Can a Bill Belichick defense be beaten in the Super Bowl? Yes

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With the Patriots preparing to face arguably the best offense they’ve seen in a Super Bowl since The Greatest Show on Turf in early 2002, many have been reflecting on the best defensive game plans ever hatched by coach Bill Belichick. Beyond his brilliance from Super Bowl XXXVI, when he dared Mike Martz and the Rams to run the ball and they didn’t, Belichick also crafted the game-shrinking strategy that somehow allowed the Giants to outscore the Bills in Super Bowl XXV.

But Belichick can be beaten in the Super Bowl. It’s happened twice before. And the same guy was responsible for both offensive game plans.

The guy who cracked the code of the all-time great code-cracker was former Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride. He joined PFT Live recently to discuss how he pulled it off, not once but twice.

He also said plenty of other interesting things about the upcoming game, but that was the best possible hook to get you to listen to what he had to say.

197 responses to “Can a Bill Belichick defense be beaten in the Super Bowl? Yes

  1. What kind of question is this?

    Of course he can! Anyone can!

    Those two losses to the Giants, the Patriots played pretty good Defense. The problem in both Super Bowl losses was that the Pats were held to under 20 points in both Super Bowls.

    That is how you beat them

  2. The Atlanta offense will be the best offense the Patriots defense has seen since it’s last practice with the current Patriots offense.

  3. Er, well, seeing as my hero Belichick has been beaten in 2 SBs, I’d say yes too – DOH!

    But his Giants-Bills plan is in the Hall of Fame – and how many active coaches do you know of that are ALREADY IN the Hall of Fame for their coaching? Exactly.

  4. .
    Kevin Gilbride and the Giants offense were barely adequate in their Super Bowls vs the Patriots. It was their defense that made the difference.

    Regarding the Falcons offense versus the Patriots defense, of course their defense can be beaten. The Pats have been a bend but not break group all year. If Atlanta has success in the red zone, they could be hard to stop.
    .

  5. Of course their defense can be beaten, whether or not it can be done enough in this game remains to be seen. The Falcons are going to score. The real question here is for Atlanta’s D, not New England’s.

  6. The Seahawks would have put up 31 on them 2 years ago if Darrell Bevell wasn’t an idiot.

    The Falcons will win because they are younger, stronger, faster and hungrier. In fact, the Cowboys, Seahawks & Packers would all beat this Patriots team too. The Seahawks already have.

  7. As a Pats fan I just want to say that I have enjoyed Kevin Gilbride’s insight when he was on the old PFT show format as a semi-regular.

    He is articulate, likeable and puts his extensive knowledge into layman’s terms with ease.

    Count me as listening.

  8. There is a way that will def beat the pats just get to Brady before he gets to his receivers admittly not that easy !

  9. Yep, that play he dialed up where Eli almost gets sacked, but throws up a prayer that sticks to the head of an unknown receiver was brilliant! If only the Giants’ D had shown up that day…

  10. The Giants had brilliant game plans and Coughlin and his coaches got every player on their roster to overachieve. They played great and earned the wins.

    That said the Tyree catch was a miracle and that player could have played another 10 careers and not made it. Fact is he was such a mediocre receiver he was out of the league the following season never to return to the NFL.

    But such is the making of Super Bowl wins. The Giants earned it and deserve all the respect in the world for doing so.

  11. The Patriots lost the Giants Super Bowls because of the Giants good defense, not because the Pats defense was completely overrun.

    On the flip side, the Patriots offense this year managed to go 6-1 against top 10 defenses. If they can protect Brady enough, the Pats offense usually hums.

  12. To have a chance at beating the Pats you need to be TOUGH defensively. This Pats offense is not to be denied. I doubt Atlanta defense can stop the Pats enough while their offense tries to keep up. The Atlanta Falcons are not the 2007 Giants. But keep the HOPE stories coming. This one is going to be all Patriots!

  13. The Giants defense won those super bowls. Of course you can always add the special helmet catch play to your game plan.

  14. The Patriots have a good defense, no question. Better than Atlanta’s. Top scoring defense this year. But Atlanta’s offense is on another level compared to the teams New England has faced up to this point. The way Atlanta won vs. Green Bay and especially Seattle, there is no way for Pats fans to have a very high level of confidence going into this game. Belichick and his staff can be magicians to be sure, but they aren’t getting much sleep at night for this game, I know that much.

