Local experts offer their thoughts on Sunday's big game
Patriots face Rams in big game Sunday
The local football experts have made their picks for Super Bowl LIII on Sunday.
Be sure to read Saturday’s Journal Pioneer for the Football Freak’s in-depth analysis and pick for the big game.
Marc Reid – The GOAT will become the only quarterback to win Super Bowls in his 20s, 30s and 40s. This team was said to be washed up and too old to make it back to the playoffs this season, and guess where Tom and Bill are heading back to? Super Bowl LIII. Pats win another thriller 34-31.
Tom Schurman – Brady playing with a chip on his shoulder, Belichick takes young McVay to school and teaches him a lesson. Pats 34-21.
Brian Doucet – Aaron Donald will be in Brady’s face all day, and will have a strip-sack fumble return for a TD. Rams win by seven.
Paul Power – The GOAT’s last Super Bowl appearance, and he makes it No. 6. New England 24-20.
Jamie MacKenzie – Donald and Suh shut Brady down in the fourth quarter. Rams win 27-24.
Brayden Ahern – Tom Brady has never been one to go against in the playoffs, and that is why him and the Patriots will be a force offensively. The Rams’ offence is also lights out, and I expect a high-scoring shootout, with the Patriots coming out on top 37-31.
Paul Quinlan – The Rams have had a great run – literally with Todd Gurley – and even though I love the underdog, I have to take the Pats for the win. With the GOAT and the meticulous game prep of Belichick, I can’t go any other way. He shut down K.C., and it was nothing more than a well-executed game plan. Forgot Belichick’s favourite art of war quote by Sun Tzu, “Every battle is won before it’s ever fought.” Pats 34-24.
Ian Power – The Rams’ offence will be too explosive for the Pats to handle on Sunday. Rams 31-23.
Doug Doyle – Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein will win it again with a last-minute field goal. Rams 24-21.
Paul Walsh – I’ve always believed that defence wins championships. Tough to bet against Brady and Belichick, but the Rams’ defence will answer the bell. Rams by four.
Mike Miller – New England 38-17. It’s a first-half blowout as the Rams’ D can’t keep up.
Pete Richard – Tight game that will come down to the final play, where Brady will hit his polar bear tight end for six and the W. Pats 38-35.
Dana Betts – Close game with the run game being used by both teams. The Rams have the push up the middle to disrupt Brady to take the win! Rams 24-21.
Peter Connick – I always thought defence won championships, but after watching the Patriots for the past 20 years I am now convinced it’s the coaching. Patriots 34-27.
Owen Turner – Brady and Bill are too clutch in the big game. New England’s offensive attack is still extremely efficient, and will take down the Rams. Patriots will win 38-31.
Logan O’Brien – Brady delivers yet again in the fourth quarter to lift the Patriots to a 13-7 win.
Scott MacDonald – Belichick will take away the Rams’ best player. Pats win 21-14.
Dave Chisholm – BB and TB will prove too much for McVay and the Rams. With Bill and Tom on a mission it’s hard to derail that momentum. Close game as per usual for the Pats as they have never played in more than a one-score game in the BB/TB Super Bowl era. Final score 34-28 for the Patriots as they win No. 6.
Jason Cameron – I don’t even want to watch the game now. Would have been entertaining with the Chiefs in it. L.A. will outrun the Pats with Gurley and Anderson. Rams win 37-30.
Don Barlow – The Super Bowl experience of New England is no match for the Rams. Brady adds another ring to his finger. Pats 35-24.
Carolyn Rowe-Turner – No doubt about it, Tom Brady is the GOAT, but it is time for the underdogs to shine. Rams win by a field goal.
Brian Goguen – Running game keeps the Rams close, but Goff can’t make the plays in the end as the Pats’ D is the difference late in the game. Pats win 31-24.
Rob Connell – Two people, Brady and Belichick. New England 24-17.
Finn Turner – Bill takes out Woods and Cooks from the Rams’ game plan. However, Gerald Everett and Josh Reynolds combine for 200 yards and three scores. Goff throws the game-winner to Everett with little time left. Rams 38-35.
Tony Gallant – Brady and Belichick too much for the young guns. Pats 31-28.
Charlie Turner – I believe the Rams’ front four will get to Brady and make him uncomfortable. Offensively, Sean McVay will create a game plan that gives Gurley as many opportunities as possible, and will have a few tricks up his sleeve. Rams 34-28.
Jeff Leard – They are a team of destiny after the blown call against New Orleans. Rams 35-17.
Jason Ahern – This will be another close game, just like all the Super Bowls the Patriots play in. Ultimately, it will be decided by a last-minute drive led by the GOAT, leading the Patriots winning 34-31.
Phil Bridges – L.A. Rams. I have to go against Jason Ahern. Pass rush of Donald and Suh will be a factor, and can’t see Gurley not playing a part two games in a row. Rams 30-24.
Mike Goguen – Young Guns over Oldtimers. McVay and Goff over Belichick and Brady, and 17 years waiting for a rematch! Rams 38-28.
Matt Gunning – The veteran coaching and quarterback will make the difference, despite the Rams having a strong running back core in Gurley and Anderson. Defensively, the Patriots’ team defence will prove to be a bigger asset then the Rams’ defence, even though they have Aaron Donald, the defensive player of the year. Patriots over the Rams 27-22.
Cameron Gavin – I just can’t bet against a determined Brady. Everyone told him he’s too old and his team isn’t strong enough to win the Super Bowl. Now, he wants to prove something one last time. New England takes it in a nail-bitter 31-28, and it’s nice to see the McCourty twins win a ring together on the Pats.
Jason Simmonds – Never bet against Brady and Belichick in a big game, although my wife says, “Anybody but Brady.” Plus, Pats looking to prove people wrong after some people wrote them off earlier in the season. Patriots 24-10.
Jeff (Poochie) MacDonald – Got to go Pats because they are the Pats. Shootout 30-26.
Adam Binkley – Big last game for Gronk. Patriots 37-24, and Bolts win next year
Todd Richard – Be a tough game. McVay wins the battle of the coaches 30-27. #hornsup
Paul Schurman – Rams on a field goal with time running out. L.A. 34-31.
Darcy Ellis – I like the Rams to win a tight one 27-24 for two reasons. One, I hate the Patriots. Two, the two-headed monster at running back in Gurley and Anderson will be the difference.
Ryan Kerwin – As much as I hate to say this, Pats 27-24.
Chris MacDougall – Experience and O-line play are important. Two most important Rams are Suh and Donald, and I think that well-coached and underrated Pat O-line block it up well enough for Brady to get the ball out and continue to create holes for the running game. Pats 27-20. Ken Blood – I am thinking a close game, but the Rams D will stop Brady on a final two-minute drive to come up big. The Rams just have a lot more offensive threats. Rams 27-24.
John Turner is a Summerside school teacher and coaches youth football. His column appears every Saturday during the NFL season. Feel free to e-mail questions and comments to email@example.com.