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BmoreBird22

The Super Bowl Thread

905 posts in this topic

I'm surprised to see this isn't a thread since this is the biggest game in sports, but anyway, I figured it deserves its own thread.

I'm just going to breakdown some of what I view as the biggest match ups of the game.

Matt Ryan and the Falcons Weapons vs the Patriots Defense:

Much is being made of the number one offense vs the number one defense, but this seems like a more blown up storyline than it should be.

Let's break down the Patriots top ranked defense first. The 15.6 PPG allowed is really excellent on the surface, but if you look at the Patriots schedule, you'd see they played Carson Palmer, Russell Wilson, and Ben Roethlisberger as the three only good to decent level quarterbacks this season and only one would qualify as a top 10, in my opinion. Other than that, the Patriots played the likes of a hobbled Joe Flacco, Matt Moore, Brock Osweiler, Jared Goff, Charlie Whitehurst, and others of similar caliber. The Patriots played two offenses ranked in the top 10 in PPG (Steelers and Bills at 10). Outside of those two, the Patriots played no other teams ranked higher than 17 and played five teams in the bottom six of the league, including the four worst. On the flip side, the Falcons played strong defenses in Denver, Seattle (two times), Bucs (two times), KC, Eagles, and Chiefs and generally came out on top. 

What Bill Belicheck loves to do is take away the top option for the opposing team, but it's not that simple for Julio Jones. Jones is too big to be pressed, too fast and agile to be played in off, and too smart to be played in zone. It's going to require Malcom Butler and a bracket from Devin McCourty. Only issue with that is that Mohammed Sanu, Austin Hooper, Taylor Gabriel, Devonte Freeman, and Tevin Coleman present major receiving threats in their own right. The Patriots have struggled mightily with covering opposing running backs since trading Jamie Collins, so this looks to be a game where the vaunted top ranked defense will struggle to contain a team.

Patriots Offensive Line vs Falcons Pass Rush:

Time and time again, we've seen Tom Brady struggle and make poor throws when he's pressured and forced to throw with a defender coming into him. For all the greatness that is Tom Brady, he can be beaten. 

However, the issue is that the Patriots possess one of the best pass blocking offensive lines in the NFL. Nate Solder and Marcus Cannon provide an excellent pass blocking duo and Shaq Mason has been generally extremely solid on the inside. This will provide an extremely tough task for the Atlanta Falcons pass rush. Vic Beasley is about as hit or miss as they come. Despite having 15.5 sacks on the season, Beasley only posted 54 pressures and converted nearly 29% of his pressures into sacks, a number that's roughly 14% higher than the league average. It also doesn't help that Beasley has been extremely quiet to close out the season. Much of the pressure (no pun intended) will fall on Grady Jarrett and Ra'Shede Hegaman. Jarrett has been excellent (top 10 in pressures from a DT) and Hageman has been picking up his play to match the huge stage. It'll be a very key match up in determining the game. If Jarrett, Hagaman, Beasley, and a rejuvenated Freeney can get to Brady and rush his throws, the Falcons should win.

Falcons Defense vs Tom Brady and the Patriots Weapons

When Keanu Neal was selected by the Falcons at pick number 17, many people felt like it was a huge reach. However, Quinn clearly saw a chance to have another Kam Chancellor. As it stands now, Neal has been a huge reason that the Falcons defense has turned around and has been reminiscent of an older Kam Chancellor: an enforcer with rangy coverage skills.

Much like how too much is being made of the Patriots top ranked defense, too much is being made of the Falcons defensive numbers. Doubters of the Falcons will point to their 27th ranked defense in PPG and 25th defense in YPG. However, there's a few factors to consider. First, the Falcons were often leading games by wide margins due to an offense that scored almost 35 PPG. This put opposing offenses in a position where they needed to quickly move the ball for large chunks of yardage and the Falcons were happy to concede yardage in return for time being run off the clock. The run defense is also a tad bit of an inflated stat. The Falcons were playing prevent so often and playing so far back so often that running lanes were there more often than not. I do not believe that it will be the same on this Sunday.

