Superbowl LI Preview

AFTER 266 games of NFL football this year, there is just one remaining. Fittingly both these teams deserve to be in the final game of the year showcasing their elite talents throughout the year, with both quarterbacks being mentioned as MVP favourites. Who will walk away with the Lombardi trophy on Sunday?

Why Atlanta Will Win

THIS season Matt Ryan has taken a massive step forwards leading one of the most dominant offensive forces in recent memory. Ryan has had a career year with an unprecedented QBR of 117.1 leading the league. His continued hook up with Julio Jones saw the star wide receiver post impressive numbers with regularity (look no further than the 300 yards he put up against the Panthers in Week 4), beating defenders downfield to streak into the end zone. The Falcons are more than just Matt Ryan to Julio Jones though. They possess a ton of weapons on offense with the likes of Mohamed Sanu, Tevin Coleman, Taylor Gabriel and Devonta Freeman all helping shoulder the load. If the Falcons are to win on Sunday their offense will need to be clicking, but more importantly their defense needs to step up and try to shut down Tom Brady and co. The Atlanta defense has slowly caught up to the offensive sides dominance this year, but they will need to bring their A game to slow down a Brady led offense.

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Why New England Will Win

TOM Brady and Bill Belichick are back at the Superbowl for the seventh time in their careers looking for win number five. If Brady can win his fifth ring that very well may close the book on the G.O.A.T arguement, but that’s a story for another day. Even without his star tight end this year, Brady has dominated in ways we have never seen him do before. He threw for a ridiculous 28 touchdowns and TWO interceptions this season after serving his four game suspension. Much like Atlanta the Patriots are very multi-dimensional on offense and can cause problems in a number of areas. The way I think they can win though is by running the ball down the Falcons throat. They are lucky to possess a trio of running backs that cause problems for any defense. James White, Dion Lewis and LeGarrette Blount will all see time on the field, but Blount is the most important. He led the NFL in rushing touchdowns this season and if he can jam the ball downfield past the Atlanta defense and into the end zone that is where they can win the game. That also frees Brady up in the passing game to pick and choose his receivers for yardage at will. Their defense will have it’s work cut out for them covering an elite Falcons offense, but it’s a challenge that they can definitely step up to and win.

Key Matchup – Julio Jones vs. Malcolm Butler

AS mentioned above Julio has made a habit of burning downfield for big gains this season, and if he can do so on Sunday the Patriots can kiss the Superbowl goodbye. Many media experts and analysts are predicting New England to throw multiple defenders at him, but he will mainly be matched up with Malcolm Butler. Butler has had a big moment in a Superbowl before and whoever wins this exciting matchup can very much swing the momentum of the game in one teams favour.

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Prediction: New England Patriots 33 – Atlanta Falcons 30

WITH every fibre in my body I want to see the underdog Falcons get a win here. While they haven’t been the best team all year, Matt Ryan and co are an exciting bunch striving for the franchises first title. That being said there is something special about watching Tom Brady chase history and cement himself as probably the greatest footballer ever. Either way this game should be entertaining, high scoring and go down to the wire, which as a football fan is all we can really ask for. The Patriots get the slight edge thanks to Tom Brady’s big game poise with he and Belichick winning ring #5.

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