As nearly every NFL fan across the United States is probably aware, Super Bowl 51 will be featuring the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons. It has seemed to be commonplace in recent years for the Patriots to still be playing well into January, and often into February at the “big dance.” The combination of Tom Brady at quarterback, and head coach Bill Belichick has produced a grand total of 7 Super Bowl appearances in the past 17 seasons, 4 of which resulting in rings.
The Atlanta Falcons on the other hand have only had one Super Bowl appearance in franchise history in 1999, losing to John Elway and the Denver Broncos. The fact that the Dirty Birds from the ATL made it all the way for the first time since Bill Clinton was still in office shocked many sports fans, including myself. According to patriots.com, the New England Patriots played in 5 prime-time, nationaly televised games during the 2016 regular season, while the Atlanta Falcons were featured in only 2 prime-time games. The first of which was on the evening of September 26th, the same night as the first presidential debate.
It seems that when no one was watching, the Falcons quietly won a division title, an NFC Championship, and maybe a Lombardi trophy. With MVP caliber quarterback Matt Ryan, and superstar wide receiver Julio Jones leading the way, the Dirty Birds will not simply show up, but I believe they will dominate. Many sports casters and pregame predictions still heavily favor New England, but as for me, I am done underestimating the Atlanta Falcons.
Image from: http://panicbutton.sportsblog.com/posts/3039532/fantasy—the-matt-ryan-to-julio-jones-combo-looked-elite.html