Sunday, April 14, 2024

SN sports writers pick Super Bowl winner

All eyes are in Jacksonville, Fla., the site of Super Bowl XXXIX pitting the New England Patriots against the Philadelphia Eagles at 6:30 p.m. Sunday. The State News sports desk predicts the outcome of the game:

J. Ryan Mulcrone

After the New England Patriots lucked out and caught the Pittsburgh Steelers on a bad night, everyone has jumped back on the Pats' bandwagon.

Not me.

The Philadelphia Eagles have been the best team in the NFC all season long and should have gone 15-1 in the regular season. However, Terrell Owens got hurt, then the Eagles rested key players and look, they're in the Super Bowl because of those reasons.

With or without Owens, the Eagles will play well, and I like the fact that he is talking about playing and that wide receiver Freddie Mitchell is talking crap. All the focus is off the MVP-to-be - Eagles' quarterback Donovan McNabb.

McNabb will go 17-for-25 for 293 yards and three touchdowns, one rushing. Eagles will soar behind McNabb and Brian Westbrook, and Owens will play.

Philadelphia 27, New England 24

Chris Meagher

Let the dynasty talk begin.

Bill Belichick is one of the greatest playoff coaches in NFL history, and with one more win he will hold the all-time best playoff record.

And maybe after leading his team to three Super Bowl wins in only four years as a starter, people will start to show Tom Brady the respect he deserves.

Sure, he isn't the best passer the league has ever seen, but the boy knows how to win. Take, for instance, Terry Bradshaw. Bradshaw was a good, but not great, quarterback. But he won. A lot.

Although everyone in Philly is happy to be in Jacksonville this week, their fun will end once the game begins. Even if T.O. plays and gives the Eagles an emotional lift, it won't be enough to get them past the Patriots. Consider him a non-factor.

Combine the Patriots' stellar offense with their daunting defense led by their linebacking crew and New England has the package this year.

New England 27, Philadelphia 12

Matt Bishop

Well, here we go.

It's time once again for the Super Bowl, the one event that has all Americans glued to their televisions in anticipation of commercials, big hits and wayward nipples (not necessarily in that order).

The Eagles will either be lifted or distracted by the alleged return of star wide receiver Terrell Owens and their other receiver, Freddie Mitchell, who has infuriated the Patriots defense by "not respecting" them.

But if a team that has won two Super Bowls in the past three years needs motivation like that, they have no business winning the game because they have obviously not motivated themselves enough.

But, with all that being said, New England will have the superior game plan to get it done against Philadelphia and will be one Super Bowl win away - possibly next year in Detroit - from being a true dynasty.

New England 27, Philadelphia 20

Eric Fish

After finally winning the NFC Championship game after four years of trying, the Eagles will finally have their chance to play in the Super Bowl. Their chance of winning the big game, however, is slim.

Bill Belichick is perhaps the best coach in football today. He reminds me of hockey coach Scotty Bowman in the fact that he is a winner, and shows no signs of joyous emotion until his team wins the championship. It's championship or bust with the Patriots. They can plan to add another title this Sunday.

After finally winning the NFC title game, one would have thought the Eagles had just won the Super Bowl by the way they celebrated on the field, while the Patriots shrugged their AFC title aside, knowing that they hadn't won anything yet.

Tom Brady has yet to lose in the playoffs, while Donovan McNabb has played inconsistently in his playoff career. And so what if Terrell Owens is going to play. How effective is he actually going to be for his team? Chalk up another title for the Pats.

New England 31, Philadelphia 13

Chris Barsotti

Yes, the Patriots shut down the best quarterback in the league. Yes, they shut down the best running team in the league. And yes, they scored 41 points on the best defense in the league.

But, all of these teams were one-dimensional and the Patriots have yet to meet a team that brings the whole package. This is where the Eagles come into play.

When they shut down Peyton Manning and the Colts, it was because Manning could not move in the pocket. They shut down a Steelers running game and forced a rookie quarterback to make mistakes. But, the Eagles have a quarterback that can move around and make plays and they have a running back who is catching a lot of balls.

The Patriots have a hard time shutting down McNabb and Westbrook, regardless of whether T.O. is on the field. Oh yeah, and the Eagles' defense will show Brady's true colors.

Philadelphia 31, New England 20


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