The Atlanta Falcons will face off against the New England Patriots.
The Atlanta Falcons have an offense for the ages. Matt Ryan has had a stellar season, posting a 38:7 touchdown to interception ratio with a passer rating of 117.1. He threw for 4,944 yards, only trailing Drew Brees in that category, and completed nearly 70% of his passes. Ryan is easily a top candidate for the MVP award and he is not the only weapon the Falcons have on offense.
Julio Jones finished the year with 1,409 receiving yards, good for second in the league. Julio Jones brings the skill and athleticism of Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham and adds in his 6’3” frame to become an unstoppable force at wide receiver. However, he too is not alone in this offense.
In fact, the Falcons set an NFL record this season by having 13 different players score a touchdown. Two of those players were the Falcons running backs, Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. Freeman and Coleman combined for over 1,500 yards rushing and 800 yards receiving, scoring 24 touchdowns in total.
The Falcons offense is one of the most dynamic and dangerous groups ever entering the Super Bowl. Their defense is a different story. While it has been improving throughout the last half of the season, it is still the weak link in their team.
Despite this, the Falcons X-factor in this game could be Vic Beasley, who led the league in sacks, with 15.5, while also forcing six fumbles. He is a wrecking ball on that side of the ball and Tom Brady and company will have to be aware of him.
The Patriots have a record of their this year. They went to their sixth straight AFC Championship last week and this will be their ninth appearance in the Super Bowl, also good for the highest of any team.
Tom Brady has matched Matt Ryan’s display of excellence, posting a 28-2 touchdown to interception ratio and thrown for 3,554 yards despite missing his first four games.
The Patriots don’t quite have the superstar players outside of their quarterback that the Falcons do, but they have weapons in the form of receivers Julian Edelman and Chris Hogan and running backs LeGarrette Blount and Dion Lewis.
Their offense doesn’t match up with the Falcons, but the Patriots own a much better defense. Dont’a Hightower leads a defense that allowed the fewest points of any team.
The only criticism skeptics have is the strength of the opponents that they have held to these low totals, but they did limit Antonio Brown and Ben Roethlisberger in the AFC Championship. They will be put to the test against Atlanta.
This game should feature two MVPs dueling while the young defenses attempt to stop the other team’s offense. However it ends, it should be a spectacle to watch. It may even be better than whatever Doritos or Pepsi gives us in the breaks.