It all comes down to this—the Patriots opposite a Falcons in a final 4 buliding of a NFL season. In a arise of a rather muted organisation of games via a playoffs—save for Packers-Cowboys, of course—expectations are high for this strife between stellar offenses in Houston.
New England has once again warranted a mark in a large game, going 14–2 this deteriorate (and starting 3–1 as their quarterback served his suspension, in box we forgot) en track to a AFC’s No. 1 seed. After rolling by a Texans and a Steelers this postseason, Tom Brady’s and Bill Belichick’s team is chasing their second pretension in 3 season, and fifth given 2001.
Atlanta, in their second ever Super Bowl appearance, put adult double-digit wins for usually a ninth time in organisation history, finishing 11–5 with a NFC’s No. 2 seed. The Dan Quinn-led organisation stomped a Seahawks and a Packers, and their hopes are set on hoisting a Lombardi Trophy for a initial time ever.
So what can we design from dual teams that scored no fewer than 34 points in a playoffs so far? SI’s NFL writers and editors make their predictions for a winner, a diversion score, a game’s many profitable actor and favorite column bets.
It’s usually about unfit to collect opposite a Patriots in a Super Bowl when they are personification any organisation that is not named a New York Giants. There seems to be a flourishing faith this week among fans and pundits that New England is going to win in a blowout, nonetheless we cruise that continues a season-long miss of honour for usually how good this Atlanta offense is. But Belichick and Co. have a story of crude record environment offenses (see Greatest Show on Turf, Super Bowl XXXVI) and will find a approach to force a receiver other than Julio Jones to kick them. we cruise a Patriots will bruise LeGarrette Blount early and often, opposite a smaller Falcons defense, control a time and win a tighten one with some some-more late-game Brady heroics.
MVP: Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots
Prop gamble we like: Will a call be heads or tails on a silver toss? I doubt you’ll be means to find this column gamble in any places that have finished their due diligence, nonetheless maybe your genuine crony or co-worker will take a bait. Why? It’s a lock. The Patriots are a “visiting team” so they will call a toss. And a Patriots always select heads on silver tosses. Always. we doubt Belichick will change that devise now.
Start with a dual best quarterbacks in a game, supplement in mixed receiving weapons with a lurch of dual-threat using backs and finish it off with arguably a best play-callers in a joining right now, and we have a potentially bomb Super Bowl LI matchup. No matter that modernized metric we demeanour at, this deteriorate Atlanta’s Matt Ryan and New England’s Tom Brady were a NFL’s No. 1 and No. 2 quarterbacks, respectively, mixing for 66 touchdowns and usually 9 interceptions. The Falcons reason a slight corner offensively; their 540 points was tied for eighth-most all time. But a Patriots aren’t accurately unfair (third in a NFL with 441 points notwithstanding losing parsimonious finish Rob Gronkowski midseason). But this diversion will come down to defensive stops. As it stands right now, it’s tough to see a Falcons negligence Brady down, nonetheless they also have dual weeks to devise and a assistance of a integrate of Bill Belichick protégés (GM Thomas Dimitroff and partner GM Scott Pioli) who can advise Dan Quinn. The Patriots’ invulnerability competence be stocked with relations no-names, nonetheless they will have good thought-out skeleton to delayed Atlanta.
MVP: LeGarrette Blount, RB, New England Patriots
Prop gamble we like: Total points after a initial quarter—under 13.5. The Patriots haven’t scored in a initial entertain of any of their Super Bowls. Tom Brady always gets off to a dicey start in these games. Falcons competence measure first, nonetheless we can simply see a 0–0 initial quarter, or 3–0.
Since this never happens it’s value observant that when we filled out a playoff brackets a few weeks behind that I had New England and Atlanta in a Super Bowl and usually missed one game—the Packers win over a Giants. Anyway, my collect then—and now—is New England. The Patriots have rolled all year. They have an underappreciated defense. They have a versatile collection of ability players. But mostly they have Tom Brady, and it seems like a star has motionless that Commissioner Roger Goodell will have to palm a prize to Brady, a actor he suspended, in Houston on Sunday night. That would be rich. And that’s a gamble here.
MVP: Tom Brady
Prop gamble we like: Will Luke Bryan be wearing a shawl when he appears on shade before singing a U.S. National Anthem? For my super systematic answer here, we started by Googling “Luke Bryan.” The fact that he’s a nation thespian creates this likely. But many cinema don’t uncover him wearing hats, so I’m betting no.