  15. Everyone who thinks the Pats defense will automatically be ready for the Falcons because they face Brady every day is just wrong. The Pats can’t emulate what the Falcons do. If they could, they would have been the team that scored 540 points this year.

  16. The GOAT QB is not going to be denied..period.

    ****

    You’re right, Joe Montana was invited. I bet he’ll really enjoy the Falcons victory.

  17. Lets be honest here, those two losses were more about the defenses cracking the offensive code. Not like the Giants had to put up 35-40 to win those games.

  18. Falcons Defense is coming together at the right time…. I believe over the last 10 games they have averaged giving up 20 points per game. (playoffs included)

    With an offense like the Falcons have you can go ahead and put them down for 4 TD’s.

    The Pats defense have feasted on bottom feeders ALL year in terms of quality QB’s. They will truly be tested by the this historic offense the Falcons will be coming in with.

    And if you think by stopping Julio you can stop the Falcons, you clearly haven’t seen, nor you don’t know ANYTHING these Falcons.

    #brotherhood

  19. homerhunter says:
    Jan 26, 2017 9:40 AM
    “Does Cheetah Nation know that Brady and the Pats have lost 2 Super Bowls? Wow!”

    Does patriothater know that Brady and the Pats have won 4 Superbowls? 4 wins in 6 appearances is pretty good.

    Does he realize that for a team to “lose” a superbowl they have to actually make it to the superbowl? Wow!

  20. HIS BOSSES WERE furious. Roger Goodell knew it. So on April 1, 2008, the NFL commissioner convened an emergency session of the league’s spring meeting at The Breakers hotel in Palm Beach, Florida. Attendance was limited to each team’s owner and head coach. A palpable anger and frustration had rumbled inside club front offices since the opening Sunday of the 2007 season. During the first half of the New England Patriots’ game against the New York Jets at Giants Stadium, a 26-year-old Patriots video assistant named Matt Estrella had been caught on the sideline, illegally videotaping Jets coaches’ defensive signals, beginning the scandal known as Spygate.

  21. The question is wrong. It should be WILL the Patriots defense be beaten in the Super Bowl?
    The answer is, it doesn’t matter. Because no matter how many points the Falcons score, Brady and that offense will score more.
    Oh and just so the Falcons are warned — this is not that high school defense they played last week.

    I can’t wait until the Patriots win this game. It’ll be the ultimate insult to Rodger Goodell.

  22. Then the Patriots’ coach, Bill Belichick, the cheating program’s mastermind, spoke. He said he had merely misinterpreted a league rule, explaining that he thought it was legal to videotape opposing teams’ signals as long as the material wasn’t used in real time. Few in the room bought it. Belichick said he had made a mistake — “my mistake.”

  23. Personally, I could see either team winning. Smart money is on it being an relatively noncompetitive game… like all but one playoff game has been this season.

  24. Inside a room accessible only to Belichick and a few others, they found a library of scouting material containing videotapes of opponents’ signals, with detailed notes matching signals to plays for many teams going back seven seasons. Among them were handwritten diagrams of the defensive signals of the Pittsburgh Steelers, including the notes used in the January 2002 AFC Championship Game won by the Patriots 24-17. Yet almost as quickly as the tapes and notes were found, they were destroyed, on Goodell’s orders: League executives stomped the tapes into pieces and shredded the papers inside a Gillette Stadium conference room.

  25. orange and blue own the nfl says:
    Jan 26, 2017 9:57 AM
    The GOAT QB is not going to be denied..period.

    ****

    You’re right, Joe Montana was invited. I bet he’ll really enjoy the Falcons victory.

    ———-

    C’mon…..Montana was great but he was only capable of making it to a meager 4 SBs…… Brady has now made it to 7. It’s no longer even up for discussion.

  26. osiris33 (bandwagon since 1976) says:
    Jan 26, 2017 9:46 AM

    The Falcons will win because they are younger, stronger, faster and hungrier. In fact, the Cowboys, Seahawks & Packers would all beat this Patriots team too. The Seahawks already have.
    ——–

    avg age of Pats: 26.2(that’s with a 39 y/o QB playing arguably at his best)

    Falcons 26.8

  27. NE fans need to take a chill pill and realize their beloved team holds the record for most botched Superbowls in the last ten years. And that’s in spite of all the cheating.

