Super Bowl 51 Preview
New England Patriots v Atlanta Falcons
Monday, February 6, 10.30AM AEDT
NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas
Super Bowl 51 sets up as an intriguing battle when the high-powered Atlanta Falcons offence, who are on a six-game winning streak averaging 39 points per game, takes on the New England Patriots, who hold the best scoring defence in the league, allowing 15.6 points per game.
The Wolf’s picking the Patriots to cover the field goal line and make it a 5th Super Bowl victory on the back of their stingy defence and the ability of Patriots head coach Bill Belichick to a come up with a game plan to limit his opponents No.1 offensive weapon, in this case, Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones.
It wouldn’t be a surprise to see similar tactics to the ones that were adopted by the Patriots in shutting down Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown in the Conference Championship game.
It’s important to note that Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell was injured for the majority of the game, making it easier to cover Brown, and the Falcons have a one-two punch running back combination in Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman, who will also need to be watched.
The Patriots are on a nine-game winning streak of their own, conceding an average of 13.3 points per game during that span and might not be able to shut down Jones completely or stop him from moving the chains, but they can limit his big-play ability which could be the deciding factor here.
Much has been made of the Falcons offence, but the simple fact is that the Patriots can put points on the board too, averaging 27.6 points per game and will be coming up against a leaky Falcons defence, ranked 27th in the league, conceding an average of 25.4 points per game.
The Patriots are 15-3 ATS this season and can equal the record of 16-3 ATS set by the 1995 San Francisco 49ers if they cover in Super Bowl 51 over the Falcons.
The Falcons made it to Super Bowl 33, but ended up losing to the Denver Broncos 34-19, while the Patriots are eyeing a fifth Lombardi Trophy and it will be New England’s seventh Super Bowl appearance in 16 years. Will the nerves get the better of the Falcons?
The game total is set at a Super Bowl high of 58.5 and The Wolf thinks the Patriots defence is good enough to keep the Falcons offensive weapons off the field long enough to see this clash go unders.
The Patriots are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 meetings with the Falcons and are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 playoff games.
We haven’t even mentioned the quarterbacks yet, with the winning QB most likely to take out Super Bowl MVP honours.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has set an NFL record best TD-INT ratio in a single season (28-2) en route to Super Bowl 51 and that’s after missing the first four games of the season.
Meanwhile, Falcons QB Matt Ryan is one of the strong favourites to win the league’s MVP award, setting a career-high in yards thrown (4,944) and 38 touchdowns.
As mentioned from the outset it’s an intriguing match-up and the Falcons cannot be underestimated, but The Wolf simply can’t back against the GOAT and the mastermind that is Bill Belichick when the chips are on the line.
Final Score: New England 28-Atlanta 21