FantasySavvy 2017: Super Bowl 51 Analysis & Prediction

Super Bowl Sunday, an American staple and unofficial National Holiday. It will be official once they make Monday a day off. Everybody is mostly shot out anyway after drinking tons of beer, wine, vodka, coke, Dr. Pepper or whatever. Then add in all the wings, chips, dips, etc. and most people feel like their name is Gorky Tuckens come Monday Morning. Might as well just give everybody the day off. But the Super Bowl is something everybody and their Mother will watch. Well while you are stuffing your face and talking to some guy who you never met before you may miss a big play or two. Or if you’re talking to your Friends Wife’s sisters friend, nevermind just try to have some good laughs with your buddies or close family and watch as much as you can! Also some guy named Tucker Beencorse will leave during halftime because he has a long ride home, has an early flight somewhere or an early meeting. Or another guy will start telling a story about how he grew up in Delaware and be loud as hell about it. Some other young chic might be too drunk and loud. Kids will be running around screaming. Point is the Super Bowl is usually a game you can’t fully focus on because of so many different people being around. For me it’s a time to meet up with my friends I haven’t seen in a while and have a good time, but I def miss a lot of things and can’t fully focus in like I usually do. End of the day it is what it is, enjoy the game and make sure to fully tune in when it matters! Enjoy the orange pasted guacomole roasted pepper bean dip that your Friends wife made from some random internet recipe.  On to the game at hand……………….

ATLANTA

I liked Matt Ryan early in his career, but over the last few seasons it looked like he was starting to regress. He would start out hot but flop in the 2nd half the season and in the Playoffs. This year you could notice there was something different when you watched Ryan. His arm looked stronger, he looked much more decisive and was making deep, accurate throws with consistency. Ryan must have taken an off-season approach to really improve his body, arm and mind. Also Kyle Shanahan helped tremendously with his play calling and offensive design. Ryan looks like he has mastered this offense and it has shown all season.

Julio Jones, not much to say other than the play vs the Packers last week where he stiff armed and out ran the defense on his way to a TD shows how gifted and talented he is. The trade the Falcons made for him by giving up all those draft picks was for made for this reason, to win them a Super Bowl. I remember agreeing with the trade at the time, because how many times can you get a sure-fire player like that in the draft. Jones was an animal in College and his game has translated perfectly. We will see if that trade fully pays off today. It will be very interesting to see how the Pats go about covering him.

The Falcons running game is obviously another huge concern for Pats. Freeman and Coleman are both young, fresh, dynamic and extremely talented RB’s. Both are effective out of the backfield and Shanahan uses them in the passing game wisely. Many times throughout the season he had these guys lined up against guys who had no business covering them. Freeman has the ability to make guys miss and is one of the more agile backs in the league. Coleman is more of a one cut straight away runner but he hits holes hard and has good speed.

The Falcons main role players Sanu, Gabriel and Austin Hooper also are solid players. Sanu may have a big game if the Pats really go all out on stopping Julio. Hooper I think has a future in this league and he could have a nice game today, the Pats aren’t great at defending Tight Ends. Gabriel hasn’t done much in recent weeks with a fully healthy Julio, but is still a threat because of his explosive speed.

The Falcons Defense isn’t great statistically but is young, talented and I trust Dan Quinn will have his guys fully prepared. Vic Beasley led the NFL in sacks and obviously creating pressure on Brady will be a huge factor. Normally when you see Brady struggle it’s early and often and that happens consistently throughout the game. Brady just looks uncomfortable all game. I have seen it many times,  the Jets historically have always done a good job at disrupting Brady every now and then. We’ve seen the Giants do it to him twice in the Super Bowl. This is usually when Brady and the Pats lose, when defense create consistent pressure on him. However, I don’t think this will be the case in this game, but the Alanta defense may be able to make a big play or two to swing this game in their favor. Sometimes it just takes one big play.

NEW ENGLAND

Tom Brady wins this game and the talks begin for the next two weeks about him being the best of all-time. It is amazing what he has done throughout his career. Brady has perfected a few things. Accuracy, pocket presence and mastery of this offense. Ryan has mastered his offense this year, but Brady has mastered his offense long ago because he has been in the same system forever. That is why you get all these new guys in the offense over the years and Brady just keeps rolling along with success. The Pats also do a great job of just keeping that continuity within the team, bringing in the same type of players to just plug-in. It’s like a Plug n Play offense. Brady knows his offense like the back of the house he grew up in. This can not be overlooked, this is truly one of the main reasons why Brady is so great. It’s like a book he has read 200 times.

