Ageless wonder Tom Brady, coming off one of his best seasons, faces likely-league MVP Matt Ryan in Super Bowl LI.
The matchup between Ryan, who statistically performed better than any QB in the league, and the experienced Brady should be one of the better Super Bowl QB matchups in recent memory.
The Falcons’ Super Bowl inexperience won’t permit an easy upset over the perennial-favorite Patriots. With both the Falcons’ and the Patriots’ high-scoring offenses and best quarterbacks in the league, the game will come down to strong defensive strategy and some offensive creativity.
Brady, widely considered by many to be the best quarterback of all time, has taken the Pats to seven Super Bowls total, winning four. In the AFC Championship against the Steelers, head coach Bill Belichick won his 11th conference championship game, the most in NFL history.
With Brady having a 384 yard day against the Steelers, the Patriots’ offense will continue to excel in the matchup against the Falcons. In the Patriots’ past five games, dating back to Week 15, they’ve won by an average of 21.8 points, and with Brady at the helm since Week 5, they have won 13 of their last 14 games.
Expect Brady to do what he’s done all season — not make many mistakes. QB Ryan leads the Falcons, earlier picked by some experts to finish towards the bottom of their division this year, into the Super Bowl with a high-flying offense.
With a plethora of weapons at his disposal, Ryan has thrown at least one touchdown pass to 13 different receivers, his favorite target being Julio Jones, who has over 1,400 yards receiving and has caught six touchdowns so far.
Expect the Falcons’ offense to score enough points to be in the game late, with Ryan targeting Jones. However, the deciding factor in the game will be the Falcons’ defense, specifically its pass-rush on Brady.
Though the Falcons’ defense is one of the worst overall in the league, it has come alive in the postseason. Points wise, the Falcons’ defense ranks 27th out of 32 in points allowed, coming in at 25.4 points per game. However, in the postseason, they have turned it around, shutting down two of the best QBs in the NFL, Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers, allowing 20 points to the Seahawks and 21 points to the Packers.
On the opposite side of the ball, New England boasts the best defense in the league, allowing fewer points this season than any other team at a clip of 15.6 points per game.
The Patriots have the best team in football, with both a strong offense and defense, so the only way for the Falcons to win is if their defense shows up.
Prediction: Brady will lead the Patriots to another Super Bowl victory, clinching Belichick and Brady’s fifth win together.