ASHLAND, Va. - With Super Bowl LII taking place on Sunday evening, several Randolph-Macon football players were asked to give a capsule analysis and prediction on the title game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots. Head field hockey coach Jess Weiss, a Philly native, also gave her take on the Big Game. Thanks to junior quarterback Joe McBride for his assistance in this project.
Burke Estes, sophomore quarterback, Wilmington, N.C.
"While it is difficult to pick against [Tom] Brady, I think the Eagles will win the Super Bowl. The Eagles have a solid run game which has allowed them to lead the league in time of possession. The strong running game will keep the Eagles in the game and as we all know, the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl, anything can happen. The Eagles will bring the trophy back to Philadelphia after a 31-24 win."
Robby Owens, sophomore tight end, Nokesville, Va. (Patriots fan)
"I may have some bias, but I'm going to go with the Patriots. It'll come down to who coaches the better game and I think [Bill] Belichick out-coaches [Doug] Pederson 99/100 times. Also, Tom Brady is better than Nick Foles and I'm sure Foles will be nervous on such a big stage. Patriots: 27 Eagles: 16."
Jake Pinkston, senior defensive lineman, Alexandria, Va.
"If I were a betting man, I'd bet on the Eagles to cover the spread. The Patriots are giving four points. Even with the Eagles elite pass rushers, pass defense, and confident offense after a blow out in the NFC Championship Game, they will not win this game. Tom Brady is arguably the best quarterback to ever play the game. He is a master of his craft. As we all saw last year, a 28-3 lead for the Atlanta Falcons late in the third quarter was not enough to beat Brady. He will find a way to lead his team to yet another Super Bowl victory. I believe this will be a hard-fought game with the Patriots winning 24-21."
Ryan Burns, senior defensive back, Fredericksburg, Va.
"I think the Eagles are going to take it. This is a decade-old rematch and I think the Eagles' organization gets revenge with the forgotten quarterback of old Nick Foles. I think the Eagles are going to take away the running backs in the pass game. If you can do that, you can beat the Patriots' system. They rely heavily on mismatches with their utility backs like Dion Lewis, James White, and company. Eagles: 27 Patriots: 21."
Julian Drew, junior punter, Raleigh, N.C.
"I think that the Eagles are going to win. The Patriots are overconfident and that will be their downfall. Also the Eagles don't cheat. 24-21 Eagles win."
Steven Hunt, junior linebacker, Stafford, Va.
"The Patriots are arguably the most dominant team in the NFL. They have athletes in every position and a strong coaching staff. However, both teams finished with the same record, but the Eagles faced a lot harder schedule in the NFC. Despite losing their star quarterback, the Eagles have also shown they can still win games. I'm calling the Eagles over the Patriots 34-31."
Jess Weiss, head field hockey coach
"I may be a bit biased, as I am a Philadelphia native and lifelong Eagles fan, but I predict a 27-21 victory for the Birds. Their defensive unit rotates well, not missing a beat and staying fresh in the second half, wearing offensive lines down and not allowing many second half points. Offensively their threats are all over - Zach Ertz at tight end, three impact running backs, consistent wide receivers, and Nick Foles has been reliable in the pocket and accurate on the move. In all my years of watching the Eagles play, this team seems the most cohesive, confident, fun and determined. The underdog will come out on top yet again. #FlyEaglesFly"