Welcome to my preview of Super Bowl 51 between the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots. I hope that you enjoy my preview as well as the big game.
|3:30 PM PT||FOX||NE -3.0|
New England definitely has the Super Bowl experience factor going for it. The Tom Brady/Bill Belichick combination has won four Super Bowls, and been to six if you count the two losses to the New York Giants. The Atlanta Falcons however, have a historically good offense. Not 2013 Denver Broncos good, but good enough to place among the top ten in league history. Matt Ryan just won his first MVP, and he has weathered a strong sea of criticism to get to this point. I will admit that my 8-2 record in the postseason would be 10-0 if I picked for and not against Atlanta in both their playoff games.
Ryan has put up rather impressive numbers (4,944 passing yards, and 38 passing touchdowns) and Julio Jones has been brilliant as a wide receiver (1409 receiving yards and 6 receiving touchdowns), but the real x-factor for the Falcons has to be their run game of Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. New England is in trouble if they get off running.
The Patriots also have a power running back of their own in LaGarrette Blount (1161 rushing yards, and 18 rushing touchdowns) as well. Tom Brady is very good at spreading the wealth among his wide receivers with Julian Edelman and newly blossomed Chris Hogan being among his many beneficiaries. It does suck for them that Rob Gronkowski is out, but Tom Brady has shown that he is more than capable of overcoming that and many other things.
Experience and defense will be the deciding factors in this one. Atlanta has yet to impress me with their defense, and New England was able to hold off a very high powered Pittsburgh Steelers offense quite impressively two weeks ago. Granted Le’Veon Bell got hurt partly through that game, but regardless that was impressive. Atlanta has yet to be behind by multiple scores and hasn’t faced a clutch quarterback like Tom Brady with a team at full strength. Never doubt Tom Brady, especially during the Super Bowl!
Patriots 31, Falcons 26
Super Bowl MVP: Tom Brady 31/44 (302 passing yards, 3 passing touchdowns)
Stay Classy Everyone!