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Bump N Run w/ KT: Super Bowl Analysis And Prediction For Super Bowl LI In Houston

Welcome to a special Super Bowl Sunday edition of Bump N’ Run. We have come to the biggest game of the NFL season and both teams have done all the preparing they can. The Atlanta Falcons are looking for their first championship in team history, while the New England Patriots are looking for their fifth title and their official stamp as one of the best teams in NFL history.

Looking at Super Bowl LI, there are many X Factors that could make or break this game for both teams. Let’s first look at how Atlanta could pull off one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history.

Atlanta Keys To Victory

Similar to how the Giants defeated the Patriots in two Super Bowls, the Falcons will have to figure out a way to put pressure on Tom Brady rushing only four players. The moment Atlanta blitzes Brady, that is when Brady will start his surgical dissection of Atlanta’s defense. The Falcons’ secondary is plain terrible so they will need all the help they could get in coverage. If an over the hill Dwight Freeney plays like his younger self and if Vic Beasley plays like the 15.5 sack player from the regular season, that could be enough to slow down the Patriot defense.

On offense the game plan should not change. NFL MVP Matt Ryan needs to continue slinging the ball around the field. Another key to Ryan’s game is to get Julio Jones involved in the game early and often, along with number two receiver Mohammed Sanu. Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman will need to pick up positive yards early and help Ryan as much as they can. The way you beat the Patriots is to control the clock and running the ball on Sunday could give the Falcons a major advantage.

New England Keys To Victory

LeGarrette Blount needs to get the ball as soon as the Patriots start their first possession. Wearing down the Falcon defense early and forcing them to move players up in the box will open medium pass lanes for Brady to hit Chris Hogan and Martellus Bennett with ease. As mentioned earlier, Atlanta’s secondary is weak so it will be imperative for New England to hit them deep every so often to test those cornerbacks and safeties and see if they are up for the challenge.

On defense, New England’s strength is their defensive front led by Trey Flowers. If that front can stop the Falcons from running the ball, they make Atlanta one dimensional and will force Ryan to throw the ball more than Atlanta probably wants to. The biggest key of all is that New England’s secondary must come to play and stop the Falcon offense. Atlanta has so many weapons, it will be tough to stop all of them but shutting down a couple of those weapons could work in the Patriots favor.

Prediction: Atlanta 31, New England 28

Check out next week’s Bump N’ Run for a full review of Super Bowl LI and a primer heading into the NFL offseason. Enjoy the Super Bowl!

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Kahlil Thomas

Kahlil is the College Sports Editor for as well as a columnist, hosting the Bump 'N Run column once per week. He also co-hosts a weekly basketball podcast, The Box Out, every Thursday evening with fellow writer Jason Cordner.
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