The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School.

Super Bowl LI: What to Expect

February 4, 2017

After 17 weeks of the regular season and a whole month of playoffs, the final match is here: Super Bowl LI. The New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons will face-off in Houston on Sunday in one of the biggest T.V. events of the year. Both have beaten opponents in their respective divisions to make it to the biggest match of the year. The Super Bowl will decide who is the best team in the NFL and will put the two front runners in the MVP-race head-to-head. However, no team is without its flaws, and this article will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each team.

Rolling Stone
In Super Bowl 51 Malcolm Butler will have to cover the best receiver in the league, Julio Jones.

Atlanta Falcons:

The Falcons, led by Quarterback Matt Ryan, or Matty Ice (referring to his ability to stay cool under pressure), and Head Coach, Dan Quinn, earned the second seed in the NFC with a record of 11-5. They had the highest scoring offense in the NFL averaging 33.8 points per game (PPG). This is no surprise when you take a look at their offense; the Falcons have one of the best Quarterbacks of the league and they also have the best running back duo with Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman.  However, while the Falcons have a great offense, their defense falls short. They ranked 27th (out of 32) in points allowed per game, giving up 25.4 PPG, and had the worst defense in the red zone of the NFL. This is the worst defense, statistically, to ever make it to the Super Bowl. Another key factor that might cause the Falcons the game, is their lack of experience in the Super Bowl.

“Atlanta has the best offense in the league, there is no question about it. They’ve also been working on their defense which has been improving. Because of [this], the Falcons are going to beat Tom Brady and the Patriots,” sophomore Camilo Rodriguez said.

Sporting News
Super Bowl 51 will have Tom Brady attempting to earn his 5th ring, the most by any player in NFL history.

New England Patriots:

The Patriots, led by QB Tom Brady and Head Coach Bill Belicheck, were able to earn the best record on the NFL finishing the season at 14-2. They had the third best offense in the league, scoring 27.6 PPG. Of course, when you have an offense run by Tom Brady it’s going to be among the best in the league. However, Tom Brady has had a few powerful weapons this year, even with the loss of Gronkowski. Running back Legarrete Blount led the NFL in rushing touchdowns this season with 18. Their other running back, Dion Lewis, is a dynamic running back that is key component of their offense. Furthermore, the Patriots have solid, reliable receivers with Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan, Martelus Bennet, and more. Unlike last year, the Patriots have a healthy offensive line that should be able to hold off Atlanta’s pass rush. The Patriots defense is also solid with great talent in many of its positions. However, they raise doubts given the lack of challenging offenses they have faced and have trouble rushing the passer. If the Patriots can get to Matt Ryan, they can force him to make bad passes and slow down the Falcon offense. Moreover, the Patriots have a lot of experience in the Super Bowl with this being Tom Brady’s seventh appearance, the most of all time.

“I think the Patriots will win because of their abundant amount of experience. Belichick has participated in 20% of Super Bowls and knows what to do as a Head Coach. It also helps to have Tom Brady, probably the most consistent quarterback, to be on the team,” sophomore Kade Marriot said.

Given the high stakes and the caliber of the teams that are playing, this Super Bowl will be the best game of the year. However, the Patriots will probably be able to beat the Falcons when it comes down to it. They have more experience, an offense that’s almost as good as the Falcons’, and the better defense. And, as proven by Super Bowl history, a better defense usually beats a better offense. We will find out who comes out on top on Sunday.


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