Kid Reporters Predict Super Bowl Outcome

This Sunday in Houston, Texas, the New England Patriots will face the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI at 6:30 p.m. ET on Fox. Who will win the big game? Twelve of our Kid Reporters sent in their predictions, including for the final score and who will win MVP. Four think the Falcons will prevail, and the rest are picking QB Tom Brady and the Patriots. Read on for their reasons, and enjoy the game!

Hollis Belger
Larkspur, California

For me, an avid soccer player, it's all about the kickers! We've got Matt Bryant for the Falcons and Stephen Gostkowski for the Patriots. Both are longtime veterans with successful careers. Gostkowski is the highest paid kicker in the NFL, and Bryant is in his 16th season. The tale of the boot will come down to their point-after attempts, since it’s now a 33-yard effort. Gostkowski is 93.3% on PATs this year, but Bryant is 98.9%. This game will be close and could come down to one final kick. I think Gostkowski’s experience on the big stage will prove to be the reason Tom Brady wins his fifth Super Bowl. Why not give Gostkowski the MVP? Well, Brady will give him a run for his money on that point!
Pick: Patriots
Score: Patriots 41, Falcons 40
MVP: Tom Brady

Max Bonnstetter
Sparta, New Jersey

It's tough to bet against Tom Brady when he is trying to make history in his record seventh Super Bowl appearance by winning a record fourth Super Bowl MVP. Brady is 164 for 247, with 1,605 yards and 13 touchdowns, in his previous six Super Bowls. But, more importantly, I am going with the Madden '17 simulation of the game, which had the Patriots coming out on top. Look for Brady to connect with Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan, and Malcolm Mitchell to cement his legacy. Falcons QB Matt Ryan will put on a show, but the game will come down to defensive stops, with the Patriots having an edge.
Pick: Patriots
Score: Patriots 30, Falcons 20
MVP: Tom Brady

Alan Cole
Atlanta, Georgia

It's going to be an enormous challenge given where I’m from, but I am going to remain optimistic and say the Falcons can win their first Super Bowl in franchise history. The magic number here is going to be 31. The Falcons are 12–0 in the postseason when they score 31 points, but 1–5 when they score 30 or less. The Falcons have scored touchdowns on 55% of their possessions so far in the postseason, an incredible rate, and they should get the ball enough times to reach that 31 plateau.  
Score: Falcons 31, Patriots 24
MVP: Matt Ryan

Hayden Goldberg
Seattle, Washington

This year’s Super Bowl is going to be one heck of a shootout! Two things will be key: which defense can force the most three-and-outs and which can force the most turnovers. The Falcons were the best team in the NFL in terms of three-and-out percentage (13.7%), while the Patriots were awful, ranking 27th (23.8%). Both offenses turned it over only 11 times, but the Pats’ defense forced one more turnover than the Falcons’ D to hold a 23–22 advantage. Malcolm Butler, the hero for the Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX against my city’s Seahawks, is now the Patriots’ leader in interceptions. Plus, I’m originally from Atlanta. Despite those two things, I’m picking the Pats to win the Super Bowl because of Tom Brady and the franchise’s experience in the game.
Pick: Patriots
Score: Patriots 38, Falcons 35
MVP: Tom Brady

Dylan Goldman
Miami, Florida

The Falcons have been on a roll lately, as they enter Super Bowl LI on a six-game winning streak. That includes their two playoff victories, which were blowout wins over the Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers. Quarterback Matt Ryan has put himself into serious consideration for MVP. He’s thrown for 730 yards and seven touchdowns with no interceptions in the playoffs. In the regular season, he threw for 4,944 and 38 touchdowns, with only seven interceptions. Atlanta’s offense doesn’t stop at Ryan, as the Falcons have a dynamic running back tandem of Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. Atlanta has one of the league’s best receivers in Julio Jones, who caught nine passes for 180 yards and two touchdowns in the NFC title game. Don’t forget about Atlanta’s Swiss Army knife Mohamed Sanu and speedster Taylor Gabriel. Atlanta’s defense has improved dramatically, as it’s only allowed 20.5 points per game since Week 12.
Pick: Falcons
Score: Falcons 31, Patriots 24
MVP: Matt Ryan

Jack Kelley
Portland, Oregon

In a game like the Super Bowl, past experience can mean everything in determining who will take home the Lombardi Trophy, and no team in the league has more experience than the Patriots. While the Falcons have only appeared in the Super Bowl once since the organization was founded in 1966, Pats QB Tom Brady has played in six before to this year, winning the championship four times. However, the real reason that the Patriots will win is not because of Brady, but because of the Patriots’ defense, which allowed only 15.6 points per game this regular season, the lowest in the NFL. Expect the Patriots to extinguish the Falcons’ offensive game as Tom Brady and Co. earn another Super Bowl ring. As the saying goes: "Defense wins championships.”
Pick: Patriots
Score: Patriots 27, Falcons 19
MVP: Tom Brady

Aidan Kohn-Murphy
Washington, D.C.

