We all anticipate that this game is going to be a battle of offense more than defense, and that offense could very well carry the day for our Atlanta Falcons. The Ringer, which has been doing phenomenal work all throughout this season, illustrates just how hard it is going to be to slow down the league’s most prolific offense, no matter how good New England is.
At first glance, you might be like, “whoa, four steps to stop the Falcons?” On second glance, you’ll note that pulling off these four things is ridiculous at best and impossible at worst, which will probably immediately make you feel better.
The first thing is that stopping Julio Jones is difficult, and it typically requires safety help in order to pull off effectively. The second thing is that with Julio locked down, assuming you can do it, you now have one less defender to bring to bear against Mohamed Sanu, Taylor Gabriel, Austin Hooper, Devonta Freeman, Tevin Coleman, Justin Hardy, Aldrick Robinson, and hell, even Levine Toilolo. Thirdly, the guards have held up remarkably well this season. Fourthly...well, okay, you can run on the Falcons. I’m not going to quibble with that one.
What this makes evident is that the Patriots are going to need their best defensive performance of the year, plus some brilliant twists Atlanta hasn’t seen before. That could happen, I suppose, but it’s much more likely the Patriots outgun than the Falcons than stopping them outright, which is a cheery thought.