The Atlanta Falcons (+135) have never won the Super Bowl in their 51 years of existence. However, they are going to get that first ever championship in Super Bowl 51, and here are four compelling reasons why they’ll defeat the New England Patriots (-155) dynasty in Houston on Sunday.
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Why the Falcons will beat the Patriots in Super Bowl LI
1. Recent history says so
Ever since the Pats’ shocking upset at the hands of the New York Giants in 2008 – the biggest Super Bowl upset in history – succeeding Super Bowl underdogs have followed suit. Six of the last eight Super Bowl underdogs have gone on to win straight up. (The final line for the Patriots-Seahawks Super Bowl in 2015 was a pick’ em.) The Falcons just so happen to be the underdogs in this year’s Super Bowl at +3.
2. The Falcons offense has too many weapons
Falcons OC Kyle Shanahan has simply been masterful at orchestrating this Atlanta attack all season long. Yes, he has arguably the best receiver in the game in Julio Jones and the potential league MVP in Matt Ryan to work with, but you could argue Shanahan’s made them so much better this season, and has constructed an offense that isn’t solely reliant on those two anymore.
The running back duo of Devonte Freeman and Tevin Coleman can deal significant damage on the ground or through the air, and unheralded guys like Austin Hooper, Taylor Gabriel and Justin Hardy keep popping up with plays.
The Pats will have to pick their poison in terms of what part of the Falcons offense to stop. They’ll likely pick Jones, but the Falcons are still going to score anyway, just like they have all season long.
3. The Pats defense is a paper tiger
Yes, the Pats are No. 1 in scoring defense this season, giving up less than 16 points a game, and yes, defense wins championships. But those stats are a bit misleading. The Pats have had the benefit of an incredibly easy schedule which has seen them matched up against some pretty inferior quarterbacks. Just check out seven of the last eight they’ve faced: Brock Osweiler, Matt Moore, Jared Goff, Trevor Siemian, Ryan Fitzpatrick (2x), Joe Flacco, Colin Kaepernick.
The advanced metrics bear out just how mediocre the Pats defense actually is. They’re ranked just 16th in defense per DVOA, and 23rd against the pass. And now, they’re going up against the Falcons and their No. 1-ranked pass offense in the league this season. Good luck with that.
4. Vic Beasley is a beast waiting to be unleashed
The Falcons defense is actually worse – by a significant margin – than the Pats according to those metrics. But they’ve gotten better, especially in the playoffs, and they have arguably the most impactful defensive player on either team in Vic Beasley. The second-year edge rusher had a breakout season as he led the league with 15.5 sacks.
There’s a long history of pass rushers significantly impacting the Super Bowl. Von Miller did it last year with his MVP-worthy performance last season. And of course, the Patriots know all about how the pass rush can put a dent in their offense after getting victimized by the Giants twice.
There you have it. Four big reasons why the Falcons will win Super Bowl LI. If you’re completely convinced, it might be time to create a betting account now and cash in Atlanta’s triumph!
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