Super Bowl 51 Preview/Predictions
Super Bowl 51 is right around the corner. Nearly two weeks ago, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots tore apart the Pittsburgh Steelers, advancing to their 7th Super Bowl since 2001. Meanwhile, Matt Ryan and the red-hot Atlanta Falcons exposed the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship. Matt Ryan, the likely NFL MVP for the 2016 season, has been playing lights out this season despite recent criticism. Will this game be Tom Brady’s last if he wins, similar to Peyton Manning last year? Or, will Matt Ryan completely change his legacy by beating one of the all-time greats? Both teams have been playing their best in each of their playoff games. Will either team be able to stop the other’s high powered offense? Which team will go home as Super Bowl Champions? Let’s breakdown this game and give our predictions!
New England Patriots (14-2) vs Atlanta Falcons (11-5)
- Kickoff: 5:30 PM CST
- Location: NRG Stadium (Houston, TX)
- Odds: NE -3.0
- Over/Under: 59
Case for New England: The Patriots have been dominating all season long. Tom Brady has lost only one game this season. The Patriots made a joke out of the AFC, winning both games while barely breaking a sweat. The Patriots have one of the best offenses, with Tom Brady playing nearly perfect throughout this season (28 TDs, 2 INTs). Atlanta’s defense is going to struggle to keep up with the Patriots. Josh McDaniels and Bill Belichick will have a game plan ready. I think this is a good matchup for New England, where they can score more than 30 points on Sunday night. While we could talk about the New England offense all day, their defense has also played exceptionally well this year (#1 ranked scoring defense in the NFL). While defensive statistics may be flawed, this group has proven to be one of the most consistent in the NFL. I think they will be prepared to take Julio out of the game and slow down the Falcons two-headed monster in the backfield. I think if the Patriots get out to an early lead, the Falcons will force the ball downfield too often, which could result in many turnovers. If New England can put some pressure on Matt Ryan early, I think they will leave this game as champions.
Case for Atlanta: If we wanted to talk about an explosive offense, look no further than the 2016 Atlanta Falcons. This group has so many playmakers and put up insane numbers in the box score. Offensively, Matt Ryan has been playing lights out. Julio Jones, arguably the best receiver in the NFL, continues to overpower defenders and dominate the passing game. While the Patriots have been dominant on defense this year, the group lacks a good win over an elite quarterback (excluding last week). I think the Falcons are more than capable of scoring 30+ points come Sunday night. Defensively, the Falcons are a liability. While they have many stars on this side of the ball, this group is not very consistent overall. This group has benefited from their offense scoring a lot of points, forcing opposing teams to play catch-up. In the Super Bowl, I think the Falcons should take chances on the defensive side of the ball. If not, Tom Brady is going to pick them apart all night. If they can force a few turnover and make the Patriots uncomfortable, the Falcons could walk out Super Bowl 51 champions.
Prediction: New England 38, Atlanta 20
MVP Prediction: Tom Brady, QB, New England – 28/37, 322 YDs, 3 TDs
Difference of Game: Atlanta’s defense not being able to keep up with Tom Brady and his offensive weapons.