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Jan 22, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Eric Weems (14) hugs head coach Dan Quinn after dumping gatorade on him during the fourth quarter in the 2017 NFC Championship Game against the Green Bay Packers at the Georgia Dome. Atlanta won 44-21. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Falcons ready for Super Bowl Challenge

The Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots are on exact opposite sides of the spectrum.  The Patriots have had quite some time with the Vince Lombardi trophy, especially with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. But, the Atlanta Falcons are looking to do something they’ve never done before: win a Super Bowl.

After beating the Green Bay Packers, in what I would call a blow out, Dan Quinn and the red hot Falcons will play not only in the biggest but their toughest game of the season. This being, a game that they have only been to once before with an outcome they hope to change.

Coaching

But one thing that has helped the Falcons prepare for the great mind and play of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady is head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, Dan Quinn. Quinn has had quite a thrilling past couple of years. He is coming back to the Super Bowl for his third time in the last four years. Quinn, who previously was the defensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks, has had some great experience playing against Belichick and Brady.

Most recently, Quinn faced the Patriots in the 2014 Super Bowl when the Patriots won the game on a late interception by Malcolm Butler on the one yard line. So Quinn has not only been able to prepare against Brady and the Patriots high-powered offense before, but he has had some unbelievable experience in the biggest game of the year for any team.

Because of Quinn’s recent history with the Seahawks, the Falcons defense models much like Seattle’s, sticking with their basic 4-3 alignment. They may send some more pressure because their defensive line is not as powerful, but they’re one of the fastest defenses in the league and like hustling to make sure there’s always a hat on the ball. This is very beneficial because with the speed of this falcons defense. They don’t give up many long plays and they can stick with the Patriots versatile running backs.

Falcons Defense

As many Gator fans know, the Falcons defense has two Gators that are starting. Keanu Neal and Brian Poole are both taking advantage of what they have in store and will be playing in their first respective Super Bowls. These two worked very hard to get to where they are and are now starting for a Super Bowl team.

Quinn says that players aren’t just thrown in the game because they were drafted. His program is about finding the best people for the team. The Falcons also have linebackers who are very active. They have Vic Beasley, who was the sack leader this year with 15.5 sacks. He will be a big part in stopping the Patriots running backs. He is accompanied by Deion Jones who led the league with 165 return yards and three interceptions. He returned two out of the three interceptions for touchdowns.

The saying is “defense wins championships” and I think this holds true for this game. These are two of the best offenses so we know that there will be points put up on the board, but whoever’s defense steps up and makes big plays will win this game.

High-Powered Offense

Furthermore, a lot of teams have at most two offensive weapons that will be heavily monitored by the opposing team. For the Falcons, they have multiple weapons on their offense which makes them so hard to prepare for. Bill Belickick is a defensive guy and most of the time comes up with great strategies against opposing offenses. Yet, the Falcons are so deep offensively that they are a hard team to stop. If it’s not Devonta Freeman it’s Tevin Coleman. If it’s not Tevin Coleman, it’s Julio Jones. If it’s not Julio Jones, it’s Mohammed Sanu Jr.

The Falcons have a lot of playmakers and they have used this to their upper hand all year. Although Jones is so dominant and has had two stellar playoff performances, he may be double-teamed. If that happens, it will open up the duo between Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. Additionally, Ryan has completed touchdown passes to 13 different receivers showing that his tendencies don’t just favor Jones.

This Falcons team ended the regular season ranking third in passing yards per game, fifth in rushing yards per game, and the most points per game with 33.8. The Falcons revolve around Matt Ryan, who had the best passer rating among quarterbacks with a 117.1.  He was also second in yards with 4,944 yards and 38 touchdowns. So unless something erratic happens and Matt Ryan plays the worst game of the season, the Falcons will be putting points on the board.

Motivation

The Falcons have a saying that has been motivation heading into this game. It is #InBrotherhood, which means that this is not individual players making plays to win a game, but a unit of brothers that will come together and play as a team in hopes to win the game.

Be sure to tune into Westwood One’s coverage of the Super Bowl right here starting at 2:00 p.m.

About Troy Porter

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