The stage is all set for Super Bowl 51. Once again, the New England Patriots will head back to the biggest game in football with the hopes of adding even more to their wall of fame. While the Atlanta Falcons are only in their second SB ever and they are seeking their first win. I went 1-1 in the Conference Championship games. I had the Packers beating the Falcons but I’ll gladly take the loss in my silly picks record if it means Aaron Rodgers’ season is over. So far in the playoffs, my record is 7-3. Only one guess left. Let’s blend a pitcher of margaritas and dive into the NFL’s premiere event. Here is my pick for the Super Bowl.
New England Patriots vs Atlanta Falcons
As I’ve done all year, the picks are about who I think is going to win, not who I like. Those two things rarely line up. I don’t dislike New England, in fact I like Tom Brady but I’m just so tired of seeing them win. I’m rooting for Atlanta all the way, I very much hope they win. It’s better for the game if some new teams bring home the Lombardi Trophy.
I loved the way the Falcons dismantled the Packers. They did it so soundly and completely, it was a work of art. Matt Ryan to Julio Jones seems like the most dangerous combo around. Plus the way running backs Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman both catch and run, allows Atlanta to keep drives moving. Which normally leads to lots of points. The Falcons are an indoor team and they will enjoy the dome in Houston and look to keep up their blistering pace on offense. On defense, they have played some solid bend don’t break football and seem to generate enough turnovers to close out games. This is looking like it could be an epic Super Bowl 51.
On the New England side of the conversation, it’s just hard to bet against them. They are so modular and they do exactly what they need to. Every time. In many ways, Matt Ryan and company have copied some of the way the Pats move the chains. The use of the versatile backs to spread out the defense to later attack down field. Nothing super revolutionary, but these are squads executing it perfectly. Looking at the offensive roster, I’d give the talent edge to Atlanta but that doesn’t mean anything because Tom Brady can beat you with anyone. He’ll make WR Chris Hogan look like a Hall of Famer if he needs to.
Looking head-to-head, it seems fairly evenly matched. And if that’s the case then I have to say Patriots. They have the experience, they know what it takes to win a Super Bowl and if they get the ball at the end of the game, look for some vintage Brady as he leads his troops down for the game-winning score.
Winner: New England
Don’t get me wrong, I can’t wait for the big showdown in Houston but it always comes with just a hint of sadness. This is because I know the NFL season is over and football will go into hibernation until it’s time for the draft. So enjoy the Super Bowl and let’s pray it’s a close contest. Don’t forget the guacamole either.