  28. Fake News:

    sbchamps3233 says:
    Jan 26, 2017 10:09 AM
    Inside a room accessible only to Belichick and a few others, they found a library of scouting material containing videotapes of opponents’ signals, with detailed notes matching signals to plays for many teams going back seven seasons. Among them were handwritten diagrams of the defensive signals of the Pittsburgh Steelers, including the notes used in the January 2002 AFC Championship Game won by the Patriots 24-17. Yet almost as quickly as the tapes and notes were found, they were destroyed, on Goodell’s orders: League executives stomped the tapes into pieces and shredded the papers inside a Gillette Stadium conference room.

  29. As I recall, the Giants beat the Bills in that Super Bowl in large part by hanging on to the ball for over 40 minutes in that game, thus keeping the ball away from the Bills offense. I didn’t realize that Belichick was the Giants offensive coordinator in that game as well as running the defense. Also, the Bills had 371 yards of total offense and 17 points (2 came on a safety) in the 19:27 that they had the ball. That’s almost a point a minute. So let’s not overstate what the Hoodie’s defense accomplished in that game. The Giants offense won that game (with a late assist from Scott Norwood).

  30. The Falcons piped in fake crowd noise for years, and the Giants were caught on film engaging in synchronized cramping to slow down opposing offenses. They also broke an entire draft to get Eli Manning in the first place. What’s your point?

  31. homerhunter says:
    Jan 26, 2017 9:40 AM
    “Does Cheetah Nation know that Brady and the Pats have lost 2 Super Bowls? Wow!”

    Does patriothater know that Brady and the Pats have won 4 Superbowls? 4 wins in 6 appearances is pretty good.

    Does he realize that for a team to “lose” a superbowl they have to actually make it to the superbowl? Wow!
    _____________________________________
    LOL! Divert, deflect, ignore.

  32. Sure. But Matt Ryan will need to complete at least one crazy pass in the fourth quarter.

    Like Eli did.

    Twice.

  33. The Giants scored 17 and 21 points in those two SBowls. That includes the helmet catch and the play the Pats let them score on so they could get the ball back with some time left. The Giants won both obviously, but hardly a reason to seek out the mediocre KGilbride for his incredible incite on attacking BB’s scheme. Hate the extra week before the SBowl. Too much time for even the press to fill.

  34. It’s still the players that have to execute even with a great plan. The 2002 Super Bowl strategy was great, but Ty Law was a great player too. He hit every receiver at the line and played a great game and so did the rest of the defense. Better blocking by the offensive line would won the Patriots two additional Super Bowls. The players didn’t execute.

  35. deprado1 says:
    Jan 26, 2017 10:04 AM
    The Giants had almost 400 yards in the 2011 SB, so they moved it pretty much at will on NE.

    yeah the “bend dont break” bit them in the butt that game, Even when the Giants didnt score they had time consuming drives, huge TOP edge,won the field position battle, their punter kept pinning the Pats deep…

  36. How many people actually think of this guy while remembering those two super bowls?

    To me, Kevin Gilbride is the coordinator who was punched by his own head coach during a game, and also the head coach who was fired in October.

  37. The Giants had almost 400 yards in the 2011 SB, so they moved it pretty much at will on NE.

    ———————————————————–

    Having under 400 total yards for a whole game is moving it at will?

    I dont know the exact number. Lets go with 385 total yards. 300 passing yards and 85 rushing yards..is almost a common game. Id saying 500 yards is moving it at will.

  38. On defense, step on Julio’s foot all game until he limps around on the sideline. Suh style.

    On offense, run Blount for 3.5 yards every play, run out the clock and win. Pretty simple.

  39. If you watch the two Giants wins, luck plays got the wins at the end of the games.
    The Patriots wins were all luck swinging in their favor at the right time.
    The Giants wins had nothing to do with some code cracker.
    Give me a break.

  40. “peyton42 says:
    Jan 26, 2017 9:57 AM
    Everyone who thinks the Pats defense will automatically be ready for the Falcons because they face Brady every day is just wrong. The Pats can’t emulate what the Falcons do. If they could, they would have been the team that scored 540 points this year.”


