A lot of people don't know this, but there'll be an NFL football game played tomorrow amidst all the exciting Super Bowl commercials. It's true! Super Bowl LI is a showdown between the New England Patriots, who are seemingly here every other year and only lost two games this season, and the Atlanta Falcons, whose scorching offense has led them to their second Super Bowl appearance ever. Who's going to win? Let's go to the experts:
- The New York Times, pretty much an outlier here, gives the edge to Atlanta, arguing that the Patriots will score a bunch but don't have the defense to stop the Falcons, who've scored at least 30 points in six straight games.
- Deadspin counters that it will, in fact, be the Falcons who are doomed by their defense. It gets deep into stats and schemes, but here's one that seems important: Atlanta is going against Tom Brady after a season in which it was one of the bottom four teams in the league against the pass.
- Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal gets scientific about it. A mathematical model developed by a university professor and Vegas sports analyst gives the Patriots a 65.2% chance of winning.
- Sports Illustrated also gives the edge to the Patriots in a close game while identifying four players who could be key on Sunday.
- The video game Madden has predicted a 3-point Patriot victory. And that's important because, as Wired explains, the video game has correctly predicted the winner for nine of the past 13 Super Bowls, including getting the final score of Super Bowl XLIX exactly right.
- In a video for Sports Illustrated, Todd Gurley, Michael Vick, and other current and former NFL players give their predictions.
- Finally, Chris Simms at Bleacher Report has all sorts of predictions for the big game, including how many receiving yards Julio Jones will rack up and whether Brady will throw for more yards than Matt Ryan.
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