However, I will concede that there's a very good chance that Edelman, Bennett, and Lewis have a big game as a collective unit. Brian Poole, for as good as he was at blitzing, was the most targeted slot cornerback in the NFL. For as good as Deion Jones was, the Falcons were one of the worst units in the NFL at covering backs out of the backfield. And Bennett? Well, sometimes just having a massive frame is enough. 

I think if the Falcons are going to slow the Patriots offense, Neal needs to come downhill, play fast, and hammer receivers over the middle. A receiver is only willing to take so many big shots over the middle before they are willing to continue. There is a great chance, though, that the Patriots just have too many weapons over the middle for the Falcons to handle them all. I do, however, expect that with Ricardo Allen patrolling deep, the Patriots will need to dink and dunk their way down the field and won't have great success with Chris Hogan down the field.

Falcons Offensive Line vs Patriots Pass Rush

For as great as Vic Beasley's 15.5 sacks look, it's that number of under 60 pressures that really haunts his season. Believe it or not, Chris Long actually matched Beasley's pressure total on the season. Another shrewd signing by Darth Hoodie, Long has proven that he still has enough juice to add to a playoff push for the first time in his career. On the flip side, there's Trey Flowers, a breakout player for the Patriots. Despite playing just four snaps as a rookie, Trey Flowers paced the Patriots with 7.0 sacks. Quick enough to rush off the edge and big enough to kick inside, Flowers can generally present a mismatch.

I say generally because it likely won't be in this game. On the outside, the Falcons have Matthews and Schraeder, two tackles who ranked in the top 20 for pressures allowed. On the inside, there's Alex Mack, the biggest pickup in FA. A supremely smart and dominant blocker, Mack will be tasked with diagnosing and making calls for the multiple Patriots fronts. Given his mental prowess, there probably won't be too many surprises coming Mack's way.

Given that the Patriots rushed three players on over 20% of their snaps and rushed four or less more than any other team in the NFL, don't expect too much in the way of a pass rush for the Patriots against this Falcons offensive line.

Story Lines to Watch...

Hot Start vs Cold Start

The Falcons have scored on their opening possession in eight straight games. The Patriots have failed to score a single first quarter point in a Super Bowl under Tom Brady. Could slow starts doom the Patriots against this incredibly hot Falcons offense?

The Trade for Julio Jones

When the Falcons traded for Julio Jones, Thomas Dimitroff called Bill Belicheck to discuss the trade prior to it happening. BB advised against the trade, suggesting that Julio Jones was not a special player and would struggle at the next level. It was later revealed to Dimitroff that BB had actually tried to trade up to pick six. For whom? It remains a mystery. What we do know is that Julio has a little extra motivation to show BB what he was so wrong about.

Number One Offense vs Number One Defense

This is the fifth time in NFL history that the first ranked offense and defense have met in the Super Bowl. The defense has come out on top in four of those five games. However, will this Patriots defense finally meet its match and bring the tally slightly closer at 2-4.

Which History Will Prevail?

In the history of the NFL, the MVP has played in the Super Bowl eight times after winning the award that same season. However, all eight lost. On the same token, a quarterback that has gone into the Super Bowl with at least seven touchdowns and no interceptions has never lost the big game. Something has to give in this game.

Close Games

The Patriots have an average margin of victory of 3.25 points in the Super Bowl. Two games were decided on last second field goals, and two were decided on final defensive stops by the Patriots defense. The Patriots very well could have been 0-6 in their Super Bowls instead of 4-2 because they play their games incredibly tight. 

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Alex Mack is going to play on heavy painkillers with a fractured fibula and Julio Jones will play with a pretty bad sprain in his toe.

Mack fractured his leg against the Packers and left for only one play before returning until the final drive of the game. He received heavy rest leading up to the Super Bowl and was pumped and excited to be in the game. Falcons coaches have concerns about how well and long he'll hold up, but the biggest asset he can provide is simply being the brains on that line to detect multiple fronts by the Patriots.

