Hello internet. I’ll be here this week going through how the Falcons win Sunday, how the Patriots win Sunday, and finally, who I think will win Sunday. Should be a fun three-part series, so, let’s get to it.
The Falcons usually are accompanied by the phrase “prove it” when people wonder if they are for real or not. Well, they made it all the way to the final game and have what most will say is the MVP of the league slinging the ball around. So, they have shown you this much, now can they close the deal?
When you think about the Atlanta Falcons, you think about the offense. It’s a 6-headed monster with one of those heads named Julio Jones. We know they can put up points and it’s been shown, so far, that “shutting down Julio Jones” merely means holding him to one touchdown and about 100 yards. He’s that good.
But where Atlanta has been better this season is that it’s not only the Julio show. Matt Ryan is playing at an MVP level, Sanu has been a quality WR2 for them with Taylor Gabriel in the slot, coupled with Freeman and Coleman coming out of the backfield, this offense has firepower all over and they’re hard to stop. But if they are going to win, I think it rests on the 11 players on the other side of the ball. The defense.
This Atlanta Defense has been picked on all season, and rightfully so. They’re 25th in total defense and 27th in points allowed. Scoring on them isn’t the problem and when Tom Brady is the quarterback on the other team, sleeping at night for those defenders is probably an issue.
As with all great quarterbacks, slowing them down starts with pressuring the quarterback. And look at that, Atlanta has a guy by the name of Vic Beasley Jr. that led the league in sacks during the regular season with 15.5. That is how the Falcons win this game. Stop the Patriots by disrupting Tom Brady’s rhythm. Everything the Patriots do is centered around a nice, clean pocket for Brady and the receivers running precise routes with flawless timing.
If the Falcons manage to knock Brady around early and keep the Patriots’ offense off the field and score early, that’s how they win.
The Falcons need to capitalize every time the Patriots have an empty possession. Vic Beasley is a big part of the defensive success and if the Falcons want to win, he needs to get going early and often. You know what you will get from the offense, it’s on the defense to shut down number 12 and company.
I’ll be back to preview how the Patriots win, and just a little teaser, a lot of it is about the guy named Tom Brady.
Want to keep the conversation going? You can find me on twitter @Mhill_.