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Super Bowl LI predictions: We see a triumph in Atlanta’s future

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If we’re right, you might want to get your confetti ready.

Atlanta Falcons Practice Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

DW

Falcons 35 - Patriots 31

Simply put, the Falcons are the more battle-tested team this year. They’ve had to go against some of the best pass rushers offensively, while also facing some of the best QBs defensively. In contrast, the Patriots have faced some of the worst QBs in the league, which has helped to bolster their “number 1 scoring defense.” Still, the Patriots defense is talented and the Falcons will have to play their best game to win. I just happen to believe that they will do just that.

Matt Chambers

Falcons: 34 - Patriots 31

I hate to tempt fate in a Super Bowl game, but this game is prime for an upset. Atlanta’s defense has been sneaky good down the stretch, and the offense has been bordering on the best ever. Bill Belichick may be the greatest coach ever, but the Patriots are 1 for 3 in Super Bowls in the last decade, and may be one Marshawn Lynch run away from a long Lombardi drought. Even with Tom Brady, I’m just not sure the Patriots can keep up without an elite offensive weapon like Gronkowski.

JASON KIRK

FALCONS 56 - PATRIOTS 0

ONE POINT FOR EACH NIGHT DJ ESCO SPENT STUCK IN DUBAI. RISE UP

Adam Schultz

Falcons 38 - Patriots 34

Falcons score a lot, so do the Patriots. Our young but Tenacious D (read what I did there?) hold the Pats to a couple of field goals and the city of Atlanta gets lit.

Allen Strk

Falcons 37 - Patriots 33

If Rob Gronkowski was healthy, this isn’t a difficult pick. The superstar tight end would be a matchup nightmare against a young defense. He is New England’s only game-changing receiving option. No other player can ultimately take over a game. That should bode well for Atlanta’s fast defense. Explosive plays will be the difference maker. The Patriots’ well-organized secondary has only allowed five 40-yard plays this season. None of their opponents are comparable to the Falcons. If you can’t generate pressure, Matt Ryan will find success against any secondary. The offense is simply too dynamic. Expect Tevin Coleman to be an integral part of their passing game. Keanu Neal will make a huge play at some point as well.

Dave Choate

Falcons 34 - Patriots 30

Sure, it’ll be close, but it’s this righteous, close-knit team from a championship-starved city playing against a spoiled franchise that doesn’t have the same cadre of weapons it usually does. Go Falcons, forever.

Kevin Knight

Falcons 34 - Patriots 27

If you weren’t a believer in this team before the playoffs, two blowouts against quality competition should have convinced you. Yet, the media generally regards the Falcons as a clear underdog in this game. Don’t believe them--believe what Atlanta has shown us. The Falcons are a great team that is capable of dominating any team at any time. While I don’t believe that will be the case against New England, the Falcons should still pull off the win. Atlanta is prepared for what they will be facing: they’ve been tested against the best offenses in the league (New Orleans, Green Bay) and they’ve found success against the toughest defenses the NFL has to offer (Seattle, Denver, Kansas City).

New England has played arguably the easiest schedule in the league, and simply hasn’t been tested. Sure, Bill Belichick is a great coach, and Tom Brady is a great QB. But I believe Dan Quinn and Kyle Shanahan are great coaches too, and Matt Ryan is likely the league MVP. It’ll be a tough battle, but I expect Atlanta’s offense to be too much for New England’s defense. Meanwhile, Atlanta’s defense does just enough to seal the win.

Caleb Rutherford

Falcons 31 - Patriots 30

I would like nothing more than for the Falcons to win this game 75-0, but we all know that’s not what is going to happen. This game could feasibly come down to who has the ball last, and that’s a terrifying proposition. NE’s defense and offense combined are probably better than Atlanta’s, but the game won’t be played on paper. The whole “In Brotherhood” movement is unlike anything I can remember. Dan Quinn’s ideals have come to full blast in just year two, and we will see it bear fruit to its maximum potential.

As far as the game itself, the Falcons’ defense will have its hands full containing the equally prolific Patriots offense. Expect Brady to also take the easy, open throw each and every down. The Falcons will have to win up front to stand a chance, and that includes the monstrous LeGarrette Blount. On offense, the Falcons will probably take advantage of a modest Patriots LB corps by using Freeman and Coleman extensively. I expect Julio to either have a monster game or a tame game, as the Patriots will surely dedicate extra bodies to covering him. I dunno, I’m just gonna sit back and enjoy the ride. No way a Falcons fan would predict anything less than victory at this point.