The day is finally here. After months and months of work, sweat and tears thirty-two teams have become two. Tonight in Houston, Texas the Atlanta Falcons take on the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XI.
I was not even sure I would write this column. Leading up to the game nothing was coming. Then I started hearing the national media talking about the game. And fans talking. Shortly after the juices started flowing.
The national narrative is Patriots, Patriots, Patriots. I just do not see it.
While the Patriots have the number one scoring defense, the Falcons have the number one overall offense.
Many will point to Tom Brady and Bill Belichick’s experience in the big game. But experience is not everything.
I look at recent history, especially the playoffs.
While everyone focuses on the Falcons offense their defense is nothing to sneeze at. Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers was playing over his head the last two months. No one was playing quarterback any better than Rodgers. Not Brady. Not Matt Ryan. No one.
And the Falcons shut him down winning 44-21. It was the third quarter before the Packers scored their first points after being down 31-0.
At the same time when the Patriots played the Houston Texans the week before they struggled. Tom Brady looked decidedly mortal. If the Texans had any semblance of an offense that day they would have advanced instead of the Pats.
While Belichick is known for taking your best player away Matt Ryan threw touchdown passes to thirteen different players this season. The Patriots cannot possibly take away that much offense.
The game will be fun and competitive but I do expect the Falcons to come out fast and never look back.