Super Bowl is here—this Sunday at 3:30pm on NBC

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When a team wins a championship, it’s usually celebrated. Win too often and it can become tiresome.

New England has scooped up five Super Bowl titles since the 2001 campaign, including last season’s epic come from behind 34-28 overtime thriller versus the Atlanta Falcons.

The pick is: New England 31, Philadelphia 28.

On Sunday, they will face Philadelphia in Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

Afterward, a case was made that Tom Brady is the best quarterback ever. If one goes by Super Bowl rings, then he is.

At age 40, Brady has played well, throwing for 4,577 yards with 32 touchdown passes and eight interceptions during the regular season.

Brady, a four-time Super Bowl Most Valuable Player and likely NFL MVP, will be tough to stop with All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski (69 catches for 1,084 yards) at his disposal.

Brady will also target Brandin Cooks (1,082 yards on 65 receptions) and Danny Amendola (61 catches for 659 yards).

New England’s primary running back is dependable Dion Lewis (896 yards).

On defense, the Patriots feature cornerback Malcolm Butler (60 tackles, two interceptions), safety Devin McCourty (94 tackles), safety Patrick Chung (78 tackles, one pick) and defensive end Trey Flowers (six and a half sacks).

The Eagles will be without Carson Wentz (3,296 yards with 33 scoring passes and seven picks), who injured his knee late in the season.

In his place is steady Nick Foles (537 yards with five touchdown tosses and two interceptions).

Foles will have weapons and they include tight end Zach Ertz (824 yards on 74 catches), Alshon Jeffery (789 yards on 57 receptions), one-time USC standout Nelson Agholor (768 yards on 62 catches) and Torrey Smith (430 yards on 36 receptions).

In the backfield will be LeGarrette Blount (766 yards) and Jay Ajayi (408 yards), who was traded by the Miami Dolphins to the Eagles.

Philadelphia is paced on defense by safety Malcolm Jenkins (76 tackles, two interceptions), defensive tackle Fletcher Cox (26 tackles, five and a half sacks), cornerback Patrick Robinson (four picks, one sack), defensive end Chris Long (five sacks) and linebacker Mychal Kendricks (77 tackles, two sacks).

New England has a clear-cut advantage in Head Coach Bill Belichick, who is seeking his sixth Super Bowl title, while Doug Pederson, in his second season after being the Kansas City Chiefs’ offensive coordinator, is searching for his first.

It’s going to be tight despite the Patriots being a five point favorite. The pick is: New England, 31, Philadelphia 28.

Rick Assad has written about sports for the Pasadena Star-New and Los Angeles Times. Contact him at


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The Sports Department Rick Assad has written about sports for the Pasadena Star-News and Los Angeles Times. Contact him at

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