It’s that time of year again. The NFL season has one game left.
The world will be watching. The infamous New England Patriots will be in the Super Bowl again but this time it is against the relatively obscure Atlanta Falcons.
The Atlanta Falcons have existed for 51 years and have a record of 350 wins 449 losses and 6 ties compared to the Pats 476 wins 383 losses and 9 ties. These two franchises that have had completely different paths in NFL history.
The Dirty Birds have been to one Super Bowl and lost to the Denver Broncos in 1999. The Patriots have won four championships.
Brady and Belichick
To be brutally honest, I am not a fan of the Patriots because they are so damn good (I am a Jacksonville Jaguars fan so it’s easy to be envious of success). They are the team that everybody hates but wants their team to emulate. The ‘all-time great’ combination of; quarterback Tom Brady, and head coach Bill Belichick, is the main reason for New England’s sustained success.
Tom Brady is a future hall of famer. He is 39 years old, a twelve-time pro bowler, including four Super Bowl victories, and is fourth all time in passing yards and touchdown passes.
He will go down as THE greatest quarterback in NFL history if he wins as no quarterback has ever won five.
One side note. The Patriots are 16 and 0 over the past two years when their running back, Dion Lewis, is playing. Watch out because he is the X factor in this game as he is a do it all type of player that helps out all over the offense.
Bill Belichick is one of the greatest defensive minds ever. A key component of his 42-year-old coaching tactics is something that his father taught him from his days as a football coach and scout at the United States Naval Academy; ‘Stop the other team’s best player.’
That would mean trying to stop the Falcon’s wide receiver, Julio Jones. Since Jones entered the league in 2011, he has 486 catches, 7,454 receiving yards and 40 touchdowns and is widely regarded as one of the best three receivers in the NFL.
He can literally do it all.
He will be a challenge to stop.
Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons
Remarkably, the Falcons scored the 7th most points in league history (540 points) this NFL season with this potent offense being led by quarterback Matt Ryan and the aforementioned Jones.
However, this team is much more than that.
They have two fantastic running backs in Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman and they represent the thunder and lightning in the ground game. Outside of Julio Jones, they also have wide receivers in Mohamed Sanu, Taylor Gabriel, and Justin Hardy.
All of this is bolstered by their much improved offensive line, that gives weight to the fact that; “Football games are won and lost in the trenches”. The Falcons offensive line is world’s better than last years and this is the key to the Falcons beating the Patriots. They need to run the ball to win.
The best way to beat the Patriots are to hit Tom Brady as often as possible and to keep him on the sidelines. If the Falcons can control the ball for as long as possible and score touchdowns instead of field goals, they have a very good chance of winning this game.
It seems like such a longshot but the Falcons have an incredible offense that will be facing off against Belichick’s brilliant defensive mind. Deflategate has been a topic of much controversy for Tom Brady but I feel like it has consumed him too much and will be talked about constantly in the time leading up to Sunday. The Falcons also have a terrific defensive minded head coach in Dan Quinn. He has won a Super Bowl as defensive coordinator with the Seattle Seahawks and nearly beat the Patriots back in Super Bowl 49. He knows how to beat the unbeatable New England team.
Let’s go for an in depth prediction. I have a gut feeling about the Falcons winning this game.
Atlanta 31 – New England 27
Matt Ryan scores with a little over two minutes to go and leaves Tom Brady with just enough time for one of his famous game winning drives (as he has 49 in his career). Except this time he throws an interception to seal the game and give the Falcons their first ever Super Bowl victory.
Written by; Justin Rasile