Sunday Night Atlanta Falcons at New England Patriots
The rematch that no one has been waiting for. Okay, maybe not “no one”, but I’m sure that Atlanta won’t be too excited to relive all the Super Bowl drama so soon. In case you forgot, the Falcons managed to blow a 25-point second half lead against New England in the Super Bowl in one of the most epic collapses of human history. Now, they have to pack their bags and travel to Gillette Stadium to take on the Pats at home. Good luck.
Keys to the Game
Don’t blow a 25-point lead. Too soon? In reality, Atlanta needs to do what they did for most of the game the last time these two met: spread the ball around on offense and watch the Pats try to keep up. There’s not a team in the league that can truly contain Atlanta’s explosive offense, they need to remember that when they arrive at one of the toughest places to win in sports. Stay calm, let the playmakers do the work (Julio Jones, Devonta Freeman) and don’t let up. The Falcons can absolutely win this one if they don’t let the past get in their way.
New England’s ball control offense is going to be their best bet for beating the Falcons for the second time in as many tries. Their defense isn’t good enough to keep up with Julio Jones and company (no one’s is), so keeping the ball out of their hands is the best defensive strategy. Lucky for NE, Tom Brady is great at that. Long, sustained drives built around short passes and the running game are what New England seems to do best. Doing that will fluster the Falcons and force them into making poor decisions, costing them the game, just like that night in February.