Is The Wait Over?
The Atlanta Falcons have enjoyed moderate success since drafting quarterback Matt Ryan in 2008, but that success has not translated to deep postseason runs. When the Falcons take the field for Super Bowl LI this Sunday night, they will be playing for the Vince Lombardi Trophy for only the second time in franchise history.
The Falcons played their first season in 1966, and it took them 12 years to reach their first playoffs in 1978 as a wild card team. Five playoff appearances and two division titles over the next 20 years culminated in the franchise’s first Super Bowl appearance in 1998. Under the guidance of Head Coach Dan Reeves, the 1998 “Dirty Birds” posted a 14-2 regular season record, their best in franchise history.
Atlanta won two close playoff games on its way to the NFC crown, where they faced John Elway’s Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXXIII. Ultimately, Atlanta lost 34-19 and has not had another opportunity at an NFL title since. That is, until this Sunday. Matt Ryan and the Falcons can end the city of Atlanta’s 22-year title drought with a victory this Sunday night. We can say for sure that most of the NFL will be rooting for them.
Talk Less, Smile More
Why doesn’t Bill Belichick smile more often? The New England Patriots head coach is notorious around the NFL for being a serious and methodical man, rarely cracking even the smallest of grins. It is such a rare event that the slightest Belichick smirk will send shockwaves around the NFL.
Never actually having seen the man’s smile, I was curious. So I did what most would do these days when searching for unknown information and took to the Internet. After having Googled “Bill Belichick smile” and seen the results for myself, I have determined it is probably for the best he remains a serious man. However, if you are into photos of a man in a hoodie trying to force the world’s most uncomfortable grin and prove to the world that he is totally not a robot, then by all means, Google away.
For a man who has had so much success as an NFL coach, you would expect him to show some positive emotion, but he hardly ever does. Instead, Bill Belichick is a calculated and clinical man whose football teams take on a similar mentality both on and off the field. It is the team-first, all-business Belichick mentality that has brought this team success. With their week-in week-out approach and leadership from Belichick, it is no coincidence that New England has been an incredible football team for the past 17 years.
The Big Game
What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? That question will be answered this Sunday night in Houston when the Atlanta offense takes the field against New England’s defense.
Matt Ryan has been nothing short of phenomenal this postseason, throwing for 730 yards, seven touchdowns, and zero interceptions across two games. Atlanta’s offense has averaged 40.0 points per game. The Patriots’ defense — which led the league in fewest points allowed per game during the regular season — has only allowed 16.5 points per game this postseason. In the end, I believe offense wins the championship this year, and I am taking Atlanta in the upset over New England to earn its first Super Bowl title.
Atlanta 27, New England 24
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