At various times during the 2016 season, it looked like the Falcons we’ve all known, loved, and feared over 50 seasons would rear their ugly heads. These were the Falcons that let you down, no matter how good or how fun they were. That was the status quo, and a loss to the Eagles here and a baffling dropped game to the Chargers there could have been a signal that we were about to see that again.
These Falcons haven’t disappointed, though. Particularly after the bye week and into the postseason, they’ve excelled, smashing through quality defenses and excellent offenses and great quarterbacks with brutal zeal. The offense has been historic and the defense has been miles ahead of where it should be, and the end result has been one of the most effective, compelling Atlanta teams of all-time. They’re one win away from hoisting the first Lombardi Trophy in franchise history.
Here’s a take, albeit not a bold one: The Atlanta Falcons are going to win this Super Bowl.
This Falcons team is too good. They’ve only been stopped on offense a handful of times this year, and the defense has shown a knack for coming up with timely turnovers and big stops, even against a Green Bay Packers team that had been dominating opponents in the second half of the season. If you’re worried about the strength of the Patriots defense, keep in mind that the Falcons took care of a very good Seattle defense on the way here. If you’re worried about the Patriots offense, think back to the team’s handling of that Green Bay offense.
The Patriots, for all their obvious strengths and brilliance, are not the powerhouse they have been at times in the past. They’re missing Rob Gronkowski, their defense has benefitted mightily from feasting on weaker offenses, and they have not had to deal with the array of weapons the Falcons can serve up, even if they handled a Steelers team that can obviously hurt teams badly. I think ultimately the Falcons will handle their business and win by a score of, let’s say, 34-30.
It’ll be close, it’ll be messy at times, and it may take a few years off of our lives, but in the end I think this red hot Falcons team will be able to beat a Patriots team that has been here many, many times. A win here would mean so much for Atlanta, for long (or short) suffering Falcons fans, and for the franchise and everyone associated with it. These Falcons could be good for a long time, but starting off that long run with a Lombardi Trophy would be about as good as it gets.
I hope it will be the first of many.