This Sunday, thousands of football fans will flock to Houston’s NRG Stadium to watch one of the biggest sporting events in the country. This Sunday, February 5, is Superbowl 51. This entire football season, 32 teams fought and played for a spot in the game of all games, the Superbowl. When the season started, 32 teams were in the running for the Lombardi Trophy. After the regular season was over, there were only 12 teams left in the running. This Sunday, two teams will battle it out for another Superbowl Ring.
Representing the NFC, the Atlanta Falcons will be coming to Houston with something to prove, as they have only played in one Superbowl and have no ring to show for it. Representing the AFC, the polarizing New England Patriots, who seek to add a fifth Superbowl ring to their collection.
This year, the Atlanta Falcons have boasted the leagues highest scoring offense, scoring an average of 33 points per game. On the other side, the New England Patriots defense has allowed the fewest point this season, allowing an average of only 16 points per game. In the past five Superbowls where the highest scoring team played the team with the fewest allowed points, the team with the fewest allowed points won the Superbowl. If you look at this stat alone, the odds aren’t looking so good for the Atlanta Falcons.
Luckily there are more areas to look at as well. While the Tom Brady/Rob Gronskowski duo is the stuff legends are made of, one cannot count on that as Gronkowski will be sitting this one out due to back surgery back in December.
With that being said, it is hard to overlook how on fire the MattRyan/Julio Jones duo has been this year. Julio Jones recorded 83 receptions for over 1,400 yards and six touchdowns this season. Its also hard to overlook the Devonta Freeman/Tevin Coleman rushing attack that boasted 345 Rushing attempts for 1599 yards and 19 Touchdowns.
There were those who discounted the Falcons due to the fact they always seem to fall apart in the post season, but that definitely did not happen this year.
Comparing the two Quarterbacks this year; Tom Brady threw for 3,554 yards, 28 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions during the 12 weeks he played this year. Matt Ryan threw for 4,944 yards, 38 touchdowns, and 7 interceptions. If you average out Tom Brady’s performance and calculate for a 16 game start this season, Brady would be around 4,738 yards, 37 Touchdowns, and three interceptions. With Tom Brady’s averaged stats, the two QBs are very close in regards to stats and performance.
While the Patriots defense has allowed the fewest points this year against opposing offenses, it is also hard to discount the Atlanta Falcons pass rush. A good pass rush seems to be Tom Brady’s kryptonite. The Atlanta Falcons have recorded 34 sacks this year against opposing Quarterbacks. The Falcons pass rush has done nothing but continue to improve throughout the season, and I see no reason why this trend won’t continue through this weekend.
This does not fare well for Tom Brady. The big question is, can the Atlanta Falcons offense overcome that Patriots defense who allowed the fewest points, and can the Patriots overcome the Atlanta pass rush and contain Julio Jones and the red hot Falcons offense?
The Patriots hold an advantage in the fact that this will be their seventh Superbowl with Tom Brady at the Helm and the ninth Superbowl appearance for the Patriots, and it will be Matt Ryan’s first Superbowl appearance and the Falcons second Superbowl appearance. In the end, Superbowl 51 should prove to be a very well played game and one that won’t soon be forgotten.
With that being said, a Gronkless Tom Brady and the New England defense won’t be able to overcome the Matt Ryan/Julio Jones duo and the Atlanta pass rush that could reach its pinnacle on Sunday. Atlanta walks away with their first Superbowl ring after a hard fought game. Final score prediction: Atlanta Falcons 27, New England Patriots 21.