For months now, there has basically been no doubt that the New England Patriots would represent the AFC in Super Bowl 51. The Pats have one of the best quarterbacks ever (Tom Brady), the league leader in rushing touchdowns (LeGarrette Blount), one of the most consistent receivers in the game (Julian Edelman) and the No.1 scoring defense in the NFL.
Understandably, the Patriots opened as 3-point favorites for their Super Bowl matchup against the Atlanta Falcons. If for some reason you doubt the Pats, here are three reasons why New England wins and covers in Super Bowl 51.
Tom Brady Is Too Good In Super Bowls
Tom Brady is the man. He constantly flips off father time and continues to get better despite playing well into the age most players become husks reliving past glory. Brady set the NFL record for the best TD-to-INT ratio this season with No.12 throwing for 28 touchdowns and just two interceptions. In terms of pure efficiency numbers, Brady’s stats this season are comparable to his record-breaking 2007 season.
But aside from just his stellar play this year; Brady has always saved his best football for the Super Bowl. Tom Terrific has completed 66.7 percent of his passes while throwing for 13 touchdowns and just four interceptions in his six appearances with the Lombardi Trophy on the line.
The one area Brady often gets overlooked in terms of his Super Bowl play is his clutch-ness. With the Patriots trailing or tied in the fourth quarter of Super Bowls, Brady has a 66.1 pass completion percentage with four touchdowns and no interceptions.
Remember when Brady put the Patriots on his back and carried them to a victory over the No.1 ranked defense despite being down 10-points in the fourth of Super Bowl XLIX? If he can do that against that Seattle Seahawks defense, imagine just how much he will pick apart the Atlanta Falcons secondary (more on that later).
Bill Belichick Is The Best Coach Of This Generation
Say what you want about the grumpy looking grandpa manning the sidelines for the Patriots, but Bill Belichick is a league of his own in terms of coaching. Thanks to his coaching, scouting and ability to turn flaming garbage into gold, Belichick has constantly reconstructed New England to form the best team possible.
Belichick’s attention to detail is what truly sets him apart from everyone else, as his keen eye for developing players and schemes have helped New England on the greatest extended stretch of dominance in NFL history. It’s not just his own team that goes under the microscope, as Belichick examines his opponents with a fine toothcomb.
When Belichick has the ability to take his time and dissect opponent’s, he is nearly unstoppable. Since taking over as the Pats head coach in 2000, New England has gone 26-8 SU when Belichick has an extra week to prepare for the opposition. To think that somehow, the greatest coach of our time isn’t going to have a perfect gameplan for the high-flying Falcons is naïve.
Atlanta’s Secondary Simply Isn’t Good Enough
The Falcons win football games by merely outgunning their opposition. Atlanta scored a league-high 33.8 ppg during the regular season but allowed a terrible 25.4, which made them the sixth-worst scoring defense in the NFL. Historically speaking, the Falcons would be the worst scoring defense in NFL history to win the Super Bowl.
The Falcons’ D has faced off against quarterbacks that finished the year in the top 10 in passer rating on five occasions (including the playoffs). In those five outings, Atlanta has allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete 66.4 percent of their passes for 15 touchdowns and just four interceptions while surrendering 311.6 passing yards per outing.
Hell, the Falcons have only produced more interceptions than touchdowns in a game twice this season and that was against a struggling Cam Newton and an overwhelmed Jared Goff. This is an important number because the only way to beat the Patriots is to force Tom Brady to turn the ball over. Since December 2015, the Patriots are 15-4 SU and in each of those losses opposing defenses have forced Brady to throw at least as many picks as TDs.
The Falcons secondary belongs in the burn unit, not the Super Bowl. Don’t expect them to become magically better overnight and start racking up interceptions.
Despite these convincing points, Rob Trites disagrees and thinks the Atlanta Falcons will win Super Bowl 51. You can check out his reasoning here.
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