2017 Super Bowl Prediction: Falcons defeat Patriots

Two  years ago, with less than one minute to play, Tom Brady helplessly stood on the sideline watching the jumbo tron.  He was about to lose his third Super Bowl in a row.

With 25 seconds left in the game Patriots defensive back, Malcom Bulter, beat the Seahawks’ receiver (who was too busy flopping) to the ball and secured the victory with a game winning interception.

Tom was jumping up and down celebrating and screaming like a little school girl.  He had won his fourth Super Bowl ring, and the game MVP.

He went from losing this third in a row to winning his fourth Super Bowl title, all due to the most controversial call in Super Bowl history.  So how did Tom fare with the other Super Bowl?

Super Bowl XXXVI: Patriots 20, Rams 17  (+3)
Super Bowl XXXVIII: Patriots 32, Panthers 29  (+3)
Super Bowl XXXIX: Patriots 24, Eagles 21 (+3)
Super Bowl XLII: Giants 17, Patriots 14 (-3)
Super Bowl XLVI: Giants 21, Patriots 17 (-4)
Super Bowl XLIX: Patriots 28, Seahawks 24 (+4)

If the Seattle Seahawks had handed the ball to running back Marshawn Lynch the Patriots would have lost 31-28, it would have been his fifth Super Bowl with a three point spread.  If we know one thing about today’s game, it will be close.

Everyone keeps talking about the number one defense in the New England Patriots facing the number one offense in the Atlanta Falcons.  The commentators are wrong.

As you can see from NFL.com, in the regular season the New England Patriots are only found as the third best rush defense.

regularseason

So how did the New England Patriots fair during the post season? Surely there is a reason everyone is calling them the number one defense????

Here are the post season stats:

postseason

Once again, the logo of the New England Patriots isn’t shown.  They do not have the number one defense in the NFL.  On the contrary, the Atlanta Falcons are rolling right now.  Falcon’s head coach, Dan Quinn, knows how to play the New England Patriots offense, he knows about big games, and will have his team ready.

Will Matt Ryan step up?  Probably not, he has a sort of Peyton Manning type shrinking element that Tony Gonzales pointed out in an interview with ESPN the Magazine in 2014.  Gonzalez said, “Matt’s an excellent quarterback, but he’s not elite. He’s this close. He’ll get there, but he has some learning to do.”

In my opinion, it’s the offense line for the Atlanta Falcons that has really stepped up these past few weeks. They have given Ryan plenty of time to get the ball to his talented skill players.  The Seattle Seahawks have a much better front seven and they couldn’t get to Ryan.  He is getting the ball out very quickly and enjoying the show like everyone else.

His favorite target is Julio Jones.  We know how the New England Patriots match up to big, strong, receivers in the Super Bowl.  Poorly.  Two years ago, they struggled against an unknown receiver named Chris Mathews.  Mathews was big, 6 foot 5 inches, 218 pounds and torched the Patriots for 109 yards on just four receptions.  They couldn’t contain him until Patriots DB, and former Seattle Seahawk, Brandon Browner lined up against him.  Browner is also big. 6’4″ and 220 pounds.

None of the New England Patriots starters in the secondary are 6 foot.  Some of the backups are 6 foot but none exceed 6’1″.   Assuming he is 100% healthy, Julio Jones will win this year’s Super Bowl MVP.

This will be a close game, in fact it may be the first Super Bowl to go into overtime.  My pick (My 2017 NFL Prediction Record: 8-2) is the with dirty bird.

Atlanta Falcons:  31  New England Patriots:  24 

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