    But that’s not how it works. Pats had large leads by the middle of the 3rd quarter in most of their games and took the pedal off the accelerator. Couple with their league-best defense it was a rare game that the Pats needed to run up the score. The 4th quarter in most games was for chewing up clock with Blount. Pats offense is at least as good as the Hawks, and probably better.

  41. There isn’t a bigger Giants fan than I, but to say Gilbride cracked the code by putting up a total of 38 points in 2 games is a big stretch. More like clutch drives at end of the games on top of great D.

  42. Jan 26, 2017 9:57 AM

    Let’s face it, the Giants won because of one thing . . .

    Luck

    ——————

    Luck. Haha you forget the tuck rule? Your whole dynasty was built on luck.

  43. The bottom line is the Super Bowls with the Giants are completely irrelevant to this game.

    Patriots fans are understandably not giving the Falcons the respect they deserve, but I know that the Patriots team is.

    It’s going to be a great game.

  44. nbptma1 says:
    Jan 26, 2017 10:17 AM
    Fake News:

    sbchamps3233 says:
    Jan 26, 2017 10:09 AM
    Inside a room accessible only to Belichick and a few others, they found a library of scouting material containing videotapes of opponents’ signals, with detailed notes matching signals to plays for many teams going back seven seasons. Among them were handwritten diagrams of the defensive signals of the Pittsburgh Steelers, including the notes used in the January 2002 AFC Championship Game won by the Patriots 24-17. Yet almost as quickly as the tapes and notes were found, they were destroyed, on Goodell’s orders: League executives stomped the tapes into pieces and shredded the papers inside a Gillette Stadium conference room.

    the notes/diagrams were perfectly legal. If teams didnt tape, that’s how they did it, they’d take notes and make diagrams. Look it up…You can also look up Goodell saying they couldn’t even determine if the tapes were made illegally, again look it up. These are facts

  45. 6ball: Fun fact: Patriots are #1 in point allowed on defense and were #8 in yards allowed. They were not “bend don’t break” this year.

  46. omegalh says:
    Jan 26, 2017 9:52 AM :
    You basically need a miracle catch (Tyree and Manningham)
    —————
    Seahawks had a miracle catch with Kearse, right before the worst play in SuperBowl History (if you were a non-patriots fan). So I think there is some truth to this haha. Seahawks just screwed up the finish.

    All jokes aside I don’t think the Patriots have a chance against the Falcons.

  47. Montana only played for the 49ers until he was 34 and had to face the Bears, Redskins and Belichick Giants in his own conference. Name one team Brady’s beaten as good as those 3….

    ——————————

    nhpats says:

    C’mon…..Montana was great but he was only capable of making it to a meager 4 SBs…… Brady has now made it to 7. It’s no longer even up for discussion.

  48. You need a miracle catch and a gigantic Patriots drop to win. That’s the formula. In 2007 Asante Samual dropped an INT that hit him right in the hands, then the Tyree miracle happened (miracle catch and gigantic drop, pats lose). In 2011 you had Wes welker drop the pass that would have sealed it. Admittedly not an easy catch, but certainly not hard for a professional of Welkers caliber. He got both hands on it just above his head. Followed by the manningham catch (again, miracle catch and gigantic drop and the pats lose). In 2014 Kearse makes a miracle catch, and then butler makes the pick. Pats win. If butler drops the pass the Seahawks would have won.

  49. “We wanted to take and destroy that information,” he said. “They may have collected it within the rules, but we couldn’t determine that. So we felt that it should be destroyed.”

  50. savethebs says:
    Jan 26, 2017 10:30 AM
    Jan 26, 2017 9:57 AM

    Let’s face it, the Giants won because of one thing . . .

    Luck

    ——————

    Luck. Haha you forget the tuck rule? Your whole dynasty was built on luck.

    —————-
    Glad you finally admit that the NE Patriots are a dynasty!

    Patriots by 50 or more

  51. It wasn’t the defense that was beaten, it was the offense.

    If you said the Patriots held Giants to 17 and 21 you would have thought they won both games but Brady was held to 14 and 17.

    Atlanta doesn’t seem to have the defense to pull that plan off. They have to score 28 plus to have a chance.

