Jake’s Take: Who Will be Super Bowl Champs?


Jake Brown, Sports Editor

The wild card round is over, and that means we’re just one week closer to the Super Bowl on February 4. The Saints beat the Panthers in a wild game 31-26, the Falcons beat the Rams 26-13, the Jaguars beat the Bills 10-3 and the Titans beat the Chiefs 22-21 in an exciting comeback.

This week we have four games, with the Patriots facing the Titans, the Steelers facing the Jaguars, the Vikings facing the Saints and the Eagles facing the Falcons.

The Patriots and Steelers are favorites to go to the Super Bowl in the AFC, with the Vikings now the favorites in the NFC after the Rams surprising loss. The last time the Jaguars faced the Steelers, however, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had the worst game of his career with a career high five interceptions. The Jaguars defense is second in the NFL and offensive numbers are fifth. Even though the Jaguars are the underdogs, they should be able to beat the number one seed: the Steelers.

The Titans do not fare well against the Patriots, and are expected to be destroyed by quarterback Tom Brady’s team. Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota finally broke out and lead the Titans to their first playoff appearance since 2008. Although being a playoff team, their offense and defense are both pretty average, 17th and 19th overall respectively. Mariota would have to pull a rabbit out of the hat in order to win the game. No matter who faces the Patriots though, the Patriots should win. The Steelers have never beaten the Patriots in the playoffs in the Tom Brady era. The Jaguars have the best chance, as they were winners against the Patriots in the preseason, but that was a preseason game, so it should be taken lightly.

The NFC should be more of a competition. The Saints and Vikings are a very close matchup. The Vikings allowed the least amount of points in football, and the Saints were fourth in offensive points. The trifecta of quarterback Drew Brees, and running backs Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara should be a very strong force. The Vikings were the most surprising team in football. Quarterback Case Keenum lead the Vikings to 11 wins after quarterback Sam Bradford went down, and the Vikings never looked back. Keenum was the leader of that team, completing over 67% of his passes. Although the Vikings are strong, the Saints have the offense to beat them. As long as the Saints defense cracks down on the Vikings offense, the Saints will come out on top.

The Eagles are without MVP candidate quarterback Carson Wentz for the year, and the loss of Wentz stood out when the Cowboys beat them 6-0 in week 17. The Falcons shut down the red-hot Rams 26-13 in the wild card round, making them favorites for this weekend’s game. Without Wentz, the Falcons are going to come out on top to face the Saints. The Saints, having one of the best offenses and a strong running game, will tire out the Falcons defense. The weakness of the Saints is their defense, and the Falcons have been really underrated when it comes to their running game. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan shows up when the Falcons need him most, and he should be able to upset the Saints to lead the Falcons to the Super Bowl.

In my prediction, there will be a rematch in Minnesota from last year, but Brady won’t need to make a comeback this time. The Patriots, lead by Brady, will be able to trample over the Falcons defense. The Patriots are second in offense and fifth in defense, so the Falcons will have a tough time with the Patriots. No matter how much I hate to admit it, the Patriots will win their sixth Super Bowl in the Brady/Belichick era.