Neither invulnerability will have an easy time anticipating stops, nonetheless a Patriots are one of a singular teams with a pieces to—at least, potentially—match adult with a Falcons’ explosive, wide-open offense. Malcolm Butler can hang with Julio Jones, Logan Ryan and a safeties are all mobile parts, Dont’a Hightower is among a league’s softened linebackers, and so on. It competence usually take one or dual timely stops to get a pursuit finished Sunday. And on offense, we all know what a Patriots are means of doing.
MVP: Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots
Prop gamble we like: Total punts by Ryan Allen—under 3.5. If a Falcons do force 4 Allen punts, they substantially win this game. The Patriots aren’t deliberate a grind-it-out offense, nonetheless they can chip their approach down a margin for extended drives. If they’re on, they’ll keep both Allen and a Falcons’ offense off a field.
There’ll be copiousness of X-and-O speak this week, nonetheless many predictions boil down to a elementary question: Do we believe? In Bill Belichick’s ability to outmanoeuvre a league’s hottest coaching claimant and cold off a many bomb attack? In his staff’s ability to find some-more descent success opposite a rising Falcons invulnerability than Aaron Rodgers could? In a energy of a dynasty and a advantage of experience?
For me, it’s a opposite question. Not Do we believe, but—when you’re looking during a manager who could possess 14% of a Super Bowl ring collection by Sunday—How could we not?
MVP: LeGarrette Blount
Prop gamble we like: Largest lead of a diversion by possibly team—under 16.5. Clearly we cruise there’s some value with LeGarrette Blount for MVP sitting during 12/1. But if you’re feeling some-more adventurous, I’ll suggest this one—it always feels softened to have a rooting seductiveness in a rival game.
My pre-playoffs prediction was Patriots over Packers, nonetheless I’ve seen adequate from Atlanta this postseason to switch my collect divided from a Pats. The Falcons can put adult points with anybody, and we don’t cruise a Gronk-less Patriots will utterly keep up. The Falcons will widespread it around to all their descent weapons and Matt Ryan will take home MVP honors for orchestrating a show. Patriots fans will finally see Roger Goodell, nonetheless not in a approach they want.
MVP pick: Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons
Prop gamble we like: Players who chuck a pass—Over 2.5. we can’t base for an damage or count on a blowout, nonetheless I’m pulling for some trickery. Can somebody dial me adult a feign punt? Or, maybe some-more likely, let’s see a pass from possibly Julian Edelman or Mohamed Sanu, who both have NFL tool play experience.
Besides a karmic Deflategate tale entrance to a legitimate end, a matchup mostly favors New England. The Patriots have a story of neutralizing big, bomb receivers like Julio Jones. But a large x-factor will be a most softened descent line underneath Dante Scarnecchia—New England’s line ranks sixth in practiced pouch rate, according to Football Outsiders. Tom Brady with time to chuck is as dangerous as they come. He should have a margin day opposite a exposed Falcons secondary. Oh, and about Kyle Shanahan’s schematic genius. This is no choice fact, nonetheless as Greg Bedard noted, Shanahan’s heart is already partially in San Francisco.
MVP: Tom Brady
Prop gamble we like: How many times will Trump be pronounced on TV during a live broadcast? Under 1.5. Amid rumors that a NFL asked Lady Gaga not to plead politics during her opening (the joining denies this), we cruise Trump is distant too polarizing to discuss during a broadcast. But if he contingency be mentioned, there are other ways to contend his name like: a President, POTUS, Commander-in-Chief and maybe a few some-more not suitable for this space.
The Falcons are averaging 40 points per diversion in a playoffs, and nonetheless a Patriots have a No. 1 scoring invulnerability in a league, they haven’t faced an offense like Atlanta this season. Tom Brady will be Brady, nonetheless his receivers will let him down with drops (and a deflected interception) and Kyle Shanahan’s offense will sound one final time before he goes to San Francisco.
MVP: Matt Ryan
Prop gamble we like: Will there be a safety? Yes +600. I’m gonna take a approbation on that. The final time a Pats mislaid a Super Bowl, they non-stop a diversion with a reserve interjection to a Brady conscious education in a finish zone. In some way, story will repeat itself Sunday.
