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The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

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Opinion | I graduate in two weeks — a thank-you to my best friend
Opinion | I graduate in two weeks — a thank-you to my best friend
By Nada Abdulaziz, Staff Writer • 12:57 am

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Opinion | I graduate in two weeks — a thank-you to my best friend
Opinion | I graduate in two weeks — a thank-you to my best friend
By Nada Abdulaziz, Staff Writer • 12:57 am

The Pitt News Sports Desk predicts Super Bowl winner

Pittsburgh+Steelers+linebacker+T.J.+Watt+%2890%29+reacts+near+teammate+linebacker+Alex+Highsmith+%2856%29+after+sacking+Baltimore+Ravens+quarterback+Tyler+Huntley+during+the+second+half+of+an+NFL+football+game%2C+Saturday%2C+Jan.+6+in+Baltimore.
AP Photo/Matt Rourke
Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt (90) reacts near teammate linebacker Alex Highsmith (56) after sacking Baltimore Ravens quarterback Tyler Huntley during the second half of an NFL football game, Saturday, Jan. 6 in Baltimore.

With the NFL Playoffs starting this Saturday, The Pitt News Sports Desk is here to offer hot takes and predict the winner of Super Bowl LVIII. 

Never bet against Patrick Mahomes // Brian Sherry, Sports Editor 

A few years ago, I came to the realization that I should never bet against generational talent. Back then, this applied to former Patriots and Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady. The former seven-time champion’s dead-eye accuracy and palpable leadership skills were too great to ever count him out of the Super Bowl conversation — no matter what team he played for.

But Brady’s time terrorizing the entire NFL is over, and now there is a new sheriff in town — Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. The Kansas City signal caller is fresh off his second Super Bowl victory. While he lacks offensive weapons this year, it is still impossible to ignore his cannon-like arm and play-making creativity. I believe the Chiefs return to the big game this year and defeat the 49ers to claim their fourth Super Bowl victory in franchise history. 

49ers finally return to prominence // Jermaine Sykes, Assistant Sports Editor

1995 was the last time the 49ers won the Super Bowl. Since then, the 49ers have struggled with missed opportunities. They missed on Aaron Rodgers in the 2005 NFL draft. They failed to convert on the final play of Super Bowl 47. They held a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl 54 and still lost the game.

But 2023 is different. They have the defense, they have the offensive weapons and it looks like they finally have their quarterback. I think in the Super Bowl they’ll face the red-hot Baltimore Ravens, but this time destiny will be on the 49ers’ side and they’ll finally win their elusive sixth championship. 

49ers avenge Super Bowl 54 // Conor Hutchison, Staff Writer

In the NFC I’m going with chalk and taking the 49ers. I think any of their four potential opponents in the divisional round can’t keep up with their prolific offense.

In the AFC, I’m taking the Chiefs to complete the Super Bowl 54 rematch. It’s no secret this was a “down” year for them, but you have to have faith in their quarterback.

It’s hard to bet against the Chiefs, but I’m going with the 49ers to take the Lombardi Trophy back to San Francisco. 

Lamar Jackson, Ravens win the Super Bowl // Matthew Scabilloni, Senior Staff Writer

It’s plain and simple, the best quarterbacks in the NFL lead their respective teams to the most success.

In my opinion, the best quarterback in the AFC is Lamar Jackson and I believe he has the right pieces around him to lead the Ravens to the Super Bowl.

In the NFC, in my opinion, the best quarterback is Dak Prescott and he, like Jackson, has a group around him that will help him get the Cowboys to the Super Bowl.

Ultimately, in the Super Bowl, the better of the two quarterbacks will prevail leading to a Super Bowl win for the Ravens. 

An Underdog Win, the Steelers take Super Bowl LVIII // Camille de Jesus, Staff Writer 

To take the Steelers as my Super Bowl pick is a choice not many I know would stand by. With a lack of consistency, doubts are far from unheard of. Unfortunately, I’m an undying optimist when it comes to the Steelers, and who doesn’t love an underdog story? 

Making their way through the playoffs with the uncertainty of return from linebacker T.J. Watt, who suffered an MCL strain against the Ravens this past Saturday, the defense must step up majorly to help combat his absence. 

The big quarterback question will also plague the Steelers with both Mason Rudolph and Kenny Pickett eligible to start. Do you ride the hot hand of Mason and let him take the team all the way to a Super Bowl win? Do you fall back on Kenny, the people of Pittsburgh’s QB, and rely on his connection to the team and the city to bring the Lombardi home? 

