After a lackluster NFL postseason, where fans have seen just two competitive games out of the ten that have been played, the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots are left standing when all of the dust settled. These two teams will battle it out in Super Bowl LI on Feb. 5, at 6:30 p.m., to see who will be raising the Lombardi Trophy in victory and leaving their mark in history.
The 51st NFL Super Bowl will feature two of this year’s top quarterbacks, Tom Brady and Matt Ryan. This game will also feature the league’s top scoring offense as well as the league’s top defense in points allowed. The Falcons offense averaged 33.8 points per game during the regular season, while the Patriots defense gave up only 15.6 points per game during the regular season.
When looking at the head-to-head match-up between the two teams, it is clear that, on paper, the Patriots will have the upper hand. New England has the NFL’s third ranked offense and the number one ranked defense compared to Atlanta’s number one ranked offense and 23rd ranked defense.
With an offense as dominate as Atlanta’s and a defense as powerful as New England’s, it’s hard to tell who has the upper hand in this match-up. The Patriots are 7-6 all-time against the Falcons since 2001. With Brady as quarterback, New England has won their last four match-ups against the Falcons by an average of 10 points.
According to OddsShark, the Patriots are a three-point favorite, however, as history has shown, you can never count out the underdog on the biggest stage of them all.
You can expect experience to be a huge factor in this game for both teams. The Falcons will be playing in their first Super Bowl since the 1999 season, where they lost to the Denver Broncos 34-19, so it should be interesting to see how they are able to respond when things are going in New England’s favor.
The Patriots should be able to handle the pressure because this will be the teams NFL-best ninth Super Bowl appearance. Head Coach Bill Belichick and Brady have led the Patriots in seven of these appearances while managing to win four of them.
Many NFL fans are predicting this Super Bowl to be a high-scoring game with a total set at 58.5 points. The game may very well be determined by which team is able to put the most pressure on the opposing quarterback, causing them to move out of their spot in the pocket and forcing them to make a mistake. If this is true, then expect to see the Patriots raising the Lombardi Trophy in victory on Feb. 5.