Patriots 27, Eagles 24
Yeah, I've heard how Doug Pederson has become an RPO (run-pass option) guru. I've heard how Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz is a genius again because he can rush four and cover with seven. Yeah, I've seen the dog masks and how the Eagles have responded to being disrespected. But I'll stick with Bill Belichick and Tom Brady to solve whatever Philly has in store and be just a little bit better at precisely the right time. Thirteen years ago, the Patriots beat the Eagles for their third Super Bowl title in four years. Sunday, they'll do it all over again.
Eagles 28, Patriots 22
New England, led by quarterback Tom Brady and coach Bill Belichick, typically plays close Super Bowls, and this one will be no different. Much like how the New York Giants twice took down Brady, Philadelphia's dominant defensive line will finally bring the Eagles' first Lombardi Trophy to the "City of Brotherly Love." Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox will have two sacks, one that forces a fumble and leads to a game-deciding touchdown over the Patriots. Brady will mount a comeback on the final drive, but this time he'll fall short.
Eagles 27, Patriots 23
Tom Brady's brilliance in the Super Bowl never should be discounted, but the Eagles would seem to have many of the necessary ingredients to take the Patriots and their title-winning quarterback down: a defense that can get to Brady without blitzing, a power running game and a coach in Doug Pederson who isn't likely to take his foot off the gas if the Eagles get a lead. If Philadelphia quarterback Nick Foles can make enough plays against New England's defense, the Eagles have everything they need to win this game.
Patriots 24, Eagles 21
Why on this snow-covered corner of Earth would anyone bet against Tom Brady? The Patriots rallied against the Jaguars' feisty defense in the AFC Championship Game two weeks ago and they'll handle themselves in similar fashion Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium against a particularly nasty Eagles defensive front. Plus, the Patriots are coached by Bill Belichick and the Eagles are not — no disrespect to Doug Pederson. It's a bit of a cliché and not exactly bold, but I'm not going to try to outsmart myself. New England by a field goal.
Patriots 24, Eagles 21
The Eagles can create pressure and will make things difficult for Tom Brady, but it's hard to pick against championship experience. Bill Belichick, Brady and the Patriots add another ring to their collection.
Patriots 24, Eagles 16
I think the Patriots offensively are a better team. Look at the quarterbacks — it's Tom Brady against Nick Foles, and in the end that's the difference. That's how the game will turn out: Brady will outplay Foles.
Patriots 26, Eagles 24
The BB-TB Patriots usually win when they reach the Super Bowl, and they win close. Tom Brady finds a way and Dion Lewis is the second Pats running back in two years to become a surprise Super Bowl hero.
Patriots 23, Eagles 19
The Eagles have a much better defense, much better lines on both offense and defense … all of which will leave quarterback Tom Brady to figure something out in the fourth quarter — again.
Eagles 30, Patriots 24
We've got that thing with us. There's always that magic that follows a team, and I feel like that magic is with us this year.
(Note: Towns grew up in Piscataway, N.J., an hour from Philly.)
Patriots 24, Eagles 20
New England is always the most prepared team. All their Super Bowl victories have been by like three or four points. They don't depend on momentum and hype. For New England, a Super Bowl is like a business trip.
Patriots 28, Eagles 21
I'm going with the Patriots. As a museum director, I systematically arrived at this decision by reviewing the holdings of our collection at MIA: We have more works relating to "patriots" than to "eagles."
Eagles 24, Patriots 17
The Pats are a dynasty, but every dynasty has to come to an end, and the Eagles have just enough of an edge to beat them. Plus, I love Philly cheesesteaks, and at the end of the day, it all comes down to food for me.