This is a Super Bowl we all merit after a muted collection of playoff games all month. Seventy-three points scored (which would make a diversion a second-highest scoring Super Bowl ever) doesn’t even seem all that absurd when we cruise that a Falcons and a Patriots were dual of a tip 3 scoring offenses this season. Matt Ryan and Tom Brady, who averaged a dual top QB ratings for starting quarterbacks this deteriorate (though Brady with usually 12 games, of course), will no doubt uncover off their offenses in Houston, both throwing upwards of 300 yards and during slightest 3 touchdowns. Matt Ryan’s MVP-caliber deteriorate won’t cap in lifting a Lombardi Trophy, nonetheless it won’t be a exile feat for a Patriots, either. New England has never won a Super Bowl by some-more than 4 points, and that’s not going to change this year.
MVP: Tom Brady
Prop gamble we like: Lady Gaga’s opening halftime song—Edge of Glory 3/1, Perfect Illusion 7/2, Born This Way 4/1, Other 2/1. Lady Gaga has been compelling her new manuscript Joanne relentlessly, so there’s no approach that she doesn’t start with ‘Million Reasons.’ But she’ll really play a other 3 songs during her performance, shutting with an all-time throng favorite, ‘Bad Romance.’
It is always unsure to collect opposite a Patriots in a Super Bowl and even riskier to do so in a year when they indeed have a clever invulnerability to take vigour off Brady. But a Seahawks, who had a No. 3 scoring invulnerability in a NFL this year, (18.3 p/g) gave adult double that to a Falcons in a local round. While Atlanta’s invulnerability usually faced a impassioned offense in a NFC Championship Game and rubbed a charge utterly good (two sacks, one collect and a whole lot of relentless vigour on Aaron Rodgers in a defensive opening that was suggestive of Jadeveon Clowney’s opening in a initial half of a Texans’ local turn loss), a Patriots haven’t come tighten to confronting an offense like Atlanta’s all year. The Falcons are healthy. They’re loaded. They have a expected MVP as their quarterback, arguably a best receiver in football, a fatal using behind tandem that splits carries and still finished No. 6 and 7 in rushing yards this deteriorate and a 2016 pouch personality who would expected adore to make Tom Brady demeanour like… well, a 39-year aged quarterback. But any organisation confronting Bill Belichick’s Patriots in a Super Bowl will be labeled as a underdogs. They don’t merit to be, and we cruise they’ll infer that on Sunday.
MVP: Matt Ryan
Prop gamble we like: Will a word “lacrosse” be pronounced on a broadcast? Yes, 1/3. Hey guys, did we know Chris Hogan played lacrosse in college?! Well, he did! And he was good during it! You haven’t listened a story yet?! Oh, don’t worry. You will on Sunday.
Patriots manager Bill Belichick will find ways to collect detached Atlanta’s immature defense. Just a hunch, Patriots will conflict initial with a using game, expected LeGarrette Blount, and afterwards widespread a margin and wish Tom Brady can collect detached a Falcons D. Atlanta will pierce a ball, nonetheless a Patriots’ red-zone invulnerability will do usually adequate for a tighten win.
MVP: Tom Brady
Prop gamble we like: Will “Houston, we have a problem” be pronounced on TV during live broadcast? Yes, 5/2. Tom Hanks’ character’s difference from Apollo 13 have morphed from a famous film line to an stale sports cliché. It fits for all from Brad Lidge floating a save to Brock Osweiler throwing an erring pass to a whole Dwight Howard epoch with a Rockets. I’d gamble a finsky FOX drops it.
In invulnerability of my pick: In personnel, gameplan and altogether cohesion, a Falcons are miles forward of any offense Brady or a Patriots’ invulnerability has squared off with this year, and it all starts during QB. At a best, Atlanta can gnaw some critical clock—go behind and watch a commencement of a initial entertain opposite Green Bay for proof. At a other best, Atlanta can unnerve we with one shot to Julio Jones—go behind and watch a commencement of a third entertain opposite Green Bay for proof. New England’s machiavellian invulnerability won’t be means to stop both bests. This is a impulse a authorization has built towards given Matt Ryan’s initial NFL pass, a 62-yard touchdown to Michael Jenkins in 2008. It won’t be wasted.
MVP: Matt Ryan
Prop gamble we like: Tiger Woods birdies in a fourth turn of a Omega Dubai Classic vs. sum margin goals made—pick ‘em, both outcomes -110. Yes, we know Tiger missed a cut during Torrey Pines final week. But how many times in this late theatre of his career has he incited in a ideally decent final turn after descending good off a pace? Both New England and Atlanta should be retiring to settle for margin goals in what has a makings of a shootout, so Tiger competence not have to go really low to prevail.