When the Falcons lost two straight games in late October, collapse seemed as though it were just around the corner. Three short months later, the Falcons steamrolled the Green Bay Packers 44-21 on their way to their first Super Bowl since 1999. More than just offensive firepower, the ability of this team to bounce back from adversity showed that they had fight, drive, and the unrelenting desire to win.
This mindset instilled in the team pushes them to the limit; and it’s contagious. Thousands of Falcons fans lined the streets to see off the team to Houston and to attend a pep rally at Atlanta city hall. One game is all that separates them from the title of Super Bowl champions.
Their opponents, however could not be tougher. The New England Patriots, who always seem to make it to the Super Bowl, and are winners of their last nine straight, wait for the Falcons in Houston.
Led by Tom Brady, who has seemingly gotten better and better as the season wore on, the Patriots have the poise of a dynasty. Back at the top again, they want a championship.
The majority of people view the Patriots as favorites simply because of the amount of experience they have. While it does give them an advantage, the Falcons are the only team in the league with the explosiveness to compete with the well-oiled patriots machine.
The game itself will come down to two major factors: which offense can reach it’s potential first and which defense can force the most turnovers. It is no secret that the two offenses present in this game are devastating when playing to their full potential. For the Falcons to pose a threat to the Pats, it is necessary to get a few early passes to Julio Jones. This forces defenses to focus on shutting him down and allows for the rest of the receivers and the two running backs to take advantage of a defense that isn’t as focused on them.
I expect the Falcons to be able to do this and set up their offense in a way that puts them in a good position to win. That being said, I think the Patriots offense will do the same and put up big points on the board.
With fairly even offenses when playing well, the game comes down to turnovers. Both defenses have been ball hawks throughout the playoffs and you can expect more of that kind of play in the super bowl. Both teams will create a couple turnovers, but the young falcons defense, led by 1st and 2nd year players who have stepped up when it matters most, will force a turnover late in the game.
Prediction: Falcons 38 Patriots 31