Steve Penepent | @puma585
Saturday, February 4, 2017
It has finally arrived, Super Bowl 51! Probably the two hottest teams in the league made their way to Houston and all signs are pointing to an offensive showdown. The Patriots are favored but the Falcons are not just offense, they have a nice defense too.
New England Patriots vs. Atlanta Falcons
The Patriots in the 1st quarter this season have scored 130 points which is 2nd in the league. The Falcons have scored 139 points in the 1st quarter this season, which is 1st. For all you gamblers out there, the Falcons are 10-6 against the spread, 6-1 as the underdog (which they are), but 3-5 at home (Atlanta is the home team). The Patriots are 11-5 against the spread, 10-5 as the favorite, and 6-2 on the road. The Coin Flip has been heads 24 times and tails 26 times. The Patriots are currently the favorites but the betting favorite has lost the last 7 Super Bowls. The Patriots are in their 9th Super Bowl in franchise history, 7th in the Brady/Belichick era. The Falcons are in their 2nd Super Bowl in their history. A fun fact is that the NFC South is the only division since realignment in 2002 to send every team to a Super Bowl.
The Patriots do everything well and you never know who you have to key on game to game, which will make the Falcons defense work hard but I can see LeGarrette Blount having a nice day on the ground to force the Falcons to creep up and stop the run giving Brady a chance to test that secondary with little safety help. The Falcons, though 7 of their starting 11 on defense are 1st & 2nd year players, are very fast and they have a nice pass rushing tandem in Vic Beasley and Deion Jones which may test the Patriots 10th ranked offensive line. But Atlanta has the 25th ranked defense in the regular season which was bailed out by its number 2 offense. The Patriots have the 8th ranked defense and 4th ranked offense. The over/under is 59 so it could be a shootout in Houston. I want so badly in my heart of hearts for the Patriots to lose but Atlanta defense hasn’t faced Tom Brady and he seems to thrive in games like this. My heart is in Atlanta, but my head is in Foxboro.
My Pick: New England Patriots