one word that I keep coming back to that I think will be the difference-maker: experience. Bill Belichick has seen and done it all in his illustrious coaching career. The one thing that he has seen and faced quite often? High-powered offense. From Jim Kelly and the high-flying Buffalo Bills to “the greatest show on turf” St Louis Rams to the “three-headed B monster” in Ben, Brown and Bell in the Pittsburgh Steelers.
When Belichick (and Brady) teams have struggled in the Super Bowl it’s been against teams that feature great defenses (Giants twice, Seahawks to some extent). As great as Matt Ryan and his Falcons have been, I think Bill, Brady, and the Patriots D find a way to win their fifth title.
Patriots 35, Falcons 24
Levan Reid, WBZ-TV Sports
I think all week-long here in Houston, people have taken different angles of how the Pats can win or lose. I’m here to tell you that the Pats are going win the game.
New England needs to score first, so let’s pay attention to how they handle the coin flip. If they win, they may take the ball and let the Atlanta Falcons play chase.
Also, this feels like a LeGarrette Blount game. The Falcons defense is fast, but they aren’t solid against the run. If the Patriots’ game plan is similar to one that they would use against the Colts, I think the outcome could be the same.
Defensively, I’m sure Julio Jones is going to get his but the Pats have to make sure his five-yard catches stay five yards. Limit the yards after the catch between him and Matt Ryan’s other receivers. The Patriots have been solid at tackling and that needs to continue.
The Pats defensive front should be able to handle the run and then it becomes a battle of the quarterbacks. I’ll go with Tom Brady in that match up. Matt Ryan has had an MVP regular season but Tom Brady is fixin’ (Houston Term) to take home his fifth Super Bowl trophy.
Get the duck boats ready.
Patriots 34, Falcons 24
Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
Both teams are going to score points, but the Patriots’ D will actually make a few stops. For the first time in Patriots history, they win a Super Bowl without taking years off their fans’ lives.
Patriots 38, Falcons 26
Adam Kaufman, WBZ Newsradio 1030/98.5 The Sports Hub
The closer we get to the game, the more confident I’m getting. Offensively, this game’s a pick’em. On defense, the Patriots have the clear advantage. The Falcons have the 28th-ranked pass-D and a putrid secondary. It’s fair to be nervous about Atlanta’s pass rush disrupting Tom Brady. But if it can’t, the future Hall of Famer’s gonna have a field day downfield. History’s on the Pats’ side; the Falcons just aren’t built like the types of clubs that end New England’s postseasons.
Here’s to Bill Belichick and Brady, soon to be the undisputed greatest ever.
Patriots 34, Falcons 21
Mike “Sarge” Riley, WBZ NewsRadio 1030/98.5 The Sports Hub
In the Brady/Belichick era, the Patriots have NEVER scored in the first quarter of a Super Bowl. I think that changes Sunday. If they win the toss they’ll take the ball and score on the opening drive, much like the AFC Championship (Gostowski field goal).
And most importantly, whoever doesn’t turn the ball over in this game will win. I like the Patriots’ chances with their experience and they will complete their “drive for five.”
Patriots 37, Falcons 34
WBZ-TV will get you ready for Super Bowl LI all weekend! Tune in to a special hour-long Patriots GameDay on Friday night at 7pm, Patriots All Access on Saturday night at 7pm and a 90-minute edition of Patriots GameDay starting at 11:30am on Super Bowl Sunday! Following the big game, on Sunday tune in to Patriots 5th Quarter on WBZ-TV!
You can hear Bob Socci and Scott Zolak’s call of Super Bowl LI on 98.5 The Sports Hub — the flagship station of the New England Patriots. Pregame coverage begins at 1pm with a special edition of Felger & Mazz from NRG Stadium!