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Super Bowl LI will feature the Falcons and Patriots

Matthew Owens, Sports Editor

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Houston, Texas, known for helping send a man to the moon, will be the launch pad for two high flying offenses during Super Bowl LI. The game features the New England Patriots from the American Football Conference (AFC) and the Atlanta Falcons from the National Football Conference (NFC) this Sunday night.

Patriots-the very word in the NFL brings back memories of Super Bowls past; Adam Vinatieri’s game winning kick in Super Bowl XXXVI, New York Giants Wide Receiver David Tyree’s helmet catch to end the Patriots perfect season in Super Bowl XLII, Malcolm Butler’s late game interception in XLIX to beat the Seahawks. This season Tom Brady (coming off his four game suspension)  is 39 years old, but his stats don’t show it. This season he has a 67.4 percent completion, has thrown for 4,308 yards and has a thrown 28 touchdowns and only two interceptions. Pretty good for a guy turning 40 this season.

Brady is also famous for making stars out of no name wide receivers and this season is no different. The playoffs have showcased the abilities of Chris Hogan, who just played one season of football in college at Monmouth university. Hogan has 175 yards in his last two games along with two touchdowns. Running the ball is Legarrette Blount who has 1,161 yards and leads the league with 15 rushing touchdowns but was snubbed from the Pro Bowl. The Patriots offense will be hard to stop in this game with Brady able to torch any defensive back and Blunt able to run right up the gut.

The Falcons’ goal in this game is to fight fire with fire. Along with New England they have a very high powered offense. Atlanta is led by the league’s MVP and Offensive Player of the Year in Matt Ryan. Ryan, nicknamed Matty Ice, had been unable to get over the hurdle of the NFC championship game until this season going 0-1 in the game before this year. His stats this year have been very impressive throwing for 4,725 yards and 38 TDs.

His favorite target this year was the speedy Julio Jones who caught 83 passes for 1,409 yards. His speed will be a problem for the Patriots’ secondary as he runs a 4.3 40-yard dash. Running the ball for the Falcons is Devonta Freeman who has over 1,000 yards and 11 TDs on the season. The Falcons have a big three that can toy with a defense,  just ask the Packers who played them two weeks ago and gave up 44 points.

This year’s game should be a good one: much better than the Bronco’s 24-10 win last year. The game will be back and forth, but the one team’s lead will never get above 10. While the Falcons have the number one offense in the NFL it is very hard to pick against the duo of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. The biggest difference between the two teams is that the Patriot’s defense is decent unlike Atlanta’s. Both teams will score points and this game could end up like the Big 12 shootout. I think this game comes down to the final drive where Atlanta has a chance to tie but the Patriot’s defense comes up with a turnover to secure the game. Final Score- 34-31, Patriots.

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