Cheat Sheet Q&A: Super Bowl Prediction:
Today's entry: Given how much analysis you do and being a Falcons fan I'm sure you've studied the Super Bowl. So do you think the Atlanta Falcons will win or do you just want them to win?
Bottom Line: Given that the Falcons only make the Super Bowl about every 25 years - I'll indulge the question provided that no one takes this as serious information for the purpose of gambling...
As a Falcons fan you learn to be quiet when your team looks pretty good. Never having won a Super Bowl will have that effect on a fan. That being said, in certain circles when asked throughout the season, I observed that this Falcons team is the best Falcons team I've ever watched play and they've only improved throughout the post-season. Here's the key to the Falcons team for the uninitiated. Yes, the offense is one of the best ever (5th best in NFL history statistically), but the defense is actually much better than anyone not paying attention realizes.
Everyone sees that the Falcons were 27th in the league in points allowed and 25th in yards allowed and assumes the defense is a liability. It's not. It's actually a much better than average defense. That might sound crazy but here's what people who aren't haven't generally don't realize. The Falcons offense was so prolific that they often had big leads by the 4th quarter and played soft, often resting starters.
Here's the Falcons defensive rank by quarter that illustrates that point:
1st quarter: 10th
2nd quarter: 17th
3rd quarter: 11th
4th quarter: 31st
So the Falcons D ranked 12th aside from the 4th quarter which was often "garbage time". What's more is that the D has continued to solidify throughout the season. Four of their starters on defense are/were rookies that benefited from the experience gained during the season. This was fully on display when the Falcons were up 31-0 at half against Green Bay in the NFC championship. If it sounds like I'm high on my team it's because I am. What the defense isn't good enough to overcome is turnovers. Unless it's a blowout that's what I think this game will be decided on. The Falcons and Patriots were the two best teams in the league in turnover ratio. I'll provide you with three outcomes that I think are most likely based on circumstances:
If the Falcons turn the ball over 1 or fewer times they win
If they turn it over more than once New England wins
If it's a blowout - The Falcons win
So there you have it. Two deviations from what I usually do. Sports analysis and talking positively about my team. I'm not superstitious or else I'd probably regret doing this!
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