The Philadelphia Eagles are looking for their first Super Bowl victory after losing to the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl 15 and to the Patriots in Super Bowl 39.
With that history, it comes as little surprise most local high school football coaches who participated in this year’s picks are going with New England to win the big game.
Stacy Carter, Science Hill
Philadelphia is playing so great as a team and they’re fun to watch. It started with Carson Wentz and there is a lot of teamwork going on. I’m pulling for the Eagles in the upset, but I think Tom Brady will get them.
If there is a way to beat you, Brady is going to beat you. The teams are so close in that league and the quarterback is usually the difference. ... PATRIOTS, 31-21.
Graham Clark, Dobyns-Bennett
I think it’s the Patriots because they’ve got a guy you can never count out with Brady. When you watch their secondary, look how much people struggle to get open. Their defensive backs do a fabulous job of taking receivers out of the game.
Those two factors, sooner or later, they wear you down. That even happened to the Falcons last year after they got the big lead. The Eagles have had a remarkable year, but somebody will end up upset after the game. ... PATRIOTS, 31-21.
Justin Hilton, Sullivan South
If I’m picking with my heart, I’m going with the Eagles, but I just can’t pick against the Patriots. There is such consistency, and anytime you have the best quarterback on the field, you’ve got a really good chance of winning.
Brady is almost ageless. It doesn’t matter who they put around him, he makes the people around him better. You see guys like Wes Welker and (Danny) Amendola and what he’s done with them. ... PATRIOTS, 35-17.
Jeremy Jenkins, Daniel Boone
I like how the Eagles pressure inside. That gets to Brady more than anything. They have the ability to play coverage outside. They’re big and physical, and they’re not going to be intimidated. ... EAGLES, 30-27.
Jason Jarrett, Happy Valley
I can’t go against Brady and the Patriots. Their offense is so crisp. He picks a defense apart and you can tell they’re a well-oiled machine. He will dink and dunk and make people miss, and move the chains. It’s hard to argue he’s not the best quarterback to ever play the game.
It’s their eighth opportunity and they’ve won five. It’s hard to bet against that, and Belichick, he’s a mastermind who puts a product out there that’s highly competitive. It should be a fun game to watch and I think it will be a close game. ... PATRIOTS, 23-21.
Michael Lunsford, Hampton
New England has just too much experience, and with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, two of the best in the profession, it’s hard to pick against them.
Not having Carson Wentz hurts the Eagles, but I want to point out my Chiefs beat both Super Bowl teams. They beat the Patriots the first game of the season and then beat the Eagles a few weeks later.
But the Patriots just keep on going. ... PATRIOTS, 27-24.
Mike Lunsford, Cloudland
You have to admire what the Patriots have done through hard work, good coaching and smart players, but you feel they have to drop off eventually.
It’s hard to pick against Brady and the Patriots, but I’ve just got a feeling with the way the Eagles are playing right now, they’re going to find a way to win. They seemed to have hit their stride and are playing well. ... EAGLES, 35-28.
Drew Rice, Unicoi County
Philadelphia has a great team, you don’t get to the Super Bowl and not be. But you can’t bet against Tom Brady and Bill Belichick; you just can’t.
I think it will be a slow start as each team tries to get a feel for the other, but New England takes care of business. ... PATRIOTS, 27-20.