Super Bowl LI Preview

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Super Bowl LI Preview

The Atlanta Falcons face the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI

The Atlanta Falcons face the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI

The Atlanta Falcons face the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI

The Atlanta Falcons face the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI

By Mano Baghjajian

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The Super Bowl. The most watched television event of the year is just around the corner, and this year’s game is shaping up to be a potential classic. This time the Super Bowl comes from Houston and will take place in NRG Stadium. Two great teams are going at it for the Vince Lombardi Trophy. The upstart Atlanta Falcons will be taking on the veteran New England Patriots. With two of the best offenses in the league going at it on the grandest stage of them all, this game will definitely be something special.

Representing the National Football Conference is the Atlanta Falcons, led by MVP favorite Matt Ryan. After years of being a punchline among football fans, Ryan led his team to an 11-5 record and has risen to the top tier of NFL quarterbacks. Ryan has had an MVP worthy season, throwing for 4,944 yards, 37 touchdowns and only 7 interceptions. Ryan also leads the league in quarterback rating with an 83.3 QBR.

Ryan isn’t alone in this offense. Julio Jones has proven himself to be one of the best receivers in the league with another great season with 1409 yards and 6 touchdowns. Devonta Freeman has been great at running back with 1,079 yards and 11 touchdowns on the season.

Their defense has been good as well, led by linebacker Vic Beasley, who led the team with 15.5 sacks this season. Second year head coach Dan Quinn has turned around this struggling franchise and has now put them on the verge of winning the first Super Bowl in the franchise’s history.

On the other side of the coin there are the New England Patriots, representing the American Football Conference. The Patriots know what it feels like to be in the Super Bowl, with this appearance being their seventh in 16 years. Led by quarterback Tom Brady, the team is looking for their fifth Super Bowl win, which if they do would put them in elite company. After being suspended for the first four games as a result of the Deflategate scandal, Brady led his team to the best record in the AFC at 14-2, while throwing for 3,554 yards and 28 touchdowns with only two interceptions. Brady finished the season with an 82.8 QBR, second only to Ryan.

The team has suffered their fair share of injuries, with star tight end Rob Gronkowski going down with a season ending injury mid-way through the season. The other players have more than picked up the slack with the receiving core of Julian Edelman, Martellus Bennett, and breakout receiver Chris Hogan who has seemingly come out of nowhere to become of Brady’s favorite weapons. The Patriots also have a strong running core which is comprised of Dion Lewis and LeGarrette Blount.

Led by linebacker Dont’a Hightower, New England’s defense has been hard to get past only allowing 27.6 points per game which ranks third in the NFL. Head coach Bill Belichick has once again put the Patriots in position to win the Vince Lombardi trophy, which would be the ultimate revenge after all the scrutiny that has been put on them by league commissioner Roger Goodell.

“Hopefully the Patriots can win again,” said Sevag Kevorkian, 18, a business major at Moorpark College. “Both teams have great offenses so it should be a really fun game.”

Super Bowl LI has the potential to be one of the best in recent memory. The young up and coming team against the experienced veterans. We are in for a shootout this Sunday. Whoever wins the battle will certainly have earned it. The game is this Sunday at 3:30 p.m. on FOX.

 

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