Super Bowl LI Preview – Falcons Facts and Figures to Remember
Yes, there so much work that goes into handicapping the Super Bowl, and you can get paralyzed by all the statistics surrounding you. Well, we don’t mean to contribute to that, but……
We’ve got some more numbers to throw at you – some of which you probably know – but need to be armed with before you place your wager on Super Bowl LI, which is scheduled to kick off at 6:30 PM ET at NRG Stadium in Houston. Remember that BetAnySports patrons can get reduced juice on their wagers before the game starts, and then after the kickoff, they can stay engaged in the action when they take advantage of the state-of-the-art software available through Live Betting Ultra.
Of course, when you look at the Atlanta Falcons, a lot of gaudy offensive numbers jumped right out at you. For one thing, the average 33.8 points per game, which is #8 all time on the NFL list. And no wonder – they got the MVP quarterback in Matt Ryan, who threw for 9.3 yards per attempt, the best figure in the history of the league. Some of this came because his receivers averaged 6.2 yards per catch, which is second-best to the New England Patriots. And when it came to spreading the ball around, Ryan has had no equal, throwing touchdown passes to 13 different receivers and completing 30-yard connections to eight of them. When he throws on first down, Ryan averages 10.4 yards per attempt, which makes them even more dangerous.
Atlanta’s leading receiver, Julio Jones, was on the other end of 83 of Ryan’s aerials during the regular season, accumulating 1409 yards, and he had 180 yards and a pair of touchdowns against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC championship game. And in case New England wants to pile up on Jones, Ryan can turn to Tyler Gabriel, a castoff from, of all teams, the Cleveland Browns, who averaged 16.5 yards per catch and had a 47-yard touchdown against the Packers a couple of weeks ago.
In the Super Bowl LI odds that have been posted on this game by the folks at BetAnySports, the Patriots are favored over the Falcons:
New England Patriots -3
Atlanta Falcons +3
Over 58.5 points -110
Under 58.5 points -110
The Falcons have running backs who can really catch the football, and they can make a lot of plays with it. Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman combined for 24 touchdowns, and Freeman is especially dangerous rushing the ball from the line of scrimmage (1079 yards). While Ryan might, from time to time, be susceptible to a pass rush, this offensive line graded out as the best in the league in run-blocking, according to the analytics site Pro Football Focus. So New England’s rushing defense, which has been pretty solid this season, will definitely be put to the test.
If Atlanta can establish an effective ground game, that opens things up for play action, which Ryan did 26% of the time, more often than anyone in the league. And he averaged 10.4 yards per attempt in play-action situations.
In third-down situations, the Falcons converted 42.1% of the time, it no doubt that was due to success on first down plays. BetAnySports patrons know that when you can gain a lot of yards on your first down, it makes things easier, but since the Falcons can play the short passing game or stretch the field with Julio Jones, there is always going to be a question as to where the attack is coming from. Does New England have the kind of defense they can deal with that?
There are a few negatives to the facts and figures surrounding the Falcons as well, particularly on defense. They gave up 53.5 receiving yards to running backs on a per-game basis, which is the most in the NFL. And over the last nine games, they allowed 5.4 yards per carry on first down, which will no doubt help the Patriots move the chains. Maybe the thing that will be the most telling is that Atlanta allowed teams to score touchdowns on 72% of all reds own situations, and that is worst in the National Football League. Since New England is very good in the red zone, this could be the biggest challenge the Atlanta Falcons can face in their quest to be world champions.
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