It’s a shot in the dark, but I’m sticking with the Steelers. I think against all odds they’ll match up with the 49ers in the Super Bowl and bring a win home to the Steel City for the first time since 2009. 

The Truth Hurts, Ravens stump Eagles // Aidan Kasner, Staff Writer

Philly started off the season hot, winning 10 out of their first 11 games. After becoming the first team to secure a playoff berth, W’s in the record book quickly turned into L’s. I believe Jalen Hurts will vastly turn around his recent play and have a great playoff run. Give me Philadelphia for a back-to-back Super Bowl appearance. 

As for their matchup, I like the Ravens. Baltimore is armed with the best quarterback in the league, Lamar Jackson, and has an arsenal full of talent. They are coached extremely well, and young guns Isaiah Likely and Zay Flowers have stepped up.

My pick for the champions of Super Bowl LVIII is the Ravens. I can picture it now. Purple and gold confetti fills the air as Lamar Jackson fulfills his draft day promise and hoists the Lombardi trophy.

The Bills will party in Vegas // Mason Carter, Staff Writer

The hottest team heading into the playoffs this year is no doubt the Bills. After starting the season 6-6, Buffalo went in hot-wing mode and won six of their last seven games. 

Even though it wasn’t his best season overall, Josh Allen is still as dangerous as any top quarterback in the league. 

With a weaker AFC and previous experience, I think the Bills have the talent and the mentality to go on that legendary five-week run.

The Ravens topple the underdog Rams // Jack Markowski, Senior Staff Writer 

The Baltimore Ravens have proven time and time again this season that they are the cream of the crop in the NFL, and now it’s put up or shut up time in the postseason. 

Lamar Jackson is in line for the second MVP award of his young career and has no shortage of weapons at his disposal, a luxury that wasn’t available for him in recent years. On the defensive side, Baltimore possesses a mix of wily veterans and dynamic youngsters that form a menacing unit. 

This iteration of the Ravens feels somewhat similar to their 2019 squad that was upset by the Tennessee Titans in the divisional round, but that outcome won’t repeat here. Jackson and the rest of the squad will finally get over the hump and defeat a well-coached Los Angeles Rams team for their third Super Bowl in franchise history as head coach John Harbaugh joins his brother Jim in the 2024 winner’s circle. 

Texas takes Vegas by storm, Cowboys win it all  // Patrick Diana, Staff Writer

The Cowboys punched their ticket for their third straight playoff appearance. Dak Prescott is not only healthy, a surprisingly low bar for quarterbacks this season. He’s also led the Cowboys to have the biggest point differential in the NFC. It’s time for a Prescott ring.

As far as rosters go, Houston and Baltimore hold the best instruments to make a run in the AFC. Houston will have more momentum than Baltimore, likely beating the Browns and the Chiefs. And as a Die-hard Steelers fan, I cannot in good conscience think about a Ravens run. Houston meets Dallas in a showdown for Texas. 

Bills exorcize 30-year-old demons, crush Cowboys // Eli Smith, Staff Writer

Fans have seen one of the most unpredictable NFL regular seasons in recent memory, and I don’t expect the playoffs to be any different. 

But I predict that two perennial choke-artists are finally going to make a run and find themselves head-to-head in the Super Bowl. The Bills have a questionable AFC to go through, despite being headlined by an excellent Ravens squad. If it comes down to Ravens-Bills, I’m going with the team that has had more playoff success as of late. Out of the NFC, the Cowboys have the best roster and arguably the best quarterback in Dak Prescott. 

Any Buffalo Bills fan with a few gray hairs can probably remember the back-to-back beatdowns the Cowboys put on the Bills in the 90s. Two games in which Don Beebe’s famous run-down of Leon Lett was the lone highlight for the Bills. 

Well, I foresee Buffalo finally taking revenge, laying down a whooping for the ages as they clinch the franchise’s first Lombardi Trophy.

49ers Hoist the Lombardi, avenge regular season loss to Ravens // Elijah Carter, Staff Writer

The 49ers were the best team when healthy for the majority of the season outside of an embarrassing loss to Baltimore. They had no problems with their NFC foes trouncing major contenders like the Cowboys and the Eagles by 20+ points. 

While the 49ers don’t have an elite-level quarterback I am confident in the well-oiled machine of a roster they have constructed. I’m under the impression that the turnover variance will sway their way if they are to see the Ravens again and Kyle Shanahan and company will lift the Lombardi in Sin City come February.

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