What Will Happen In Super Bowl 51?

Andrew Messier and Grant Lang

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This years super bowl matchup should be quite entertaining whether you watch all the commercials or you really watch the game.  The Patriots are coming in favored by 3 points according to many of the major betting sites including Vegas Westgate Superbook with an impressive 36-17 win over Pittsburgh in the AFC Championship Game.  While on the other hand, the Falcons are coming hot into Houston as well with an obliterating 44-21 win over the Packers.  If you are any kind of sports fan at all this is a must-see game that promises a lot of points with two of the NFL’s most premier Quarterbacks in Tom Brady and Matt Ryan under center.

Falcons’ 2016 Season In Review:

  • The Falcons had a great regular season going 11-5.  Although their record they had some tough losses against the San Diego Chargers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs.  The QB-WR connection between Matt Ryan and Julio Jones is almost unstoppable with each coming off record seasons.  Their best performance was against their rivals at Carolina as Julio Jones had a record 300 yard game and Matt Ryan threw for 503 yards along with 4 touchdowns.  Tevin Coleman has definitely been a surprise as he has been dominating defenses all season as a bruising 3rd down back.  Coleman has had two stand out games in particular with 3 touchdowns against their first matchup with the Saints and 132 receiving yards and a touchdown at Denver.  The Falcons’ defense lead by DE Vic Beasley Jr. has been less than average as they are ranked 25th in the NFL.  Although with the struggles on defense, the Falcons are making a Super Bowl 51 appearance in Houston this year.

Patriots’ 2016 Season In Review:

  • The Patriots had a usual regular season.  Going 14-2, the Patriots definitely exceeded expectations with not having veteran QB Tom Brady in the first four games of the season.  Running backs James White and Legarrette Blount have definitely filled the running back spot after many questions loomed at the position in the beginning of the season.  Legarrette Blount has rushed for 1,161 yards and a whooping 18 touchdowns while James White has filled in for Dion Lewis has been dangerous in the air catching for 551 yards and 5 touchdowns during the season.  On the other side of the ball, the Patriots have had great success for the second half of the season.  Defensive coordinator, Matt Patricia, has found a way to get his stars, Rob Ninkovich and Dont’a Hightower, constantly involved.     

When:

  • Sunday Feb. 5, 2017 @ 5:30 PM

Where:

  • NRG Stadium in Houston, TX

Key to Success for Each Team:

  • Falcons-  The Falcons need to put aside their defensive struggles and step up. They need to dare the Patriots to run the ball and force the ball out of Tom Brady’s hands. Julian Edelman needs to be contained for he is the main target due to Rob Gronkowski’s absence due to surgery on both legs.
  • Patriots-  On defense, the Patriots need to impose a solid pass rush early like they have been doing all season while on offense they need to bring a good ground game, so that they do not become one dimensional with only the pass game.

Key Players To Watch:

  • On the Falcons’ side watch for Mohamed Sanu to continue to make plays in the red zone, and also Tevin Coleman who has ripped up many teams on the ground just as a third down back.
  • On the Patriots’ side watch for Dion Lewis.  Lewis provides the Patriots with a consistent run offense while also being an incredible pass catcher in the backfield.  Also, beware of Julian Edelman’s versatility.  With being a quarterback in college, Julian needs to be watched at all times, in case of a trick play.

Questions that Still Need to be Answered:

  • Falcons’ Side: Will Matt Ryan and Julio steal the show against the Patriots’ defense or will they be contained?
  • Patriots’ Side:  Will Tom Brady get enough motivation to exact his revenge that he wants on Roger Goodell and will he play like an all-around great with his usual super bowl MVP self?
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