The popular narrative in this game seems to be that LeGarrette Blount having a big role in this game. It makes a ton of sense, since the Falcons haven’t been great at defending the run this year and it will also help keep the Falcons offense off the field. Also Dion Lewis fumbled twice in their Divisional Round matchup vs Houston leading to decreased snaps in the AFC Championship game vs the Steelers. Maybe Bill doesn’t fully trust Dion in this game? No doubt Dion will be used, but maybe Bill is a little more reluctant to rely on Dion. Maybe we see more James White. Either way, the Pats backs will be used in the offense, as they have done historically. Will we see a lot of Blount? The logic says yes. Certainly Dion Lewis is a very talented back and he should be utilized often in this game. But you just never know what the Pats may do.

Julian Edelman is a staple in this offense and he will likely lead the Pats in receiving in this game. The Falcons play mostly man defense and the Pats will be ready for that with a lot of man beaters running rubs, pick plays and using Edelman in motion to free him up. Chris Hogan has emerged recently as a Brady favorite, exploding in the AFC Championship game. He is a good player and should have a nice game as well. I like Malcolm Mitchell as a player and he was coming on towards the end of the season but now with Hogan back healthy and also Danny Amendola he has been phased out again. I think they should utilize him more in this game. Amendola who knows what he will do. Bennett is playing hurt and hasn’t been that effective of late, but maybe he just goes all out in this game. Regardless Brady has a lot of weapons at his disposal and all of these guys seem to be on the same page with Tom.

The Pats Defense has allowed the fewest points in the league, but if  you look at their schedule, they have faced some awful offenses and QB’s. Brock Osweiler, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Charlie Whitehurst, Landry Jones, etc. The best two QB’s they faced in the Regular season were Andy Dalton and Russell Wilson and both guys had good success with QB ratings over 100. Yes they did a good job on Ben last week, but Ben was horrible on the road all season, just not the same player he was at home. I don’t think this defense will do much to disrupt the Falcons offense.

PREDICTION

I think this is going to be another great Super Bowl coming down to the very end. The Pats have been in some very good Super Bowls and I think it continues today. I also think this game is going to be very high scoring. This is the highest total ever in a Super Bowl at 58 points and I think the score exceeds that. I believe this could be the highest scoring SB ever. The highest ever to date was Super Bowl 29 when the 49ers and Steve Young, Jerry Rice, Ricky Watters, destroyed the San Diego Chargers led by Stan Humphries, Junior Seau and Natrone Means Business. The 49ers won 49-26 for a total of 75 points. I really think this game could exceed that. The reason I believe this is because the mastery of the offenses by both of these QB’s, combined with a lack of a truly elite defense on either side. Both of these offenses are models of consistency and it may come down to whoever has the ball last.

I believe the Pats will be to get mostly anything they want on offense whether it’s LeGarrette Blount or a whole lot of Julian Edelman/Chris Hogan. I also believe the Falcons will be able get what they want with Matt Ryan having an excellent game and the RB’s producing a good amount of combined yards in the running and passing game. This game is going to be a high-powered offensive shootout led by two excellent QB’s.

As I am writing this, I still don’t have a good feel for who will win this game. My logic tells me the Patriots, but my heart tells me the Falcons, although there is some logic thrown in there as well. The majority are picking the Patriots and rightly so. Part of me wants to say Brady and Belichick have one more in them or maybe even two more. They would really be the greatest ever breaking all records. Records are made to be broken. Another part of me says the Falcons and owner Arthur Blank will get a championship that has been a long time coming for their organization and city. The Braves in 1995 were the last time this city won anything. I could see such a quality coach in Dan Quinn hoisting the Lombardi trophy, with Julio Jones or Matt Ryan being the MVP. But Tom Brady may want this Super Bowl more than any other, since his Mom has not been to one of his games all year as she has been sick with some kind of ailment. She will be there today to watch her son. I could see Tom dedicating this win to his mom at the end of the game.

How will Alex Mack’s broken fibula effect the Falcons offense and running game? Will the Patriots be able to control the game and keep the Falcons offense off the field with LeGarrette Blount? Will Julio be contained? Will it matter? So many questions. But I have decided.

I am picking the Atlanta Falcons to win this game. Matt Ryan, Devonta Freeman, Julio Jones, are just too dynamic for me to pick against. Yes the Pats have Brady and Belichick, but I think the Falcons are the better team. I see Vic Beasley making one huge play in this game that will swing the game. But even with that big play, this game will not be won by defense it will be won by offense. I think the Falcons offense is a well oiled machine even more so than the Pats. This game will be high scoring and exciting. Their will be a lot of lead changes. So let’s go with this, Falcons 41, Patriots 38.

Enjoy the games be safe and have a blessed Sunday. Please follow me on twitter @FantasySavvy. Next season we will have our podcast every week along with our weekly film review, NFL Picks and daily and seasonal league info. In the meantime it’s College Hoops with some NBA here and there. March Madness is almost here!

 

 

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