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Super Bowl LI: Odds favor the New England Patriots by three points over the Atlanta Falcons

Super Bowl LI is set and will take place at the NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. The latest point spread released by odds makers has the New England Patriots favored by three points over the Atlanta Falcons. Not surprising when you consider the advantages that the Patriots have over the Falcons.

Betting lines change throughout the two week build up to the championship game.However, it seems the line spread will continue to favor New England and stay in the realm of three to three and a half points.

Let’s have a look at why New England is being favoured early on:

BILL BELICHICK vs DAN QUINN

This will be the first time these coaches go head to head, the glaring difference between them is experience. Bill Belichick has been to eight Super Bowls in his career. Six with the Patriots and two as defensive coordinator with the New York Giants. Dan Quinn won a Super Bowl with the Seattle Seahawks in 2014, serving as the defensive coordinator under Pete Carroll. This will be his first trip to the Super Bowl as a head coach.

Belichick is widely considered one of the best coaches in NFL history. His preparation and game planning is second to none. His team is always prepared and disciplined on the football field, Belichick is 25-10 in the playoffs as a head coach. Dan Quinn will have the grueling task of game planning for Belichick’s defensive unit, who are playing at their peak.

TOM BRADY vs MATT RYAN

Both quarterbacks are playing at a MVP level this season, Brady might lose the MVP race to Ryan considering he missed the first four games of the season. The Falcons are coming off a convincing win against the Green Bay Packers where Ryan dominated, throwing 392 yards and four touchdowns.

Brady is playing like a man possessed, whether he is motivated by the deflategate scandal or not, he is playing at an all-time great level. Brady has the most wins in playoff history, as well as four Super Bowl rings and three MVP’s for his performances in the championship games.

Ryan is going to his first Super Bowl in his career, he has played in six playoff games and owns a 2-4 record, not to say that will effect his performance but experience matters. Atlanta has the number one scoring offense in the NFL, coupled with star receiver Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu in the slot. Devonte Freeman and Tevin Coleman also pack a punch in the back field and can run the ball when needed.

Brady might not have a receiver the caliber of a Julio Jones, but the Patriots have a system in place. Chris Hogan, Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola collectively carry the load on offense. Tight end Martellus Bennett has been battling an ankle injury, but will still be needed in the game.

LeGarrette Blount has been a game changer along with Dion Lewis. Both running backs offer speed and power that will be needed for Brady to keep the Falcons defense on their heels.

PATRIOTS DEFENSE vs FALCONS DEFENSE

New England are ranked number one in scoring defense and Atlanta claim the number one spot in scoring offense. The old adage is that defense wins championships could be the case in this match up. Both offenses could perform at a high level, subsequently, the game could come down to one or two stops near the end.

The Patriots have the better all around defense, and the back field with Malcolm Butler and Ryan Logan, in addition to Pro Bowl safety Devin McCourty patrolling the lanes. Their defensive front is not one that will feast on the quarterback, but they keep him guessing. It is a collective effort by a defense that is extremely disciplined and play to their strengths, they do not play “hero ball” or miss assignments.

The Falcons on the other hand have a young defensive unit with immense talent. Vic Beasley leads the league with 15.5 sacks and Dwight Freeney is a veteran presence on the defense and has been solid this season. The defense proved it’s legitimacy after shutting down the Packers, and Aaron Rodgers.

The build up to Super Bowl LI is always an enjoyable time for fans and pundits. There will be ample material that will capture the imagination of sports radio and talk shows. Stay tuned as we take a deeper look into which players will have the biggest impact in the championship game.

The Vegas insider lists numerous odds that you can check out on their site for further information.

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NFL: New England Patriots are headed to Super Bowl LI after beating the Pittsburgh Steelers

Tom Brady and the New England Patriots beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC championship game 36-17. This will be the 7th appearance in the Super Bowl for the Patriots during the Bill Belichick era along with Tom Brady at quarterback.

Tom Brady’s performance was nothing short of spectacular, throwing a franchise playoff best 384 yards with three touchdowns to no interceptions. The Steelers defense had no answer for the Patriots, and Ben Roethlisberger could not get a flow on offense either.

Roethlisberger had a rough night in Foxborough, throwing for 314 yards but could only achieve one touchdown and had one interception, against a New England defense that flustered him the whole game. Coach Belichick’s defense worked on stopping the run, primarily keeping Le’veon Bell in check until he was injured late in the first quarter.