This game is one of the best defenses in the league (the Pats) against one of the best offenses in the league (the Falcons). But the deciding blow is that the Patriots also have an elite offense, whereas the Falcons’ defense is subpar. In both of the playoff games the Pats have played, they have doubled opponents’ scores against much better defenses than the Falcons. The Patriots will take the lead in the first quarter, dominate from the second quarter, and never look back. The Patriots defense will have four interceptions.
Pick: Patriots
Score: Patriots 34, Falcons 20
MVP: Tom Brady

Sarah Liu
Los Angeles, California

Both the Patriots and the Falcons have extremely high-powered offenses that are led by two MVP-worthy quarterbacks. Both have strong defenses; the Patriots led the NFL this year points allowed, and the Falcons shut down the Packers in the NFC title game. While the teams seem to match up evenly on paper, the game will not just be decided by the level of play or execution; it will also come down to experience. The Patriots have much more Super Bowl experience, and in this game that is going to be helpful. There can be many distractions leading up to the game, and players tend to be more nervous playing on such a large stage. Quarterback play is always scrutinized in this big game. This will be Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan’s first Super Bowl appearance. Meanwhile, this will be Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s seventh Super Bowl appearance. In his seventh Super Bowl, Tom Brady will leave with his fifth ring.
Pick: Patriots
Score: Patriots 28, Falcons 24
MVP: Tom Brady

Charlie Olesker
Glencoe, Illinois

The two best teams in the NFL, the Falcons and the Patriots, will be going at it head-to-head this Sunday for the biggest award in sports, the Lombardi Trophy. The two teams have scored 150 points combined over their past two games, so expect another high-scoring game. I say the Falcons will strike first with an opening drive touchdown by Tevin Coleman, or Devonta Freeman, both star running backs. From there we will see Broadway Brady and his cast of superstars take over. Brady will be finding Julian Edelman, Malcolm Mitchell, Danny Amendola, and Chris Hogan left and right. In the past two games Brady has thrown for five touchdowns, and I won’t be surprised if he throws more than three in this game. Brady has been in six Super Bowls and has an outstanding touchdown-to-interception ratio of 13 to 4. He has won four of those six appearances. Matt Ryan of the Falcons will have some trouble finding one of the best receivers in the league, Julio Jones, because Jones will be guarded by the tough Malcolm Butler, who made the play of the game in Super Bowl XLIX. The Falcons will need to rely on their run game unless receivers such as veteran Mohamed Sanu and youngster Taylor Gabriel can step up against the tough Patriots’ defense.
Pick: Patriots
Score: Patriots 41, Falcons 34
MVP: Tom Brady

Wilson von Bohlen
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Tom Brady and the Patriots are on fire! The Patriots are 13–1 with Brady as their starting quarterback this year. They have won their last five games by a total score of 162–53. Nobody can stop their passing game! If somebody could, it would not be the Falcons, who are 28th in opponent passing yards and touchdowns this year. Not to mention the Patriots’ Super Bowl experience, which also gives them a huge advantage in such a big game.
Pick: Patriots
Score: Patriots 34, Falcons 23
MVP: Tom Brady

Celia Waldman
Bethesda, Maryland

With an explosive offense led by quarterback Matt Ryan, the Falcons’ offense will clinch Super Bowl LI. Atlanta’s offense has a dual threat because of a strong run and passing game. Star wide receiver Julio Jones has had the best year of any wideout, including a 300-yard game earlier this year. Expect him to prevail with 100+ yards and the Patriots to be left facing tough decisions as to how to cover the field.
Pick: Falcons
Score: Falcons 31, Patriots 28
MVP: Matt Ryan

Andrew Zeidel
New York, New York

The Falcons put on a show last week in Green Bay (my original pick to win the Super Bowl) and beat the hottest team in football with ease. Matt Ryan threw for four touchdowns and had no interceptions. He has no interceptions this postseason and has the highest passer rating of any quarterback this playoffs. The dual threat of their running game is also killer. Tom Brady has looked somewhat shaky this postseason compared to what we saw of him all regular season. In his last Super Bowl, he threw two interceptions, which nearly cost him, but he rode on his defense, who has an even tougher task than they did two years ago. The Falcons are hungry, hot, and going to use their offense to win an exciting Super Bowl.
Pick: Falcons
Score: Falcons 31, Patriots 24
MVP: Matt Ryan

Photographs by (from top): Tim Warner/Getty Images; Bob Levey/Getty Images

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