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Sports Tonight
Why the Patriots will win Super Bowl XXXIX
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Two of Fox Sports' NFL masterminds go head-to-head with differing opinions on who will take home the prize at Super Bowl XXXIX.

Two-time Super Bowl-winning coach Jimmy Johnson says the Patriots will win their third Super Bowl in four years (see below), but Daryl Johnston, who has three Super Bowl rings of his own, says Philly will end New England's run.

The Patriots are favored over the Eagles for a reason. They have the edge on so many levels, and here's why they simply won't lose:

Tom Brady is cool in the pocket

I don't want to say that Brady is better than Donovan McNabb because I think McNabb is playing extremely well right now and both quarterbacks are really talented. But you can't discount the fact that Brady has won a lot of big games and is undefeated in the playoffs. In fact, I was talking to Patriots coach Bill Belichick about Brady the other day and he asked me if I saw a close-up view of Brady on that 60-yard touchdown to Deion Branch early in the Pittsburgh game?

Belichick said that by just watching Brady's eyes, you could see he kind of looked one way and then looked another, and he looked down the safety toward the crossing route. Then Brady came off that and threw the deep ball. Belichick told me that Pittsburgh had been jumping the crossing routes all year long, but that you just have to have a quarterback that can lead the safety to the crossing route while having the patience to allow the deep ball to open up.

Brady is a master of that. He's extremely cool in the pocket. Then, on top of that, he threw a perfect pass for the touchdown. There are a lot of NFL quarterbacks who wouldn't be that patient. Nor are they as adept at fooling the safety on the crossing route.

Patriots will shut down Westbrook

I just think that New England is good enough to take Eagles running back Brian Westbrooktotally away, especially with a couple weeks to prepare. I know Belichick and he knows Westbrook is the key to Andy Reid's offense. Westbrook really isn't a powerful runner. He is most dangerous when he comes out of the backfield or when they split him out wide as a receiver. He's an outstanding receiver. They also like to do some trick plays with him. Believe me, the Patriots will have a package to take him away. They've had two weeks to prepare for him. They will have him doubled and they will have him bracketed, inside and outside. Wherever he goes he will be covered because the Patriots don't need to double anyone else.

Patriots have more physical presence

I like both of these defensive teams. They are both really good and I would rate the defenses a tossup. But the Patriots have a big difference on offense with Corey Dillon. He gives New England a physical presence. The difference in this game will be New England's offense � Brady with the deep ball and Dillon's physical presence running the ball. I think the defenses will be a push and special teams should be a push. I do like Adam Vinatieri though. He may be a little better clutch kicker right now because of his playoff and Super Bowl kicks, but the rest of the special teams � the coverage and return squads � are dead even. The problem with Philadelphia is that it only has two playmakers: Westbrook and McNabb.

Owens won't make an impact

OK, Terrell Owens might play. He really wants to play, but I don't see Owens being a major factor. I would be shocked if he does anything more than play a sparing amount. I think he will just make a token appearance since this is a tough injury to come back so quickly from, especially considering he still has the screws in his right ankle. They Eagles might just have him line up on the left side and run fly patterns. I don't think they really want him cutting and pushing off on that ankle.

Too many weapons on offense

Well, to put it real simply, I like all of New England's receivers a lot more than I do Philadelphia's. I think the Patriots just have an edge in so many offensive categories. Brady has the better receivers and it should really be a factor on the deep ball. Now, if T.O. was 100 percent healthy then I might back off of that statement. But he isn't.

With the players available right now, I think New England has an edge at running back, a big edge at receivers and a slight edge at quarterback. I look at Philadelphia's offense and I really like McNabb and Westbrook, but I still believe they are short on playmakers on offense. And I look at them a lot now like I did last year when New England played Carolina.

Simply Belichick

I think most football people would give Belichick and his staff the edge, but I don't know that I can do that. I think both teams are very, very well coached. These are the two best coaching staffs in the league. Over the last three or four seasons, Reid and Belichick have done marvelous jobs. They are talking about brain drain in New England because Belichick will lose Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel, and those guys will try to take some assistants like Pepper Johnson and Eric Mangini. Now, that will hurt Belichick in the future. But don't underestimate him. Bill does an excellent job of coaching his coaches. The Patriots will be fine.

Patriots' Super Bowl exposure gives them an edge

I normally wouldn't say that their experience would be of critical importance. The way I look at it, the Eagles' track record of losing three NFC championship games isn't a good thing. I suspect there are some of them feel it is such a relief to finally make it to the Super Bowl. There might be a sense of satisfaction that they got there.

Also, I didn't like how they left points on the board against Atlanta. They settled for field goals too many times. They can't do that in Jacksonville. On the flip side, winning the AFC championship game was no big deal to the Patriots. They expected to win and be in this game. Normally I wouldn't think experience in the Super Bowl would be a major factor, but in this case it really might be.

Eagles don't have enough weapons

I think Philadelphia could struggle offensively. Beyond McNabb and Westbrook the Eagles don't have playmakers. They just lost a really good receiving tight end in Chad Lewis, who caught two touchdowns against Atlanta. They need some other players to step up and I'm not sure that will happen. To stay in the game, they will need McNabb to consistently get first downs by escaping the rush and running for them. That will keep some drives alive.

When talking to the Patriots, they said they're not concerned about the Eagles catching any deep balls on them, but rather the officials giving them a deep-ball completion. Reid likes to throw it deep. And the officials made a bogus call against Atlanta in the championship game. So we know that can happen. And something like that can turn a game around. On the other side, I have a lot of confidence, even with Philadelphia's talented secondary, that New England will complete deep passes.

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