Custom Search




tel:18003484095

banner3

banner3

banner2

 


Super Bowl Preview

February 2, 2017

It has been a rough year for the NFL. Television ratings have dipped. The commissioner cannot make an appearance without being booed. It seems like there are three or four concussions every game. The playoffs have not been interesting as the 10 postseason games have been decided by an average margin of almost 18 points.

But there is one game left and it is a game that could wipe the negative thoughts away.

The Super Bowl.

And it features two exciting teams in the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots.

The underdog is the team with one of the best NFL offenses of all time. At 34 points per game, the Falcons scored the eighth most points in NFL history during the regular season. Quarterback Matt Ryan will likely be the league’s MVP after recording the fifth best season ever by passer rating. Defense has long been an issue for Atlanta. And this year was not much different. At least until the playoffs began. Led by second-year pass rusher Vic Beasley, they made two of the NFL’s top quarterbacks, Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers, look uncomfortable in the pocket. And if there’s one way to stop the Patriots, it’s to hit Tom Brady.

Hitting Mr. Brady is not easy. The Patriots quarterback came back from his four-game Deflategate suspension and gave an MVP worthy performance of his own. The Patriots have lost just one game with Brady under center and the 39-year old registered the third best scoring offense in the NFL. And it is easy to forget that the Pats have the league’s No. 1 scoring defense. If there is a dynasty left in sports, it is in New England. For close to two decades now, it has been great in every facet of the game. They will be going to their NFL record ninth Super Bowl , their seventh in the 16 seasons since Brady took over as the starting quarterback under head coach Bill Belichick.

This is a match up that could give us a classic. The century’s best franchise going up against one of the little guys in all of American sports. Think about it. Atlanta’s professional sports teams have won just one championship in a combined 168 seasons.

Though New England is favored, it’s easy to see why the Falcons are a popular pick. Atlanta has crushed its opposition in the postseason so far, outscoring Seattle and Green Bay, two of the league’s hottest teams in their own right, by a combined score of 80-41. Ryan has been magnificent in that span, throwing for 730 yards and seven touchdowns with no interceptions. He has the game’s top receiver in Julio Jones. All Jones has done in the playoff is to become the first player in league history to have two playoff games with 150-plus receiving yards and at least two touchdowns.

While most of the talk has centered around the quarterbacks, it could be the running-backs that make the difference.
The Falcons have one of the most talented duos in Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. Freeman is the better runner, but Shanahan loves to use Coleman as a receiver out of the backfield. The Patriots have a bruiser in LeGarrette Blount and a receiver-type of their own in Dion Lewis. Edge here goes to Atlanta.

If you are into common opponents, they have had five common opponents (Denver, Seattle, Arizona, Los Angeles and San Francisco) and went 4–1 (each team lost to the Seahawks, with Atlanta losing on the road and the Patriots at home). The cumulative scores were 168–88 for Atlanta; 119–82 for New England. The Falcons had an average margin of victory of 20.5 points, and the Patriots were at 11.0. Edge to Atlanta.

A big edge on defense to New England. The old saying is that defense wins championships. If the adage holds true, the Patriots will win going away.

Another edge for the Pats is coaching. Everyone, even the average fan knows Belichick and his staff usually can defend anything with two weeks to prepare.

The over/under line in this game is a very high 59 points. That does not say much for the defenses. It does say a lot for Ryan and Brady. Both will excel unless they face pressure while throwing. New England does not have much of a pass rush and Atlanta has only one true pass rusher in Vic Beasley.

The game may very well be determined by which team is able to dial up the most pressure and make that top quarterback move off his spot in the pocket.

Like close to 75% of the country, I will be rooting for Atlanta. And I think they could win. Still, it is tough to pick against New England. I will take the Patriots based on their defense. I think they will hold the Falcons to more field goals than touchdowns while Brady and company finds the endzone with relative ease against the Atlanta defense.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


ARCHIVES:

NFL Final Four

NFL Final Four

Clemson Rolls The Tide

Sid’s Top Moments In Sports - 2016

NFL Noise

NFL In December

College Playoff Controversy

What Would You Have Done?

Rivalry Week Is Here

Wild College Football Weekend

ACC Hoops Will Be Strong

Panthers Regain Winning Form

NFL & Domestic Violence

Slip Sliding Away

Another Woods Letdown

What A Game

No Shortage Of Ego

Bathrooms & Sports

NFL Hypocrisy

Carolina Panthers Preview

Why To Watch College Football This Fall

Baseball Races Heating Up

A-Rod's Non-Descript Farewell

Medalists And Taxes

Let's Follow The Money

NBA Hypocrisy

Two At Troon

Duncan Hanging Them Up

Durant's Decision

Charlotte Hornets And Free Agency

Professional Sports Coming To Vegas?

LeBron's Legacy

Will We Get A Classic?

Braves Could Be The Worst Team Of All Time

Panthers' College Free Agent Signing

Curry Repeats As MVP

NFL Draft And The Carolina Panthers II

NFL Draft And The Carolina Panthers

When Will The Money Run Out?

Saying Wow Was An Understatement

What A Game!

