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Super Bowl LI - New England Patriots vs. Atlanta Falcons: Staff Predictions

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The Bolts from the Blue staff tells you who they think will win this year’s Super Bowl.

NFL: AFC Championship-Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Richard Wade: The Falcons may have had the best offense over the course of a full season, but the Patriots had the best offense once Tom Brady came back. New England’s defense is also indisputably better than Atlanta’s. I like the Patriots in this game. New England Patriots 31 - 27 Atlanta Falcons

Garrett Sisti: A-Town down(s) Pats.

Ruben J. Gonzalez: I am expecting a complete dud outcome in this one. As much as everyone is assuming this game will be a high-scoring back-and-forth affair, I see this game being another lopsided waste of time. Bill and Brady will once again prove to the masses why they are so good and so hated. Their genius will account for the Patriots 34-20 triumph.

Aaron Woolley: I can't trust the Falcons to get it done against the best team of the last decade. The patriots have an elite offense, which is matched by their equally impressive defense. While the Falcons have played well all season, their defense won't be able to stop Tom Brady and co. I feel like both offenses are pretty equal, but the patriots hold the clear advantage on defense which will be the deciding factor. Defense wins Championships. Patriots win 34-17.

Ryan Doyle: I believe the Atlanta Falcons are going to win this game. I've been going back and forth for the past two weeks with this game. I love the Falcons high-powered attack, but it isn't easy to pick against Brady and Belichick.

I like the Patriots defense too. It doesn't have any true star in the front seven, but they do a solid job against the run and could force the Falcons to abandon it early.

Still, I believe Matt Ryan and company can put up enough points to win this game. Falcons 33 Patriots 32.

Derrick Browne: I'm going with the Patriots in this one. I know Atlanta has looked almost unstoppable on offense this year, but I just can't bring myself to bet against Brady and Belichick in the Super Bowl. This Atlanta defense has definitely improved from recent years, but I think Brady finds a way to get it done again. Patriots 31-21.

Roger Hinojosa: I'm going with my gut on this one. The more I look at this game, and the matchups on both sides of the ball, the more I question the outcome. Both offenses can create matchup nightmares but both defenses are well coached and can hold their own against either offense. Patriots win 31-27

Matthew Stanley: I'm not super interested in the super bowl this year, but I think this'll be a good game. I think this has a chance for a pretty high scoring finish so I'm going to take a shot in the dark and say 30-27 Falcons.

Jamie Sewell: As much as I want to believe the Falcons can pull it off, I think nerves and inexperience will get the better of them. Belichick and the Patriots do it again. 27-21 Patriots

Cody Young: I'm torn between who I want to pick to win and who I actually think is going to win. Historically when a top defense goes against a top offense it's the defense that comes out on top. Well, New England has the defense this year. It's a solid unit led by DC Matt Patricia and they have excelled against the pass this season. That said, they haven't really faced anyone playing at the level of Matt Ryan right now, and of course Julio Jones is otherworldly. The Falcons offense is a machine capable of beating an opponent any way they need to, and the defense is no joke either. Their vast array offensive weapons make them the strongest team the Patriots will have played yet this season. Still, I can't help feeling New England comes away with this one. Tom Brady is still the best in the business and I think the defense will slow down Atlanta just enough for the New England offense to win it at the end. However, I can't bring myself to write NE as the winner. 34-31 Falcons

Nathaniel Graber-Lipperman: As time goes on, my grudging respect for the Patriots grows and grows. So it's not me being a hater when I say I think the Falcons will win 27-21. I make my predictions based solely off feeling, which is probably why I'm so bad at it. However, I think that Ryan locks up his first Super Bowl here, as the "terrible" Falcons defense finally proves that it's really not... Well, terrible. I think this will be a good game regardless, and while I don't really care who wins, I can't wait to buckle down and watch it unfold.

Louis Gorini: Atlanta matches up well against New England. Their defense is so fast and make it look easy to cover from sideline to sideline. Their speed should help neutralize the quick receiver screens of the Patriots. But their pass rush will not be enough to throw Tom Brady off of his game. Also, it's hard to go against a Bill Belichick coached team that has had 2 weeks to prepare. New England 31- Atlanta 27