The Drive for Five is Alive
On Sunday night, the Patriots yet again became AFC Champions and are heading the Super Bowl for the ninth time in the franchise history, this being the seventh time under the Brady and Belichick duo. This means, without a doubt in anyone’s mind that this era of Brady and Belichick deserves to be called a football dynasty. This red hot Patriots team with the number one defense will face off against the Atlanta Falcon’s number one offense in Houston for Super Bowl 51.
First, let’s talk about the performance the Patriots put on in the AFC Championship game. The Pittsburgh Steelers had come into this game with the “Killer Bees” of QB Ben Roethlisberger, WR Antonio Brown and RB Le’Veon Bell. All three of them are very good, you could even say elite, at their respective positions. The Steelers defense was also starting to pick up steam and had started to become a team that looked like they could give the Patriots trouble. However, that all came crashing down on them when they came to Foxborough.
The Patriots put up 36 points on that defense that people were calling “the Steel Curtain”. The passing game for the Patriots was amazing with Brady throwing for 384 yards and three touchdowns while continuing his streak of having no interceptions against the Steelers when he plays in Foxboro. Two of those touchdowns went to the former Buffalo Bill player Chris Hogan, who set a franchise record for totals yards in a single postseason game (nine receptions, 180 yards and two touchdowns). The third touchdown that Brady threw went to Julian Edelman.
The Steelers defense seemed out of sorts, often leaving Chris Hogan wide open which allowed him to get so many yards. At one point he was completely open in the end zone for a touchdown. Brady ripped that defense to shreds, no doubt about it.
The Patriots defense however came to play in a big way. The former Philadelphia Eagle player Eric Rowe picked off Big Ben during the game and helped to seal the Patriots victory. Super Bowl hero and every Patriots’ fan’s favorite CB Malcolm Butler completely shut down aforementioned elite WR in Antonio Brown. Brown had a total of 77 yards in the game which for him is a very poor performance. This was great because some people have said that the Patriots defense has only been good because they have faced teams with poor offenses (Texans, Jets, Broncos, etc.) but for the Pats to only allow 16 points to a stellar offense is a good sign.
Overall Sunday’s victory against the Steelers set up a good look as to what we might see when the Pats and Falcons matchup in Houston. The Patriots like to try and take away a team’s number one offensive weapon, which for the Falcons would be WR Julio Jones. If Butler can recapture the same kind of performance he had against Brown and use it against Jones, that will help the team to manage this high powered Falcons offense.
Now it won’t be any easy task for Patriots defensive Coordinator Matt Patricia to try and find ways to stunt the Falcons mighty offense, but the Patriots have never been shy to challenges. This Super Bowl is be a very big showdown in Houston, with one QB trying to win his first Super Bowl and the other trying to become the only QB in history to have five Super Bowl wins, either way will be a historic outcome.