On Sunday, the Patriots and the Falcons will face off in Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. Both the Patriots and Falcons trounced their opponents in their title games. Super Bowl LI will kick off at 6:30 PM. ET.
The Falcons have ripped through the NFC on their way to the Super Bowl, and looking at their offense, it’s easy to see why. Against the Packers in the NFC Championship, the Falcons’ offense dominated passing the ball. Falcon’s wide receiver, Julio Jones, was unstoppable, putting up 180 yards on nine receptions for two scores. And it’s not just Jones. The Falcons receiving core is deep. Quarterback, Matt Ryan, has a plethora of receivers to get the ball to. Along with Jones, the Patriots will need to stop Mohamed Sanu, and the Falcons’ two pass catching backs, Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman.
The focus has been heavily on the Falcons offense facing the Patriots defense. But, while the Falcons have a tremendously talented offense, the better question is how will the Falcons stop the Patriots. The Falcons haven’t faced any real challengers in the playoffs. Atlanta beat the Packers 44-21 in the NFC Championship game, and before that, they beat Seattle 36-20 in the Divisional Round. Both of these teams are solid teams, but neither played Atlanta at full strength.
The Patriots are a different beast. Atlanta is a good team having a great year, but New England is the team of the decade. The Falcons might have more talent, but the Patriots have Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. The amount of football knowledge between the two future hall of famers could rival the library of babel or the Citadel Library. Regardless of how well Matt Ryan is playing this year, or how great his receivers are playing, the Patriots have a huge advantage at quarterback.
The Falcons offense has been historically great this year. They’ve produced one of the best offenses in NFL history. How are the Patriots going to stop the Falcons then? The Patriots will need to take the Falcons’ top offense weapon. That’s Julio Jones. The Patriots defense doesn’t want to allow a big play to beat them, so they’ll absolutely need to double down on Jones. Ideally, the Patriots will not cover Jones with Butler. If the Patriots can cover Jones with a secondary corner, like Logan Ryan or Eric Rowe, then Butler will be free to cover Sanu in man-to-man coverage.
That leaves Matt Ryan with his two running backs. This is easily the hardest matchup for the Patriots to match. Enter Patrick Chung and the Patriots safeties. The Patriots have used Chung to cover athletic running backs in previous matchups. Whether or not the Patriots can matchup with the Falcons running backs coming out of the backfield will go along way in deciding this game.
The Patriots offensive line is another storyline that’s gone unnoticed. The Falcons need to generate pressure to knock Brady off his spot. In all the Patriots’ Super Bowl losses, the Patriots struggled to protect Brady. The blueprint to beating Brady and the Patriots is disrupting the offensive rhythm. If the Patriots offensive line can protect Brady, he will find the weaknesses in the Falcons young secondary.
The biggest X-factor for the Patriots is Dion Lewis and James White. The two pass catching backs are Brady’s best mismatches against the Falcons defense. The Patriots are 16-0 when Lewis has played over the past two seasons.
Falcons Vs Patriots Betting Lines
Super Bowl LI features the two best teams this season. The Falcons number one scoring offense will face the Patriots number one scoring defense. Atlanta creates a lot of mismatches for the Patriots defense, but so does the Patriots offense. The most insulted unit in this Super Bowl is the Patriots defense. No one thinks that the Patriots defense can match the Falcons offense. But they can, and they will. Expect Matt Patricia, New England’s’ defensive coordinator, to have a few different looks to confuse the Falcons offense. On Sunday, the best receiver on the field wont’ be Julio Jones; Julian Edelman will hold that honor. Expect Brady and Belichick to get the victory and cement their legacy as the greatest quarterback and coach combination in sports history.
Play: Patriots -3 @ BetOnline.ag