We now know which teams will be playing in the Super Bowl.
The Atlanta Falcons are the NFC Champions after a 44-21 shellacking of the Green Bay Packers today.
The New England Patriots are the AFC Champions after a 36-17 demolition of the Pittsburgh Steelers today.
So Super Bowl LI will feature the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots. A team that has never won a Super Bowl against a team that has won 4 Super Bowls since the turn of the century. The top two MVP candidates: Falcons QB Matt Ryan and Patriots QB Tom Brady. The top scoring offense of the Falcons against the top scoring defense of the Patriots. All-in-all, this matchup looks GREAT on paper. However, I thought the same about the NFC Championship, the Falcons-Seahawks Divisional game, the Raiders-Texans Wild Card game, and the Giants-Packers Wild Card game. Those were all blowouts. So, here are some keys to victory for both teams:
New England Patriots
- Tom Brady needs to keep being Tom Brady.
- Their defense MUST get stops. If they can get two or three turnovers and some points off of them, they will be golden.
- When I say their defense, I mean CB Malcolm Butler. He was the hero of Super Bowl XLIX with his endzone interception at the end of the game. He can be the hero again if he can shut down Falcons WR Julio Jones.
- Matt Ryan needs to keep being Matt Ryan. If he allows the top scoring defense to score, the Falcons will be in serious trouble.
- Julio Jones needs to best Malcolm Butler. This one-on-one matchup will HUGELY impact the game. The Falcons need their top WR to be productive if they are going to take down the dynasty team.
- The Falcons pass rush must continue to show up. They played phenomenally against the Packers o-line today. In fact, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers was pressured on 50% of his drop backs in the NFC Championship. The Falcons had him shook. Also, the New York Giants pass rush is what toppled Brady and the Pats back in Super Bowl 42. If the Falcons can’t pressure Brady, they will lose. Their secondary NEEDS their pass rush to survive.
If you have been following my preseason predictions, you know that I picked a Patriots-Packers Super Bowl. I came close, but I’m glad that the Falcons made it instead. Being that my prediction was broken, I suppose I should give a new prediction:
New England Patriots 38, Atlanta Falcons 30
Unfortunately, I do believe the Patriots dynasty will have another Super Bowl Championship to their name. I don’t think the Falcons are ready for the biggest stage in sports. While their offense looked phenomenal today, they were playing a decimated Packers secondary. They won’t play as well against the top scoring defense. Also, I think the Patriots o-line will review the tape from the NFC Championship so they know what to block for. That will allow Brady to eat the Falcons secondary alive, as they showed some definite holes, even against a Aaron Rodgers that was under fire all day.
That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on the results of the NFL Conference Championship games and/or on your Super Bowl LI predictions and/or on whatever is on your mind, along with a much-appreciated like. If you are not yet a follower, become a follower to make me feel like a Conference Champion. 🙂 Have a pleasant tomorrow.