Well ladies and gentlemen, the time is nigh. Records have been set, bones have been broken, emotions have run high and all 256 regular season and 10 playoff games have been played in the National Football League. There remains only one: the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl has gone from an average, run-of-the-mill football game to something of a countrywide spectacular event. With million dollar commercials, celebrity performances and of course, world titles, the Super Bowl is not a game to be missed, even for those who don’t care for the sport.
This year sees the Atlanta Falcons take on the New England Patriots. One team has a record 9 Super Bowl appearances (4 of which they won) and the other has yet to even win one. The Patriots are no stranger to the spotlight, with Brady and Belichick accounting for all four of those Super Bowl wins. Falcons QB, Matt Ryan, on the other hand has never even been to a Super Bowl, which could potentially put a great amount of pressure on him.
As far as statistics are concerned, the Patriots also have the upper hand, with an intimidating defense that allowed only 250 points all season long, and the standard, fully functional offense that Brady has been running since 2000. While the Falcons’ offense has been red-hot, especially in the playoffs, the same cannot be said about their defense. Totalling a whopping 371.2 yards and 25 points allowed per game during the regular season, the Falcons must fix whatever is broken about their defense, otherwise, Brady and co. will definitely take advantage.
The Falcons should also focus on striking as quickly as possible,in order to get the advantage over New England and never let the Pats take the lead. Ryan’s fourth-quarter QBR for the regular season was 54.3%, and what’s worse, when trailing, his final two-minute rating was 2.2%. Getting the lead early, and keeping it, is definitely key to an Atlanta victory. The Falcons also have an amazing weapon in wide receiver Julio Jones who earned an NFL-high of 100.6 yards per game!
While it may seem like the odds are stacked against the Falcons, I have the utmost faith in my former team to pull away with a victory. Matt Ryan is currently on a hot streak, with 730 passing yards, seven touchdowns and zero interceptions in only two games. If they can continue their momentum early and just stay ahead of the Brady Bunch, they will do just fine.