Star wide receiver Antonio Brown had a sub par performance with seven receptions for only 77 yards. Malcolm Butler who was covering Brown for most of the game kept him in check for the most part. The Steelers were ill prepared and were missing assignments on defense. Head coach Mike Tomlin was unable to create a game plan that was threatening to the Patriots in this game.

The Patriots offensive line played efficiently, giving Brady time to get the ball to his targets. Chris Hogan had a breakout game posting 180 yards with 9 receptions and two touchdowns, one of the catches came on a flea flicker that was drawn up perfectly. Julian Edelman caught a key touchdown pass to put the Patriots up 34-9 and seal their fate to the Super Bowl.

The Patriots win was emphatic and simply reaffirmed that they are led by one of the greatest quarterback – coach tandems in sports history. Brady and Belichick have won 24 playoff games together, most in league history. A Super Bowl win would be the perfect ending to Tom Brady’s season, another Lombardi trophy would give him a total of five championships and further cement his legacy as the greatest quarterback to ever play the game.

NEXT GAME:

The Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots are set for Super Bowl LI in Houston, Texas.

 

Green Bay Packers face the Atlanta Falcons for the NFC title.

 

The Atlanta Falcons will host the Green Bay Packers in the Georgia Dome on Sunday afternoon. Aaron Rodgers and his offense will attempt to go into Atlanta and leave with a ticket straight to Houston for Super Bowl LI. Matt Ryan and the Falcons are looking to make a statement in the playoffs and prove that their amazing season was not a fluke.

This game will in all probability be a shootout between Rodgers and Ryan, it might come down to one offense simply running out of time on the field. The Atlanta Falcons are on a five game winning streak in which Ryan has recorded 14 touchdowns to no interceptions.

Also coming in with a eight game winning streak are the Packers, led by Rodgers, who is playing at an MVP level. Throughout the winning streak, Rodgers has been phenomenal, posting 21 touchdowns to two interceptions, coupled with a passer rating of a 117.9.

Both quarterbacks have the capability to put up numbers on the board. But the defenses of both teams will intend to produce in this game. Green bay’s defense is ranked 21st in points allowed and the Falcons are not any better at 27th in points allowed on the season.

With a chance at advancing to the Super Bowl, the defensive units will be inspired to muster up a performance that could seal their teams fate on Sunday. Clay Matthews will be eager to get some hits on Ryan early in the game. Atlanta’s corner backs will have a tough time covering all of Green bay’s receiver. Even without Jordy Nelson, other key receivers are stepping up with Randall Cobb as well as tight end Jared Cook, who made the game changing catch against the Dallas Cowboys.

Atlanta’s defense will have a tough task slowing down Rodgers, the combination of speed and accuracy could help the young core of Atlanta slow down Rodgers. However, even when running out of the pocket, Rodgers makes throws that not many quarterbacks in NFL history could make.

The game will come down to which team can make a key stop at the end. But if the game is a continuous shootout, the Falcons might wilt under the pressure. The Packers perform in the clutch and have shown it time and again. Mason Crosby can kick it, Aaron Rodgers can throw it.

Game Information

Georgia Dome

 

NFL: New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers clash for a trip to Superbowl LI.

The New England Patriots will look to make a statement on Sunday when they face the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC championship game. New England has home field advantage this time around and are historically great at home during the playoffs in the Brady-Belichick era.

The match up offers many challenges for the Patriots on defense more so than on offense. Tom Brady plays well against the Steelers, especially at home. Brady is 9-2 all-time with 26 touchdowns and three interceptions against Pittsburgh, his MVP caliber season has proven that even without Rob Gronkowski, the offense can put up points against any defense. The schemes and routes that Brady runs are tailored for his player’s and their strengths.

Dion Lewis will be a key contributor this week along with LeGarrette Blount. Both with contrasting styles, Lewis with his quick running and grabbing passes out of the backfield, Blount with his punishing running style. Tight end Martellus Bennett is primed for a break out performance in the playoffs and we could see it this Sunday.

The Steelers defense will have difficulty containing the Patriots offense because they can adapt in so many ways. If the running game is not working, they can let Brady have his way with throwing the ball all over the field, his receivers are formidable with Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan and Danny Amendola.

The defense is a different story, the statistics show that the Patriots defense is elite. However, the Steelers offense will pose many challenges. Star wide receiver Antonio Brown is a match up nightmare, coupled with Le’veon Bell at running back and how he can control the pace of the game.

