Super Bowl 51 isn’t until Feb. 5. But, waiting that long to release a Super Bowl 51 Preview makes no sense, right? Why not get down to the nitty-gritty on why one team, the New England Patriots, is going to wipe out the other team, the Atlanta Falcons, at Super Bowl 51? That’s exactly what I do here!
2017 Super Bowl 51 Preview, Picks and Odds
The Atlanta Falcons finished the season with an 11 and 5 record. The Falcons won the NFC South and secured the second seed in the NFC Playoffs. Atlanta beat Seattle 36 to 20 as a -6.5-home favorite. After the Green Bay Packers upset the Dallas Cowboys straight up in the Divisional Playoffs, Atlanta secured home field for the NFC Championship. Atlanta beat Green Bay 44 to 21 as a -6 favorite.
Atlanta’s offense is ranked second in the NFL in yards per game at 415.8. Of those 415.8 total yards per game, the Falcons gained 295.3 of those yards via the pass. The Falcons gained 120.5 of those yards via the rush. Atlanta has the top scoring offense in the NFL. It averages 33.8 yards per game.
Atlanta gives up 371.2 total yards per game. Opponents average 25.4 points per game against Atlanta’s defense.
New England Patriots
The New England Patriots easily won the AFC East. The Pats went 14 and 2 straight up. They secured home field advantage throughout the AFC Playoffs. The Pats beat Houston 34 to 16 in their Divisional Playoff game as a huge -16 favorite. They destroyed Pittsburgh 36 to 17 in the AFC Championship as a -6 favorite.
New England Offense
The offense starts with a passing attack that averages 269.2 yards per game. The Patriots average 117 rushing yards per. New England scores over 27 points per game. That ranks the Patriots third in the NFL in scoring average on offense per.
New England Defense
New England’s defense is the best in the NFL at preventing scores. Opponents average 15.6 per against New England’s defense. The Patriots yield 326.4 total yards per.
Why the New England Patriots are going to win Super Bowl 51…by a lot!
Terrific Tom Brady
It’s hard to come up with enough superlatives to explain how great Tom Brady really is. He’s also got a lot of detractors. My brother said it best, “People are jealous of Tom. He’s better looking than they are, and he’s the greatest QB to ever live.”
He’s definitely better looking than most men, that’s for sure. Is he the greatest quarterback to ever live? I think that he is, but I’ll allow his detractors to say that he’s not…for now. Montana has four Super Bowl rings. Just like Terrific Tom. But, Mr. Brady is knocking on the door to a fifth Super Bowl ring. All his detractors are going to have to shut up after Tom wins his fifth on Feb. 5.
Okay, going back to Super Bowl 51, there’s a real argument that Tom Brady is the NFL’s MVP this season. He won’t win the award because, like my brother said, there’s a lot of jealousy in regards to the most handsome QB to ever play the game, but his stats say that he should win the award. Brady threw 28 TD passes to only 2 interceptions. He completed over 67% of his passes. He threw for 3,554 yards. And, Terrific Tom only played in 12 regular season games.
That’s amazing. Why is Brady so fantastic? He’s a vegan during the NFL season. He doesn’t eat any animal protein. That has a lot to do with it. But, his mind is also correct. He’s not in a battle with his family over his girlfriend (yes, I’m referring to the Cheeseheads’ QB), he didn’t just get married to a star that’s taking his attention away from football (yep, that’s a reference to the signal-caller up there in the Emerald City).
Plus, Terrific Tom can compartmentalize better than maybe any other human being on the planet. Unlike buddy President Trump, Terrific Tom doesn’t let things get to him. He prefers to punish his detractors by winning football games. Tom doesn’t tweet.
So, go ahead and take the MVP away from him. He won’t care one bit. He’s going to find a way to destroy Atlanta’s defense in Super Bowl 51 with or without the hardware.
New England’s Defense
Don’t get me wrong, I think that Atlanta QB Matt Ryan was fantastic during the regular season. He performed his best Drew Brees’ impersonation. But, the difference between Ryan and Brady is that not only does Brady lead the Patriots’ offense, but he’s also the Patriots’ leader on their defense.
You must think deeper for that last statement to make sense. Every offensive player follows Ryan’s lead. As Ryan goes, so goes the offense. Matty Ice is in charge in the huddle. That’s what you need from your starting QB. Nobody can question the starting QBs leadership.
But, Atlanta’s defense doesn’t follow Matty Ice’s lead. The defense follows the lead of its coach, Dan Quinn.
What makes New England’s defense so special is that it follows the lead of fiery Terrific Tom. It feeds off Tom’s energy. The defensive captain, so to speak, is Tom Brady. He motivates the defense as well as any defensive player on the Patriots’ sidelines.
When both your offense and defense wants to play for your quarterback, when neither unit wants to disappoint your quarterback, you’ve got a powerful chance to win every game. The reason is because the quarterback position has as much to do with excellent leadership skills as it does with physical skills.
It helps that New England’s defensive players do something that’s rare in the NFL. They never miss an assignment. On every play, the defenders are in the correct position. What it means is that New England defensive coordinator Matt Patricia only needs to call the right game for the Patriots to dominate, or at least contain, Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Devonta Freeman, and the rest of Atlanta’s stars on offense. And, Patricia always calls the right game.
Patricia also always makes the right adjustments during the game. He’s one of the few defensive coordinators in the NFL that doesn’t react to what the offense does. He’s proactive with his defense.
That’s why the Patriots only allowed Houston to score 16 points and Pittsburgh to score 17 points in New England’s two post-season wins. Matt Patricia’s defense, fighting for the team’s unquestioned leader, Tom Brady, is full of smart players that use excellent technique, and who have no fear.
It must be nice to know that, as a defensive coordinator, you just must outthink the opponent’s offensive coordinator to hold your opponent’s offense in check, that your players aren’t going to blow assignments.
Super Bowl 51 Bottom Line
3 points only favor the Patriots. To me, the betting line should be at least 5 points if not 6 points. New England is the much better team due to their defense and quarterback, Tom Brady. With that being written, Atlanta should have some success, either late or early, on offense.
I think that the Falcons score at least 27 points in this game. Not that it’s going to matter. New England, with Brady under center, should score on every possession. The New England Patriots win Super Bowl 51 big.
I think that Super Bowl 51 ends up New England Patriots 45 and Atlanta Falcons 27.