Syracuse And The Madness

Hornets Quietly Buzzing

NCAA Madness

Peyton’s Place In The Game Is Set

LeBron And The Cavs

UNC Asking What Just Happened

Clemson Tops List

Panthers Got Beat Up

Why I Like The Panthers

How This Super Bowl Team Was Built

Panthers Held On For Dear Life

NFL Playoffs Continue

NFL Wildcard Playoff Matchups

Panthers Did What?

Bowling For (fill in the blank)

Rose Still Outside Looking In

College Football Playoff Pairings

Be Careful What You Ask For

Cam Getting Some MVP Play

NFL Thoughts

Who Would Have Thunk It?

Relentless Royals

Another Week, Another Win

Panthers Gain Credibility

Pitfalls For USC

Panthers Got Defensive

Panthers Are Rolling

Panthers Win Again

Panthers Win Ugly

Can Panthers Three-Peat?

College Football Preview

Just What The NFL Needed

UNC Delaying Tactics

Some Refreshing News

Deflate-Gate Revisited

The Smoltz Story

Ty Lawson Needs A Wake Up Call

Florida State Police Blotter

World Cup Win For US Women

Hornets Select Kaminsky

Goodell/Brady Have Their Meeting

LeBron & The Cavs Fall Short

ESPN Taking Heat

NBA Finals

Edwards Back In Winners Circle

NFL To Change Football Rules

Deflate-Gate Hits Pats Hard

NFL Draft News

What’s Up With Deflate-Gate

What? Tebow Again

Get Used To Spieth

Duke Claims Title

The Familiar Four

NCAA Tournament Continues

March Madness

Tark The Shark

Duke Is Gearing Up For March Madness

I Don’t Get It

Yankee Hypocrisy

Honoring Dean Smith

Common Sense

Get Your Mind On The Game

NFL Championship Sunday

Panthers Eliminated

Panthers Move On

Panthers Playoff Bound

Sid’s 2014 Bowl Predictions

Kobe vs. Michael

Where Did That Come From?

Goodell Takes A Hit

Fragile Cavs

RG III Needs To Look In The Mirror

Heels AD Still Has Williams’ Back

Bumgarner Saves The Giants

Optimism Abounds With The Hornets

An Unlikely World Series

Winston Off Field Turmoil Continues

Panthers Rebound

October Baseball

Panthers Facing New Questions

Reality With Rice

Panthers Win, Panthers Win 

Carolina Panthers Preview

College Football Preview

When Will Manziel Show Some Poise?

A Tragic Racing Moment

NCAA Football Talk

Got Off Easy

ACC Football Preseason Poll Is Out

LeBron Changes Image

LeBron Still Undecided

Game Effort By USA

The Decision II

Spurs Claim Dynasty Tag

Sour Grapes

Heat Make NBA Finals Again

Cavs Win Lottery (Again)

Nasalgate

Panthers And The Draft

Not So Sterling

NBA Playoff Action

Phelps Diving Back Into It

Shabazzzzzzzz

Final Four Fodder

NCAA Hoop Madness

March Madness, 2014 Style

One and Done

Heels Heating Up

Setting The Record Straight

Martin And Incognito

Bobcats Appear To Be Moving Forward (This Time)

A Super Letdown

Super Bowl Preview

Broncos and Seahawks Reach Super Bowl

Panthers Were Not Ready

Seminoles End SEC Streak

2013 In Review

Sid’s Bowl Picks

Mack Brown Resigns

BCS Gets It Right

Did You See The Classic?

ACC Hoop Preview

NFL Coaching Hot Seats

Panthers Are The Talk Of The NFL

Ravens Not Flying So High These Days

A Jeff Gordon Sighting

World Series Preview

Craziness Within College Football

Dissension In Tar Heel Land

SEC Football Rules

Nickname Controversy

Panthers And Rivera Lose Another Close One

NASCAR Steps Up

NFL, 2013 Style

Panthers Are Cam’s Team

Heels Sticking With Hairston

NCAA Hypocrisy

Does NASCAR Need Young Talent?

Crash & Burn?

PHIL-thy Good

An All Star Night

Charlotte Signs Jefferson

NBA Free Agency And Charlotte

LeBron vs. Michael

Major Problem For Tiger

Police Blotter Hits Tar Heel Hoop Program

NBA Finals Are Set

Irish Eyes Are Not Smiling

NBA Final Four

Tiger May Be Having His Best Season Ever

NBA Playoff Action

No Draft Buzz With The Panthers

NBA Playoff Preview

Tiger Should Have Been DQed

Baseball Is Back

Final Four Fodder

Sweet 16 Madness

March Madness

He’s Back

Kelly’s A Hero

Who Said Girls Can’t Race?

Danica Is On The Pole

King James

Flacco & The Ravens Hang On


 

 

BannerEventAd-01.jpg   BannerEventAd-01.jpg

PO Box 1721 | Hickory, NC 28603 | 828.322.1036 | Office Hours: Mon. - Fri. 9am - 5pm | focusnews@centurylink.net

Home • Reviews: MoviesAdam Long • Editorials: FocusHave Chainsaw Will TravelSid On SportsBobbi GSara MawyerPeople PicturesPlaces/PeopleExtra Events Listing
Out Of Focus • News: Local NewsNational NewsHoroscopes • Info/Links: Staff/ContributorsList Of AdvertisersOnline AdvertisingOnline ClassifiedsContact UsFocus BLOGStoreLinks

© 1978 - 2017 Tucker Productions, Inc.