Bill Belichick has a history of taking the opponents strengths away from them. The scheme will probably revolve around stopping the Steelers running game and forcing Ben Roethlisberger to use his arm and get his receivers open. Bell is averaging 168.5 rushing yards this postseason. Corner back Malcolm Butler will be the primary cover on Brown throughout the game.

Coach Mike Tomlin will be sure to keep the pressure on Brady and attempt to keep him uncomfortable, depending on how well the Patriots offensive line protect Brady, keeping the pocket clean will be vital for Brady to be able to carve up the Steelers defense.

This AFC title game is shaping up to be a thriller, with star power on both sides, it will be an interesting game. The Patriots are favored, as they should be with how they perform at home and considering what is on the line.

A possible 7th Super Bowl appearance for Brady and a chance at a 5th ring with Bill Belichick at the helm. Pittsburgh will try to derail those plans and prove their championship mettle.

Game Information

Gillette Stadium, 6:40PM, January 22, 2017.

NFL Playoffs: The Green Bay Packers defeat the Dallas Cowboys to advance to the NFC championship game

The Green Bay Packers beat the Dallas Cowboys 34-31 to advance to the NFC championship game. Aaron Rodgers helped the Packers hold on at the end, after a furious Dallas comeback. This game was a tale of two halves, as the Packers offense jumped to an early lead in the first and second quarter.

Rodgers was orchestrating the offense, making huge plays on third downs, he ended up with 356 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. However, the Cowboys began to fight back with a second half surge that gave them a chance to win the game.

Dak Prescott threw for 302 yards for three touchdowns and one interception, Ezekiel Elliot rushed for 125 yards and Dez Bryant had 132 receiving yards and two touchdown.The score was 21-13 after halftime, the Dallas defense came out with some adjustment in their game plan. The defense began rushing the quarter back more often and stopped playing zone schemes.

Subsequently, the Cowboys offense started to gain momentum and Prescott was able to march down the field twice to set up scores and tie up the game. The last two and half minutes of the game is where it got very interesting. The Packers were held to the 56 yard line with 1:38 left on the clock on fourth down, their star kicker Mason Crosby came through in the clutch and made the 56 yard kick to put them up by three.

Lacking no confidence at all, the rookie quarterback threw two huge passes to get the Cowboys in field goal position to tie the game. Dan Bailey made the field goal kick to tie the game at 31, leaving 35 seconds on the clock. Which could be considered a lifetime in football terms.

Aaron Rodgers is known to be clutch in these situations, which meant Dallas had to make on more stop to advance the NFC championship game. The game was on the line and with 12 seconds on the clock, Rodgers snapped the ball, spun to his left, ran forward and launched an amazing pass to tight end Jared Cook, who was able to tip toe towards the sideline and make the catch. The conversion set up field goal range for Crosby at 51 yards and he made it count kicking the game winner to defeat the Cowboys 34-31.

It will be Rodgers’ third NFC title game on the road for Green Bay (12-6) and he got there in his first game at the home of the Cowboys since he won his only title as the Super Bowl MVP six years ago.

The Packers will face the red hot Atlanta Falcons on the road for the NFC championship next Sunday.

Should all athletes use the new Under Armour sleepwear?

Under Armour and NFL quarterback Tom Brady are partnering up again, this time to introduce a new ground breaking product for professional athletes.Under Armour claim that this new sleep wear equipped with bio ceramic material inside the fabric, will assist athletes in recovering from their strenuous training schedules, as well as reduce inflammation in the body.

Brady being at an advanced age in football years, 39, claims that this product is the real deal and helps his body recover after practice and games. CEO of Under Armour Kevin Plank introduced the sleep wear and announced a follow up sleep app that will give users data and feedback on their sleeping habits.

Now you are probably thinking all this smart pajamas technology is going to have a large price tag, you would be right, Under Armour is pricing at around $100 and $80 per piece. So if rest and recovery is that important to you, buying these pieces might help your cause. Some may be skeptical about the actual power behind this new technology and if it really works on the body.

In an interview with WEEI Kirk and Callahan show, Brady was asked about the new sleep wear and said”It’s a no brainer,it’s an incredible product and I am not going to waste my time on anything that doesn’t work”.

Many people might not buy into this new campaign, but having one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time endorse and assist in developing this product will generate demand by the sheer fact that Brady is associated.