The Atlanta Falcons are headed to the Super Bowl as the underdogs of Super Bowl 51, for good reason.
The Atlanta Falcons are headed to the Super Bowl as the underdog despite making an impressive run through the playoffs. It is completely understandable to think of the Falcons as the underdogs when you consider the coaching and defensive talent and experience that the Patriots have compared to the Falcons.
Add in a four-time Super Bowl winning quarterback in Tom Brady and the Patriots are very understandably the favorites in Houston next weekend. Brady has had one of the best seasons of his career that would be MVP worthy if not for the fact that he missed four games earlier in the season because of a suspension.
Whether or not you agree with Brady’s suspension there is no denying that it has provided extra incentive for the veteran quarterback. Brady will be forced to match the best offense in the league against the Atlanta Falcons.
What is often pointed out about the Falcons in their playoff run is the fact that they played Seattle who struggled down the stretch and was hurting on both sides of the ball from injuries. The win against Green Bay has been discounted due to the fact that the Packer’s defense was one of the worst in the league.
It is hard to argue with either of these points but it is also worth noting that the Packers did have enough defensive talent to take down the Cowboys (one of the most complete teams in the NFL). Also worth noting is the fact that the Patriot’s path to the Super Bowl was even easier than the Falcons.
The first round of the playoffs after the bye the Patriots played a Texans team that benefited from a weak division and limped into the playoffs. The Patriots struggled all day with Tom Brady having one of his worst playoff games in recent memory and they still knocked off the Texans easily.
The next week they took on a Steelers team that was unable to score a touchdown for sixty minutes against the Chiefs and still won the game. The Steelers had been an up-and-down team all year in a cake walk AFC for the Patriots. The only team that was capable of taking down the Patriots was a team that left in the wildcard round against the Texans. Once Derek Carr went down with a heartbreaking injury the AFC was the Patriot’s to lose.
Not only that but when you look at the Patriot’s season schedule and compare it to the Falcon’s they benefitted from a weak AFC and playing very few tough teams. The Patriots shouldn’t be favored as highly as they are when you consider the field of talent that they had to take on in 2017.
This isn’t to take anything away from the Patriots, they are a great team with the best quarterback of all-time on their roster. The point of this article isn’t to discount either team only to point out from an un-biased perspective the Falcons and Patriots Super Bowl isn’t an underdog story rather a pick’em game that could easily slide in either direction.
While the Patriots do have the better defense it is balanced out by the fact that the Falcons have more weapons then Brady has dreamed of having. With his star tight-end down Brady is counting on a lot of undersized wide receivers and gadget running backs to help run the offense.
On the other side of the field the Falcons have the deepest arsenal of play-makers in recent memory. They can beat you with size, speed, on the perimeter, or simply run it down your throat. Matt Ryan is leading an offensive attack with the most weapons in all of the NFL.
Make no mistake the Falcons are not the underdogs in this game the Patriots experience helps them as much as their age and lack of play-makers can hurt them. The Super Bowl will be on FOX Sunday February 5th.