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Super Bowl Picks


Courtesy of WBUR on Flickr




Patriots 27, Eagles 17

Amadou Traore

The main reason the Eagles will make it is because of the phenomenal air game between Michael Vick and DeSean Jackson. Another is because the running game of LeSean McCoy is usually reliable when short yards are needed for a first down. The team led by veteran defensive linemen Trent Cole and Mike Patterson has heart, and that’s what you need if you want to make it on the big stage.

The Pats will be in without a doubt. The team has improved their offensive and defensive games. They also have great pieces for the air game with crowd favorites like Wes Welker, Aaron Hernandez, and Rob Gronkowski. They’ve also improved their running game with Stevan Ridley, a second-year running back who’s been lighting it up from the backfield lately. The Patriots are ready to take back the league full force.

PREDICTION: The Patriots have been on the big stage far too many times to have a championship slip out of their hands two years in a row. The team is angry from last year’s loss to the Giants, and will be tough to beat. The Eagles will come out scoring. The Patriots will move the chains just about every play they make. Their offense will be too much for the Eagles to contain through four quarters. Tom Brady will win the MVP with over 350 yards passing.

49ers 20, Texans 16

Jon Mael

There’s a classic coming to New Orleans. These two teams are showing that defense still matters in the NFL, and that’s why they will create a Super Bowl for the ages. Houston is winning the old-fashioned way: not turning the ball over, running well between the tackles, and playing very good third-down defense. Arian Foster is a reliable back who has the potential to have 25 productive carries a game, and Owen Daniels is having a great comeback season at tight end. Although they lost Demeco Ryans and Mario Williams on defense, the squad is still one of the best in the league, led by linebackers J.J. Watt and Connor Barwin, and cornerback Kareem Jackson.

The 49ers have been the best team in the NFL for the first two weeks of the season. Their game is very similar to Houston’s. They play very staunch defense and their offense is centered on running the ball and efficient third-down play from Alex Smith. John Harbaugh has them playing at a very high level and the defense is almost shockingly stingy. Last year they amazingly didn’t allow a single rushing touchdown at home. Patrick Willis and Navarro Bowman lead a squad that includes ball hawk Carlos Rodgers and veteran Justin Smith. The offense is also very punishing with a dynamic running attack featuring Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter.

PREDICTION: In one of the closest Super Bowls ever played, SF edges out Houston with a goal line stand as time expires to end one for the ages with a four-point win.

49ers 27, Texans 17

Nick Dayal

The San Francisco 49ers made a strong push last season, losing by only a field goal to the Super Bowl Champion, New York Giants, in the NFC Championship. In the off-season, they improved their already-elite roster. With 2005 first overall pick Alex Smith at QB, and the Niners’ all-time leading rusher in the backfield, Frank Gore, San Francisco added to their offensive arsenal by acquiring Super Bowl champion Mario Manningham and future hall-of-famer Randy Moss. These two receivers join rising star wideout Michael Crabtree and tight end Vernon Davis.

Last season, the Niners trailed only the Pittsburgh Steelers in lowest total points allowed by a defense. In terms of leaders in the NFL, look no further than 2007 Defensive Rookie of the Year, linebacker Patrick Willis, who is not only the backbone of the 49er defense, but the backbone of the entire team. Seeing Willis’s level of play is all I need to choose the San Francisco 49ers over the rest of the NFC in 2012.

The Houston Texans, although a relatively young franchise in only their eleventh season, is armed with a variety of offensive weapons as well as an all-around solid defense. Coming off a foot injury, look for Matt Schaub to improve on his 96.8 quarterback rating from last season. Schaub has a number of targets, including the only player in NFL history with 60-plus receptions in their first eight seasons, Andre Johnson. Johnson is joined by standout tight end Owen Daniels, and solid secondary receiver Kevin Walter. The Texan backfield is young and very talented, with the combination of Arian Foster coming off back-to-back 1000-yard rushing seasons, and twenty-four year old Ben Tate coming off a 942-yard rookie season.

PREDICTION: The 49ers will slow Houston down, and Alex Smith will be clutch when it counts.