After a season filled with scandals, injuries, suspensions, blow-outs and thrillers, it is now down to two teams.
On Sunday, Feb. 5, the New England Patriots will take on the Atlanta Falcons.
One team is centered around a quarterback/coach combo looking to close the discussion on who really is the greatest. Another team is riding high with an offense that looks to be nearly unstoppable.
That quarterback/coach combo of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick will be starting a record-setting seventh appearance. Though they earned four victories in the big game, there could be a case made that their two Super Bowl losses haunt them to this day.
Both of those losses came at the hands of the New York Giants. Both were a result of two unbelievable catches. As some would say, “the ball was caught in the receiver’s face mask.”
Earlier this year, Brady was suspended for four games after the league’s commissioner found him guilty in the never lasting “Deflategate.”
With the chance to have that same commissioner hand him the prized Lombardi Trophy, the guy known as “Psycho Tom” for his insanely intense drive may be more determined than ever.
They will be without Brady’s top target, Rob Gronkowski, however. They have not had Gronkowski for much of the second half of the season, but they still managed to have the best record in the league at 14-2.
In two postseason games, the Patriots were not ever in much danger of heading home, except when Houston played stout defense in the first half. In the AFC Championship game, the Brady-led squad looked unstoppable, dominating the Steelers in all three phases of the game.
Patriots’ coach Bill Belichick is known as a “defensive ace,” the one coach who can game plan and take out the top player on any team, anywhere, anytime. ESPN’s Max Kellerman calls him the “first coming,” saying his legacy will never be touched.
Belichick may face his greatest test yet, as he takes on the juggernaut of an offense led by MVP-frontrunner Matt Ryan.
Ryan is playing the best of his career, but he is not alone. He is surrounded by some of the best-skilled players in the league. His wide receiver, unlike other top wideouts, is not spending his off days on a boat in Miami. He just balls out on the field.
Julio Jones may be the toughest one-on-one cover in the league today. Belichick is known for doubling players of these standards; however, if he chooses to do so, his defense may get blown out of Houston.
Doubling Jones will only open the field for the other arsenal of weapons at the Falcons’ command, including two of the most versatile running backs in the league, who torment any defense they face.
Atlanta comes in red-hot after dominating their two playoff opponents with 36-20 to the Seattle Seahawks and 44-21 to the Packers, who were led by possibly the best player in the league, Aaron Rodgers.
The Patriots come in with the number-one scoring defense, while the Falcons come in with the number-one scoring offense.
According to Oddshark, the Patriots are currently a three-point favorite for the Super Bowl in Houston.