    It’s hard to beat Belichick with a high scoring offense only.

  52. – CB’s mugging Rams receivers beyond the rules of the game, but not called.
    – Vrabel clearly hitting Warner in the head on the Ty Law pick-6, again not called
    -J.R. Redmond supposedly stepping out of bounds when his foot was clearly in, thus allowing time for a final FG.
    -The very marketable Patriots beating the less marketable Rams in the shadow of 9/11, how convenient.
    -Illegal taping of Rams practices which should have meant a forfeit of a tainted Super Bowl, swiftly destroyed by the league.

    It’s easy to be genius when the league wants you to win.

    Though, due credit to the Pats for their later achievements and continued success despite the fact the Goddell really wants to crush Kraft and has failed to do so.

  53. In theory, the Patriots did well in drawing Atlanta as a Super Bowl opponent because Atlanta’s defense is not as strong as Seattle’s or the Giants’. Atlanta’s defense is the biggest question mark in the Super Bowl. The Falcons and Patriots both have great offenses. The Patriots have a very good defense. Atlanta’s defense is a question mark. The Patriots need to stay away from turnovers and play a clean game and they’ll be fine.

  54. If the Pats lose, then at least 5 boys with 5 screen names each will go dark for a year. Here’s to hoping.

  55. peyton42 says:
    Jan 26, 2017 9:58 AM
    They said that Rodgers couldn’t be denied to, then he sulked to the locker room down 24-0.

    The Green Bay Team that Atlanta beat….was so badly beaten up and short of manpower, they may have lost to the Browns that day…by alot.

    They had no offensive line, running backs, receivers…and their secondary should not be in the NFL, other than 1 guy.

    So…that’s a weak comparison. Atlanta, is best offense Patriots have seen this year…But, their defense doesn’t compare to Ravens, Bills [ yes, the Bills], Texans, Seahawks [ before losing Thomas]..you get the picture.

    Atlanta fans…better be concerned about their defense. not only the passing game…but power running game too. If Patriots run the ball for 80-100 yards…game is over.

  56. I have yet to see a BB D get beaten on their own in a SB.

    If we’re talking the Pats offense letting everyone down in SB 42 or SB 46, and the D running out of gas in a dome in a passing era that favors the offense, then sure. Sure.

    But, a BB D has never been blow off the field and beaten, no.

  57. las0023 says:
    Jan 26, 2017 10:35 AM
    Montana only played for the 49ers until he was 34 and had to face the Bears, Redskins and Belichick Giants in his own conference. Name one team Brady’s beaten as good as those 3….

    ——————————

    nhpats says:

    C’mon…..Montana was great but he was only capable of making it to a meager 4 SBs…… Brady has now made it to 7. It’s no longer even up for discussion.

    ———

    Agreed. I would say Montana played at a time of NFC dominance and won only 4 conf championships. Once the NFC team made the Super Bowl it was an easier game. It was the same for the AFC from 2003-2006 and in the 197os for a long stretch.

    I would also say Indy, NE, Pitt and Balt from this generation are similar to the conference teams Montana had to face. Combined since 2000 those 4 teams are 9 and 5 in Super Bowls.

  58. atlatlatl says:
    Jan 26, 2017 9:55 AM
    The Patriots have a good defense, no question. Better than Atlanta’s. Top scoring defense this year. But Atlanta’s offense is on another level compared to the teams New England has faced up to this point. The way Atlanta won vs. Green Bay and especially Seattle, there is no way for Pats fans to have a very high level of confidence going into this game. Belichick and his staff can be magicians to be sure, but they aren’t getting much sleep at night for this game, I know that much.

    —————————–

    Did you watch the same Green Bay game as everyone else? Green Bay missed a chip shot field goal and fumbled inside the 10 – it had all the makings of a 10-10 game. The Green Bay defensive backfield also dropped about 3 sure fire picks – at least one in the end zone. I believe during the broadcast it was said that the Green Bay db’s probably wouldn’t be on most other teams rosters, let alone start. The Pats offense also hung over 30 against the beat defense in the league. Atlanta has a great offense, no doubt, but this game will come down to who makes the least amount of mistakes. Which team do you think that will be?

