Super Bowl 51 Preview
The stage is set. Super Bowl LI is finally upon us. The Atlanta Falcons will take on the New England Patriots in Houston on Sunday, February 5. This Super Bowl looks poised to be an offensive shootout as both teams routed their opponents in their respective Conference Championship games. With a spread of three points and an estimated total score of 59 ½ points for the over-under bets, this game is anyone’s to win.
The Atlanta Falcons are 13-5 up to this point, most recently dismantling Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in last week’s NFC Championship game. The Falcons boast the highest scoring offense of the season and will look to continue that trend in their first Super Bowl appearance in 17 years, though they’re up against a stiff Patriots defense.
Their relentless offense is led by quarterback Matt Ryan, who is touted as an MVP-hopeful after putting up remarkable numbers for the season. Ryan averaged 300+ passing yards a game with an overall passer rating of 117.1. These numbers make him one of four quarterbacks to put up numbers like that in the history of the game. In the postseason, Ryan continued his MVP caliber performance by helping the Falcons average 40 points in the playoffs.
Although Ryan is having a historic year, the Falcons wouldn’t be as successful without their other offensive weapons. RB Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman lighting up opponents, you can expect the running game to be a big factor for the Falcons. WR Julio Jones looks like a champion already, decimating the Packers defense in the AFC Championship game. WR Mohamed Sanu provides yet another weapon for Ryan. If the Falcons want a shot at winning the ‘ship, they have to come out fast and leave their foot on the gas. You can’t waste a possession against the Patriots, especially when Tom Brady hits his stride.
The Falcons defense hasn’t shown much promise throughout the reason, ranking amongst the highest in points allowed. This is why it’s crucial for their offense to get going right out of the gate. They did just that in the NFC Championship, going 24-0 up on the Packers before halftime. If they can build their lead fast enough, they may give their defense enough cushion to survive Brady’s offensive onslaught.
The Patriots are looking to secure their 5th Championship in the Brady-Belichick era and look ready as ever after their 36-17 thrashing of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Even without star TE Rob Gronkowski (who is on IR), the Patriots were firing on all cylinders. Tom Brady played to his usual level of dominance, completing 32 of 40 throws for 300+ yards. His main targets were Julian Edelman and Chris Hogan, the latter emerging as the unsung hero of the game with nine catches for 180 yards and two touchdowns. The receiver was practically unknown after being cut from several times, but he sure made his mark in last Sunday’s AFC Championship game and will surely be on both Brady’s and the Atlanta’s defensive radars.
What really killed the Steelers was the turnovers. The Patriots defense was relentless in their pursuit of the ball—forcing fumbles, catching interceptions, it was a defensive masterclass. If the defense can somehow repeat their stellar performance against the Falcons’ explosive offense, they may be able to hold off Matt Ryan and Co. from building up too much of lead. Either way, with Brady as their quarterback, the Patriots aren’t too concerned about their offensive output.
Super Bowl LI should be one of the most exciting ones in recent years. With two high-octane offenses like these, it’s sure to be one to remember. Check out the following link if you are looking for a reputable online sportsbook to legally bet on the Super Bowl this year. We are going with the Falcons +3 and the over 58 buying the hook. I know the Patriots are known for shutting down the top dogs on the opposing team, but I just think Atlanta is playing their best ball right now and have been stopped very little as of late. For the most part when they get the ball, they are making good things happen and I'm a what have you done for me lately kind of gambler.