For most NFL fans Super Bowl LI is finally here and it means hanging out with friends, making some friendly bets and enjoying in a game that excites, enthralls and inspires the nation. It’s only a few hours from now, and fans will find out if the New England Patriots have a fifth Super Bowl in them, or if the Atlanta Falcons have claimed their first trophy.
Tonight, the Falcons and the Patriots will face off in Houston as they play out their strategies to win Super Bowl LI. Atlanta will be excited and working hard to win their first Super Bowl title, in what will be just their second appearance in the NFL’s championship game. In their 51-year franchise history they’ve only had two changes and they don’t intend on wasting tonight’s. The Patriots on the other hand will be making ninth trip to the big dance, trying to attain their fifth Vince Lombardi Trophy.
Sunday’s game will be very exciting and full of interesting battles as the NFL’s top scoring defense will come head to head with the league’s top scoring offense.
It’s a matchup that will provide a lot of offensive action since it will showcase two of the league’s premier passers, New England’s QB Tom Brady, and Atlanta’s QB Matt Ryan. They will also feature two high-energy rushing duos with the Patriots’ LeGarrette Blount and Dion Lewis, and the Falcons’ Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. Just watching these two sets of players face off will be worthwhile enough to bunker down and stay glued to the tube.
But it won’t be just about offense, it never is since it’s a defense that can win you a Super Bowl ring. At this level, the game’s outcome can easily come down to which defense is able to show up and do what it takes to shut down its opponent. With these offenses who are effective and machine-like, New England vs. Atlanta is not at all that surprising since both teams finished in the top three in the league in scoring. That’s why if eithet teams doesn’t score on a drive or two, it could make all the difference between winning or losing.
The Pats are favored though by a measly three points going into tonight’s battle but there are many experts who think the Falcons are the ones who’ll be carrying their first Lombardi Trophy home, Sunday night.
Yes, New England does have a small advantage due to its superior defense, who was ranked first in scoring during the regular season, but have no doubt Atlanta’s offense can definitely keep pace with the Pats.
That’s why it’s such a fascinating matchup. A lot on the surface seems similar about these teams. Brady and Ryan are the two best quarterbacks in the league for the 2016-17 campaign, both take advantage of a strong pass protection and pocket, and they have a huge arsenal of special plays and weapons they can pull out at any time and use at their disposal. It should be a high scoring game since both QBs will want to put on a show.
The Patriots edge on defense is minor. Neither team will be able to rush the passer – they’ll have to take away the deep ball and test their opponents’ willingness to play patiently and chip away at the score.
With two of the game’s great quarterbacks going toe to toe it should be an exciting speed chess match. Ryan set NFL records galore this season in leading an all-time great offense, And Brady who possibly is the greatest passer of all time.
Ryan has quarterbacked the best offense in the league and has delivered week in, week out with many errors. He is a perfect distributor and a precise decision maker. Brady, on the other hand has had an up and down year but it has ended on a positive note in a deciding game which was the season’s last. Strangely enough, due to his many appearances, at the end of Super Bowl 51, Brady will have quarterbacked in 14% of all Super Bowls! So if he wins, he will undisputedly be the greatest QB of all time. Lose and he’ll probably be up there anyway. When it comes to experience, there’s almost nothing he hasn’t seen or prepared for. At 39 years old, he’s getting better and better. So this could be the crown jewel in his grid-iron reign.
Bettors, it will be close, and if the defense hows up it might also be a little lower scoring than most are predicting. If Atlanta starts strong, it could go their way. But many believe that Brady has at least one more Lombardi trophy left in his repertoire, so he won’t give up easily on Sunday.
Atlanta’s plan will be to rush a usually unshakable Brady, by getting their hands up and applying pressure to make him rush just a little sooner than usual in the pocket, and they will try to disrupt his throwing tempo and get him off rhythm. The Patriots will probably try the same thing to slow down Ryan, getting him outside of the pocket and forcing him into making costly mistakes that cause turnovers. Whoever can apply this tactic the best, is the one who will walk away with the trophy. Since turnovers are likely to decide the outcome of the game, it’s not about who will win this game, but who will lose it by giving it away.