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Looking Ahead to Super Bowl LI; NE vs ATL Picks and Thoughts

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Looking Ahead to Super Bowl LI; NE vs ATL Picks and Thoughts

Looking Ahead to Super Bowl LI; NE vs ATL Picks and Thoughts

It’s February first here in Cowboy country, the 2017 NFL Pro Bowl week has just concluded, and the slug fest that will be 2017’s Super Bowl LI is just days away. It’s kind of crazy to think about; while the New England Patriots are going to their seventh Super Bowl with Tom Brady under center, the Atlanta Falcons are just enjoying the franchise’s second Super Bowl appearance, ever.

One way or another, we’re going to see something special happen in Houston this Sunday.

Is it the special we wanted? Of course not. Never mind the ridiculousness of the notion, we wanted the Cowboys in Super Bowl LI. We wanted young Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott with chart-topping years. We wanted that chance, at least, and we didn’t get it.

Instead, we get an overflowing cup of hope that 2017 will be our year, and in the backs of our minds speaks this wee little voice about the Chicago Cubs. Cubs fans claimed “next year is our year” more than 100 times before reality finally swung their way. It hasn’t been 108 years for Cowboys fans, but there are certainly times when it feels like it’s been that long, doesn’t it?

Ryan leaf, anyone? How about Vinny Testaverde? There’s no doubt that we fell very far from grace after our last real run.

So I look at the stage, NRG Stadium in Houston, TX. It’s a great venue.

I look at a guy who I’ve known for a couple of years now, who I have considered a friend, making his way down Radio Row this week after slinging jokes, puns, and gimmicks for two years, all in an effort to either distract or celebrate the ups and downs we’ve faced together. It was rough in 2015, really rough, but 2016 enlivened Cowboys Nation like I’ve rarely seen before. And our very own RJ Ochoa has been a great voice within The Nation through all of it. You should definitely tune to ESPN San Antonio and give him a listen this week.

I look at the big game ahead and I just know, the Cowboys were a play away. And then, in spite of all that, I look at the match-up between the Patriots and the Falcons, between Tom Terrific and Matty-Ice, and I’m thinking, “Man… this is going to be one hell of a game.”

I know the Patriots are the favorite to win it, and I know why, too. Tom Brady is just clutch in big games and this is as big as it gets for him. He’s been here before so there’s nothing new. He’ll go out and command his men in the way that only Tom Brady can, and the Falcons will do their best to stop him.

But I like the Falcons for this one. I’m not a huge fan of the city of Atlanta; a freezing December night at the downtown Greyhound station when I was 15 left a sour taste, but this team has always had my support when playing in the Super Bowl. I was watching them play the Broncos in Super Bowl XXXIII just praying for Chris Chandler and the Dirty Birds to knock off the Broncos. It didn’t happen then, but I think it can happen now.

Flat-out, I think the Falcons can score more points than the Patriots. I don’t see the defenses playing a huge role in this game. There will be turnovers and sacks. There will be big plays on defense but ultimately, the offenses will have to get it done.

The Patriots may have the more experienced offense, but the Falcons are performing better. So I’ve got the Falcons over New England, 41-30. Crazy, right? I know.

But hey, without my ‘Boys dressing for the game, I’ve got to get my thrills somehow, right?

Who’s your pick to win Super Bowl LI? Comment below.

Bryson Treece

Nothing gives me greater joy than the experience of being a Dallas Cowboys fan come time to check another victory on the schedule every Sunday. I live Inside the Star everyday and blog on it occasionally, as well. Follow us on Twitter - @InsideTheStarDC

2 Comments
  • https://InsideTheStar.com Sean Martin

    So you’re saying my under 59.5 bet is in trouble haha?

  • Russ_Te

    A few projections and then a lock. If you bet more than 50 cents on it that’s your fault… ;^)

    1) Hoodie will come to the stadium with a defensive game plan that limits or shuts down Julio Jones. The Falcons have to know this and be ready to win with other weapons. But they also need to counter it by moving Jones around.

    And I open the game with a smashmouth run attack that Belichick isn’t expecting. Mostly runs, even if I have to punt a couple times. I don’t think the Patriots can stop it. I’d also have a sweep or reverse to Jones within those plays somewhere. Get him off the dime early.

    2) The Falcons D is playing better than it is, and that’s mincemeat for Brady if they play a passive 4-7 like the Steelers did. I’m not letting Brady get comfortable in the pocket – bottom line. I kitchen sink him from the opening play and make him deal with it. I’m not convinced the Pats receivers can dominate my bump coverage, as I load the box and go after Brady.

    If he burns it he burns it, but I also get hits and probably turnovers out of it, Either way the Pats offense is off the field quickly, and that comports with my ball-control approach for the Atlanta offense.

    The way the Falcons played this postseason, it has the feel of finally being their year. Furthermore, there is no justice if Brady gets another Lombardi… ;^)

    Atlanta 38
    New England 17

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