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Patriots favored to repeat in Super Bowl LII

Vikings.com
U.S. Bank Stadium, home of the Minnesota Vikings, will host Super Bowl LII next February. Minneapolis is hosting the Super Bowl for the second time.
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OKLAHOMA CITY – The NFL’s 98th season opens this weekend, and the defending champion New England Patriots starts things off by hosting Kansas City Thursday night (6:30 p.m. NBC) in Foxboro, Mass.

New England is picked by most prognosticators to repeat and claim the franchise’s sixth Super Bowl title on February 4, 2018, at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Yes, wide receiver Julian Edelman is out for the year with a torn ACL, but that should not stop New England from making a 10th appearance in the big game. The Pats won their fifth Super Bowl last year without Rob Gronkowski, who was sidelined with injuries most of the 2016 season. Gronkowski, one of the best tight ends in the NFL, is back and healthy this year.

Also returning to New England is 40-year-old quarterback Tom Brady, one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL—not just this year, but of all time. Brady has led the Pats to eight of their nine Super Bowl appearances, won five of them and was named Super Bowl MVP four times. When a team has a QB with that type of resume, you can’t help but pick them again this year.

And, New England has the same coach (Bill Belichick) who’s led them to those last eight Super Bowl appearances.

Sports Illustrated’s Peter King is picking the Patriots to meet Seattle in a rematch of Super Bowl 49, which was won by New England.

“I am picking a Super Bowl 49 rematch because—though each team has flaws—I like the quarterbacks, I like each coaches’ imagination, I like the offensive weapons (even the new and strange weaponry in New England), and I like the Seattle defense. A lot.”

Vinnie Iyer, an NFL writer for Sporting News also likes the Seahawks to make the Super Bowl, but come out on the losing end of the scoreboard. He is picking New England to win big, 41-21.

“The 2017 New England Patriots are good enough to put all of us NFL contrarians in our places,” Iyer scribed. “Sporting News, just like every other sports publication on earth, is picking the Patriots to win Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis on Sunday, February 4, 2018. To pick against them to repeat would make us certifiably insane.”

Insanity doesn’t appear to run rampant in predictions this year. As New England is getting all the love, many are picking the Patriots to beat Green Bay in the big game like SI’s Andy Benoit:

“I searched for the courage to pick against New England, but common sense kept getting in the way. Of course, none of these teams compares with the Patriots, that franchise you either outright love or outright hate.

“I’ll go with the Pats over the Pack, who, while talented, run too hot and cold.”

Green Bay will always be in the hunt with a quarterback like Aaron Rodgers on the team. Rodgers is a six-time All-Pro and twice was named the league’s MVP. He guided the Pack to last year’s NFC Championship game, but the Falcons were too good, winning 44-21.

Only three writers at CBS Sports are picking New England to win it all. Two of them have the Pats beating the Pack, and another has them beating Dallas. Two have the Pats in the Super Bowl but losing—one has them losing to Green Bay, and the other picks Seattle to win it all. One writer has Arizona over the Los Angeles Chargers, and another has picked Pittsburgh to beat Dallas.

At NFL.com, most of the sooth-sayers (eight of 14) have the Pats going to the Super Bowl with six picking them to win it all.

The bookmakers also like the Patriots. VegasInsider has them pegged at 13 to 4 to win the Super Bowl. Seattle is second at 8 to 1, followed by Green Bay and Pittsburgh each at 10 to 1.

Footballlocks.com also has the same order—Pats at 7 to 2, Seahawks at 9 to 1, and Packers and Steelers each at 11 to 1.

ESPN's Sports Analytics team has calculated its initial 2017 Football Power Index rankings, and it also likes the four previously mentioned teams but has the Packers in the Super Bowl over Seattle.

Seattle travels to Green Bay on Sunday for opening weekend. Could there be a rematch in the NFC Championship on January 21?

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About the Author

Ray Dozier

Ray Dozier is the author of Legends of Oklahoma Sooners Football and two editions of The...

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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