FOOTBALL FRIDAYS: Patriots-Falcons Preview

With all the crazy shit that’s happened this week in Boston sports, it feels like months since the Patriots beat the Jets… People have finally stopped talking about the fumble (except Jets fans lol).

Super Bowl rematch coming in SUPER HOT. Both teams are in a weird spot. The Falcons aerial assault offense has seemed to dip so far this season and the Patriots defense consistently makes me feel the need to go out and buy, then proceed to smoke, an entire carton of Newports. It’s that bad…

I understand that the Patriots defense gave up only 14 points two weeks ago in Tampa, and only 17 points last week against the Jets, but nobody can read this today and say they’re confident in this defense right now. Maybe it has something to do with us all wondering on 3rd and 14 if they’ll be able to get off the field… Only to watch them get gashed for 20+ yards.

So hooray for getting to face Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and Devonta Freeman on prime time! Catch the fever! I understand that the Falcons offense has taken a nose dive compared to last season but they’re still the same guys and the Patriots still have their hands full. The defensive back’s of the Patriots are decimated right now and I don’t count on Stephon Gilmore suiting up again this Sunday, but I hope I’m wrong.

The Patriots have allowed opposing quarterbacks to throw for over 300 yards in 6 straight weeks… ACTUALLY BAD, folks.

“Well, that’s fine! We’ve gawt Touchdown Tawmmy! We ahh gonna put up fawty!”

While I agree, having GOD Tom Brady throwing hot DOTS all over the field makes me feel better. The Falcons have a defense that’s built on speed, and as evident in the first half of the Super Bowl, they have the speed to give the Patriots horizontal passing attack fits. Without Julian Edelman, it’s even more alarming.

A big reason the Patriots were able to get back into the Super Bowl was due to the Falcons defense being gassed in that second half. The Patriots ran 99 plays on offense and held the ball for 40 minutes and 31 seconds (Pro Football Reference). That is some serious mileage for any defense, especially one that played a shit ton of man coverage at the time of the Super Bowl. The Falcons are still playing man coverage 49.5% of the time, second highest in the league behind the Chiefs (Pro Football Focus).

With that, I expect the Patriots to do what they do best on offense… Hanging onto the ball for long periods of time, and limiting turnovers. Death by a thousand cuts with the short passes and then I think Brandin Cooks could have a monster game vertically. Watch out for the man coverage and whoever is covering Cooks (I expect Trufant) they could have safety help over the top. If there’s no safety help specifically for Cooks? Tom Brady is going to try and launch warheads down the field Sunday night.

Sunday night is going to be a good one. I have no idea if the Patriots defense is going to get it together, but I still believe they have the tools to win this game.

Prediction:
Patriots 31 – Falcons 24

AirGinge

Just doing the damn thing, one Boston sporting event at a time. Founder of Boston Bench Mob. Mid-range jump shot enthusiast. Believer of the TB12 Method. Mozzarella sticks for life.

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