The Atlanta Falcons will hoist up the Vince Lombardi trophy at the end of the night this Sunday at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas.
There, I said it. The Falcons, although inferior in strength in defense compared to the New England Patriots, have an offense that will fare well in an offensive showdown between Most Valuable Player (MVP) candidates Tom Brady of New England and Matt Ryan of Atlanta.
The Falcons have never won the Super Bowl in the previous 50 years of the team’s existence, with only one appearance in Super Bowl XXXIII in January 1999, losing to the Denver Broncos 34-19 in Miami, Florida. Contrary to New England, the city of Atlanta’s fan base is hungry for an unprecedented achievement in the franchises’ 51-year history, a Super Bowl championship.
Ryan, in his ninth season as the quarterback of the Atlanta Falcons, posted the best season of his career in 2016, including career highs in multiple statistical categories, where he registered 4,944 passing yards, 38 touchdown passes, 117.1 passer rating and completed 69.9 percent of his passes. In addition to his career highs, Ryan threw only seven
interceptions in 2016, the fewest of his career, according to pro-football-reference.com.
In addition to Ryan, the offense boasts of superstars such as running back Devonta Freeman and wide receiver Julio Jones. Freeman is coming off of his second consecutive season with 1,000 rushing yards and 11 rushing touchdowns. Jones has dominated the league with three consecutive seasons of 1,400 or more receiving yards according to pro-football-reference.com.
Jones’ dominance goes beyond the regular season and into the playoffs. In the National Football Conference (NFC) Championship, the Falcons obliterated the Green Bay Packers’ defense with Jones recording 180 receiving yards on nine catches, according to pro-football-referenece.com.
The Falcons had an easy time shutting down Green Bay’s potent offense led by Aaron Rodgers for a 24-0 lead at halftime in a 44-21 win on Jan. 22. Rodgers finished the regular season by “running the table” to win the NFC North division title, looking unstoppable until facing the Falcons. The Falcons ability to shut down Rodgers looks encouraging if they can duplicate that success against the Patriots this Sunday.
The Falcons defense is led by linebackers Vic Beasley and Deion Jones, cornerback Robert Alford and safety Ricardo Allen. Beasley is coming off a 2016 season in which he led the league with 15.5 sacks. Also, Jones led the team with three interceptions and recorded 75 tackles this year. The defensive secondary is led by Alford and Allen who both have two interceptions on the season and were a part of the stellar defensive play in the NFC Championship game against the Packers according to pro-football-reference.com.
“Super Bowl Sunday is upon us, and the Atlanta Falcons will rise up to the occasion and don’t be surprised when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell hands Ryan the Vince Lombardi Trophy on stage in the midst of red and white confetti.”
New England is prepared and is red-hot coming into this bird feast of the Atlanta Falcons.
Easily the most dominant NFL dynasty in recent years, the Patriots have a very good chance of winning their fifth Super Bowl in 15 years. The man operating the Patriot offense is the greatest of all time, Tom Brady.
On his way to being the best quarterback ever, Brady has overcome great adversity. This year was no different. After missing the first four games of the 2016 season due to suspension, he returned and put up MVP-like statistics on his team’s way to the first seed in the AFC playoffs. Away from the quarterback position, New England has had a very dominant ground game with LeGarrette Blount rushing for over 1,100 yards. Also, the receiving core has had players step up in the absence of tight end Rob Gronkowski. Defensively, the Patriots recently shut down the explosive Pittsburgh Steeler Offense in the AFC Championship.
“New England has this Super Bowl 51 victory in the bag for this reason – experience.”
Tom Brady has been here seven times, and Coach Bill Belichick eight. Belichick has the Jedi mind tricks that could steer the Falcons right out of their sky-high passing game. Matt Ryan isn’t clutch like Tom Brady is. I predict Brady going for over 350 yards and the Pats win by a margin of 20 or more points. Atlanta’s defense is too young and inexperienced to keep up with the slot formations New England has had so much success using. The Falcons are dangerous, with the receiving duo of Julio Jones and Mohammed Sanu, but the Patriots have aggressive defensive back play. I look forward to seeing New England back in NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. They have won there before, and there won’t be any troubles with getting a victory there again. The pair of Belichick and Brady is looking for revenge against NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for the hate and disownment. After the “Deflategate” scandal making headlines since 2014, all the Pats are focusing on is hoisting the Vince Lombardi trophy once again. Some may always root for the underdog team, but many fans love to see the legacy of a football god relish in the Super Bowl. Football fans of the NFL have feared this New England team for years. Their dominance is going to show up BIG TIME down in Houston.
Super Bowl Notes
It will be a day of specials, commercials, food, and oh, yes, football, Sunday, Feb. 5. The show starts at 6:30 p.m. on Fox, but the parties begin much earlier in the day.
This is Super Bowl LI, 51, and Lady Gaga gets the halftime spotlight. Country performer Like Bryan sings the National Anthem.
Programming begins at 11 a.m. on Fox with the annual NFL “Road to the Super Bowl” documentary.
From noon to 2 p.m. various celebrities vie for attention, but pre-game begins officially on Fox at 2 p.m., lasting up to the game itself at 6:30 p.m. Even President Donald Trump will be featured that afternoon as fans await the big game.