The New England Patriots will meet the Los Angeles Rams in the Super Bowl on Sunday night in Atlanta.

Here’s how staff members of the Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel see the game ending up:

Bill Stewart, Sports Editor: It’s the Super Bowl and it’s the Patriots so the game will be decided in four points or less, meaning tense moments will grip parts of both coasts.

Tom Brady isn’t spectacular but he’s good enough and Rob Gronkowski makes his last game in the NFL count with a few big receptions in big spots late.

Prediction: Patriots 30, Rams 22

Dave Dyer, Sports Copy Editor/Writer: I’m not saying this for giggles, this game could be as tight as Super Bowl LI, when the Patriots edged the Atlanta Falcons in overtime. For some reason, I feel like Los Angeles isn’t getting the respect it’s due this week. They’re the Kansas City Chiefs of the NFC, with a better defense and less talented quarterback. Their defensive line is the best in the game. This IS the best team New England has faced all season. But I have never picked against Tom Brady and Bill Belichick in a Super Bowl and I’m not about to now. Expect a big game from Rob Gronkowski, as this could very well be the final game of his stellar career. Matt Slater calls heads — and gets it right, again — with the overtime coin toss as the Patriots slip by for their sixth title. America will then go bananas.

Prediction: Patriots 41, Rams 35, OT

Travis Barrett, Sports Writer: The only saving grace of having to watch the Patriots play in yet another Super Bowl is that the circle is now complete, and this dynasty will finally be rightly laid to rest. New England kicked off this reign of terror by beating the Rams in 2002, and on Sunday the Patriots get a taste of their own medicine.

The roles are reversed — despite what Patriots’ fans want you to believe — with the Rams the heavy underdog this time against the perennial powerhouse New England franchise. It’s the perfect setup.

Seriously, it’s time to end the longest sports dynasty of my lifetime.

With a nod to the final score of Super Bowl XXXVI, the Rams win this one by three. And break the curse.

Prediction: Rams 20, Patriots 17

Travis Lazarczyk, Sports Writer: Usually, waiting close to two decades for a sequel leads to nothing but disappointment. Think The Godfather, Part III or Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The last time the Patriots and the Rams met in the Super Bowl was 17 years ago, and that turned out to be a classic.

It will be tough to recreate the drama of Super Bowl XXXVI, but this still has the makings of a great game. The key for the Patriots will be keeping Tom Brady upright. So far in the playoffs, against very good pass rushers, the offensive line has done that. Aaron Donald is the best in the league, though, and slowing him down will be New England’s toughest test yet.

I expect another close game, and I expect the Patriots to pass the Donald Test.

Prediction: Patriots 27, Rams 23.

Drew Bonifant, Sports Writer: I told anyone who would listen that the Patriots would lose to the Chargers, and that they had no chance against the Chiefs. I’ve learned my lesson. New England has flipped the switch, as the expression goes, and shed the shakiness and sloppiness of an uneven regular season. I’m not about to bet against the Patriots, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady now.

That’s not to say they’ll roll. If Brady isn’t superb it’s hard to find a place where the Patriots have the edge over the Rams on paper. Los Angeles has All-Pro talent on both lines, in the secondary, in the backfield and at receiver. It’s possible that the best defensive and offensive players in football, Aaron Donald and Todd Gurley, will be wearing blue and gold for this game. But the Patriots will be hell-bent on neutralizing Donald, and one has to think the defensive plan will center on confusing third-year quarterback Jared Goff.

It’ll be close and down to the wire, because all Patriots Super Bowls are. But this feels like a bad time to go against Brady, Belichick and a team that appears to have woken up just in time.

Prediction: Patriots 31, Rams 27

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