With Julio, he re-injured his toe against the Seahawks, but that didn't stop him from having over 180 yards and two touchdowns against the Packers. 

With how slowly the Patriots start and how quickly the Falcons start, I expect a double digit Falcons win. We'll say... 31-20.

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I would love it if it were Atlanta by 47, but sadly I think it will be more like NE by 17.

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1 hour ago, K-Dog said:

I would love it if it were Atlanta by 47, but sadly I think it will be more like NE by 17.

New England has an average margin of victory of 3.25 points and has yet to score in the first quarter. Cannot see a blowout for NE against the best offense in the league.

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5 minutes ago, BmoreBird22 said:

New England has an average margin of victory of 3.25 points and has yet to score in the first quarter. Cannot see a blowout for NE against the best offense in the league.

I'm sticking with my inital 30-27 pats win. They are always clsoe superbowl games win or lose.

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Just saw a report that regardless of the outcome, Brady isn't going anywhere. Patriots expect Brady to play 3-5 more years. 

How I break this down....

What I want... Falcons Victory

What I think will happen... Patriots win

Final Prediction: Patriots 31 Falcons 28

Gostkowski kicks the game winning FG late to win.

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#RiseUp

But seriously, the Christmas game and these playoff games have really sucked the interest out of me. I'm looking forward for this game to be over so we can squarely focus on the offseason. 

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43 minutes ago, Pats said:

I'm sticking with my inital 30-27 pats win. They are always clsoe superbowl games win or lose.

I can't see the Patriots putting up 30. Jarrett and Hageman are going to make life difficult for Brady right up the middle.

The one saving grace for the Pats might be if Mack leaves and Garland is forced to play.

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I think this game is gonna be close. You've given the best coach in the NFL two weeks to prepare for this game and the falcons have a high powered offense. I do think Atlanta comes out on top, but not by much

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2 hours ago, LosT_in_TranSlatioN said:

I think this game is gonna be close. You've given the best coach in the NFL two weeks to prepare for this game and the falcons have a high powered offense. I do think Atlanta comes out on top, but not by much

Yeah I think both sides will put up their points, hopefully it is entertaining

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NFL Network has been on air for 8 hours of pregame talk??? Good lord, you had the two weeks to talk and hype the game. NFL needs to eliminate the extra week, play the Super Bowl the week after the Championship Games and play the Pro Bowl the week after or even a couple weeks after the Super Bowl to get the big name players to play in it.

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Not many people talking about this game on the Ravens thread, eh? 

I hope the Falcons crush it today.  According to the media the past week, Tom Brady has already won his 5th SB.

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Just now, PuRock said:

Not many people talking about this game on the Ravens thread, eh? 

I hope the Falcons crush it today.  According to the media the past week, Tom Brady has already won his 5th SB.

I don't want a blowout....

 

but i want a falcons victory.

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1 minute ago, PuRock said:

Not many people talking about this game on the Ravens thread, eh? 

I hope the Falcons crush it today.  According to the media the past week, Tom Brady has already won his 5th SB.

Just need Mack's leg to hold up.

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1 minute ago, LosT_in_TranSlatioN said:

I don't want a blowout....

but i want a falcons victory.

I would live to see mother of all blowouts in that case

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1 minute ago, allblackraven said:

Just need Mack's leg to hold up.

Given that he played on it for an entire half after missing just one play against the Pack, I think he'll try to gut it out.

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2 minutes ago, allblackraven said:

I would live to see mother of all blowouts in that case

I honestly prefer a good game. I hate Super Bowls that are blowouts

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This is taking forever before kickoff, at least I can watch some of the Kitten Bowl before kickoff.

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10 minutes ago, LosT_in_TranSlatioN said:

I don't want a blowout....

 

but i want a falcons victory.

 

8 minutes ago, allblackraven said:

I would live to see mother of all blowouts in that case

I'm with Allblack.  I would love to see a 50-10 Falcons win.  

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Julian Edelman picking up where Wes Welker left off - dropping passes in Super Bowls.

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