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Atlanta Falcons vs New England Patriots 2017- Super Bowl 51 – SportsUntapped.com
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Added January 27th, 2017 by Ian

Atlanta Falcons vs New England Patriots 2017- Super Bowl 51
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The New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons will square off against each other at the Super Bowl down at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas on Sunday, Feb. 5th. Atlanta captured the NFC crown this year with home playoff wins over the Seattle Seahawks (36-20) and the Green Bay Packers (44-21). They went 11-5 during the regular season to win the NFC South Division. The Patriots went a league-best 14-2 during the campaign to take the AFC East. They then recorded home playoff victories over the Houston Texans (34-16) and Pittsburgh Steelers (36-17) to win the AFC title.

New England’s overall record against Atlanta stands at 7-6 with all 13 games coming in regular-season play. They’re 4-2 both straight up and against the spread in their past six meetings. Their last encounter was in September of 2013 with New England winning 23-20 in Atlanta. New England is favoured to win the Super Bowl by three points with most bookmakers. The Falcons have gone 13-5 this season including the playoffs and are 12-6 against the spread. The Patriots have gone 16-2 and are 15-3 against the spread this campaign including the postseason.

The Falcons were the highest scoring team during the regular season with an average of 33.8 points per contest while allowing 25.4 against and that’s why they’re in the Super Bowl for the first time since 1998. They’ve averaged 40 points for over their two playoff outing and conceded 20.5 against. They enter the Super Bowl with six straight wins behind them with quarterback Matt Ryan racking up 18 touchdown passes in those contests with no interceptions. Ryan has had an MVP caliber year and has been making good use of his top receivers including Taylor Gabriel, Julio Jones and Austin Hooper.

In 2016/17 Ryan became the first quarterback in the history of the NFL history to connect with 13 different players on touchdown passes in a season. Running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman have also had fine seasons as they’ve scored a couple of dozen touchdowns between them this year and rushed for a combined 2,482 during the season. The Falcons had 392 passing yards in their NFC Championship Game against Green Bay with 101 yards on the ground for a total of 494. They conceded 99 rushing yards and 268 passing yards for a total of 367 yards. And while the Atlanta’s defense could be considered a weak spot by some, it still registered 22 takeaways in the regular season.

The Patriots have won nine straight games heading into the Super Bowl. New England was also one of the highest-scoring teams in the regular season by posting an average of 27.6 points on the scoreboard each week. In addition, they were the best defensive squad when it came to points against at just 15.6 against per outing. So far in the playoffs, they’ve averaged 35 points for per game and 16.5 against. The offence is led by legendary quarterback Tom Brady and he has tosses 21 touchdown passes in his past nine games with three interceptions.

Brady threw three TD passes against Pittsburgh last weekend by going 32 for 42 and gaining 384 yards in the air. New England struggled on the ground against the Steelers though with just 57 yards. However, they gave up only 54 rushing yard, but were burned in the air for 314. Defensively, The Patriots conceded 88.6 rushing yards per game this regular season, for the fourth-best rush defence in the league and they allowed 238 passing yards against per game. The Patriots are without injured tight-end Rob Gronkowski, but running back Dion Lewis has been helping out with some timely touchdowns during his absence and LeGarrette Blount has been effective.

Prediction: New England wins by eight points, 29-21

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