Super Bowl: Prediction and in-depth analysis of the big game

Feb 3, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; A view of the stadium before Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 3, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; A view of the stadium before Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports /

Super Bowl Sunday is upon us, the biggest day in football and one of the biggest days and sports. Who’s going to win the big game? I’ll take a look at each team an offer a prediction.

Well it’s that time of year again, Super Bowl Sunday. It’s America’s unofficial holiday. Whether you like football or not you most likely will be watching some part of the game this Sunday. Hopefully you’ll be surrounded by good food and the commercials will be decent this year.

As for the game, it could go any which way. On paper, it’s not the most exciting match up, the Atlanta Falcons versus The New England Patriots, but in reality this game is filled with enough promise from both sides.

Tom Brady is in his seventh Super Bowl. Even if you just hate the guy and everything the Patriots stand for, that’s still such an impressive feat that it’s become so routine that we have developed a numbness to its gravitas.

Once again, Bill Belichick has created a multi dimensional defense that he has been able to put parts here and there while Tom Brady again has turned water into wine with what he has done with wide receiver Chris Hogan and others this year. No Gronk? No problem, as Martellus Bennett has performed fantastic this year.

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They’ve managed show everyone that the Patriots can replace anyone while also being able to adapt and adjust just as well as anyone in league history as they won games this season with rookie quarterback Jacoby Brissett, a talented 2016 3rd rounder from NC State and backup Jimmy Garoppolo, who hails from Eastern Illinois which includes notable quarterback alums Sean Payton and Tony Romo.

They’ve also rotated running backs, corner backs, offensive and defensive line due to injury performance and suspension. Yet here they are again on Super Bowl Sunday.

If Belichick and his defensive coordinator, Matt Patricia, want to stop one of the league’s most dynamic offenses, they really just need a simple game plan. The Atlanta Falcons are usually never in 3rd and longs on offense which makes it easy for Kyle Shanahan, Atlanta’s offensive coordinator, who is the master of designing short high percentage plays.

The Patriots need to just play aggressive on the first 2 downs , throw out some blitzes and get creative. Then just have your defense backs play the wide outs short. They have the defensive backs in Patrick Chung, Devin McCourty, Eric Rowe and Logan Ryan to play bump and run and just keep Julio Jones, Mohammad Sanu and others in front of them. If the Patriots can get the Falcons in 3rd and sevens, then they have good chance to control the game.

Last year some speculated that Dan Quinn would be handed a pink slip from Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank. Instead, Blank remained calm and saw how stability in an organization should be a priority, so he kept Quinn.

These are not the falcons of the early 2010s under Mike Smith. One of my biggest criticisms and many others, was that Atlanta was soft. Yes they had an amazing offense, but they lacked that certain edge you need on defense and their offensive line needed that nastiest you needed in the trenches, whether you need a 3rd and 2 on offense or to stop a 3rd and 2 on defense. They just didn’t have “it”.

Fast forward to Dan Quinn’s Falcons. The former Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator has turned this team around. I feel they’ve added three players in the past two years that has transformed this team.

Last year in the off season, they signed All-Pro center Alex Mack from the Cleveland Browns. It was a perfect fit and everything they needed to anchor that young offensive line as he added not only stellar play but leadership and grit.

They also added two young defensive players with their first round picks that have really taken their defense to the next level. Defensive end/Linebacker Vic Beasely was their first round pick in 2015, he really came on this season and finally gave Atlanta a legitimate pass rushing threat.

Quinn has used him the same way he used Cliff Avril and Bruce Irvin in Seattle and it’s given Beasley a chance to show his true potential. The other player is their 2016 first round pick, Keanu Neal from Florida. He has definitely tightened up that secondary in Atlanta and provides the Kam Chancellor role for the Falcons in which you have a unique player that can be so physical while also being able to cover.

The Falcons also have this year’s MVP in quarterback Matt Ryan. Matt Ryan has had an above average career, he’s won a lot of games and put up stats, yet hasn’t won anything substantial in his professional career yet.

Ryan has a big chance to show everyone who he is Sunday. He’s always had the nickname Matty Ice since high school days in Philadelphia due to his calmness under fire, but can he match one of the greatest athletes in crunch time ever in Tom Brady?

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They say pressure makes diamonds, but nobody knows how someone will react to the big stage. I’m betting on Matty Ice in this one. I think Ryan, Julio and those Dirty Birds will take this one from Tom Terrific and give Atlanta the Super Bowl.

Final score prediction: ATL 34 NE 24