  59. quizlingclinic says:
    Jan 26, 2017 10:28 AM

    “peyton42 says:
    Jan 26, 2017 9:57 AM
    Everyone who thinks the Pats defense will automatically be ready for the Falcons because they face Brady every day is just wrong. The Pats can’t emulate what the Falcons do. If they could, they would have been the team that scored 540 points this year.”


    But that’s not how it works. Pats had large leads by the middle of the 3rd quarter in most of their games and took the pedal off the accelerator. Couple with their league-best defense it was a rare game that the Pats needed to run up the score. The 4th quarter in most games was for chewing up clock with Blount. Pats offense is at least as good as the Hawks, and probably better.

    Yeah man, I don’t think you have been watching the Falcons this year. They ran up way more big leads than the Pats did. They could have easily hung 60 on the Niners or the Rams. They are an all time great offense, and the Pats offense is very good, but not nearly to the same level.

    The Pats were locked in a 13-10 game with the Niners at half. The Falcons scored 4 TDs and fumbled on the 1 yard line in their 1st half possessions against the Niners.

  60. las0023 says:
    Jan 26, 2017 10:35 AM
    Montana only played for the 49ers until he was 34 and had to face the Bears, Redskins and Belichick Giants in his own conference. Name one team Brady’s beaten as good as those 3….

    ——————————
    How about the team formally known as greatest show on turf…OR Seattle…OR…sorry pal different era you will have to take it as it comes. Pats are the only modern era dynasty and Brady is the all-time GOAT.

  61. FWIW, it is a Matt Patricia defense with input from Bill Belichick, just as it is a Josh McDaniels offense with input from Belichick.

    The Pats generally execute well, they usually tackle well, and the Pats are certainly a tougher out than the other 30 teams who are already done for the season, as are the Falcons.

    Could be a great game.

    Good luck to the Falcons.

  62. Of course he can! Anyone can!

    Those two losses to the Giants, the Patriots played pretty good Defense. The problem in both Super Bowl losses was that the Pats were held to under 20 points in both Super Bowls.

    That is how you beat them

    ———–

    This is correct. The magic number is 20 points for the offense and the defense.

    NE’s D was outstanding in both SB 42 and SB 46, the latter, the D holding to 13 points allowed until the very end.

    The brilliance of BB’s D was completely under-appreciated by the moron media, where there was a Lockout, which meant they had no OTAs, no mini camp, no camp, nothing, other than rushed preseason games. Pretty darn good for a scrapped together D in the middle of a rebuild on the fly.

    Brady had 3 major gaffes in that SB, which effectively lost the game.

  63. I’m a huge Giants fan and I’ll admit it wasn’t the offense BEATING BB’s D. The offense just ran a solid game plan and let the defense do the heavy lifting

  64. 2011 secondary had no talent and a transitioning Devin McCourty. 2011 defense has nothing to do with the 2016 Patriots.

    I don’t understand why we cast seasons apart from Super Bowls. Of course a Belichick team can be beat. Yes, in the Super Bowl but they’ve also been defeated in 2006, 2012, 2013, and 2015 in conference championships.

    Crack the code? Give me a break. Each season is a new team with new challenges and new players and new circumstances.

    The Patriots are the healthier team, Gronk aside. In fact, some people like the offense better without Gronk because there is no focal point. Hard trade off because when healthy he is such a dynamic player.

    Experience matters too, until it doesn’t. If inexperience derails the Falcons it will happen fast. If they adapt to the stage then it will be a heck of game and the championship is up for grabs. 60 minutes

  65. I need a drink.

    I just read 300 predictions of how the game will turn out and there all different reasons why.

    There is a reason why the game is played, probably BECAUSE NO ONE REALLY KNOWS.

  66. Maybe the NFL could move that Patriots to a better division then they don’t even make the playoffs and we are no having this conversation every year !

  67. No one knows what will happen but there’s a decent chance the Falcons may just rout the PATs. Seattle has a good defense but a Falcons TE dropped a sure touchdown and the game ended with the Falcons graciously taking a knee on two plays at Seattle’s half yard line. They could have put up 50 but chose to keep it at 36 which was more than enough. The next week, they torched Green Bay for 44. Another 40 would not be a surprise. Brady will have have his hands full trying to keep up.

  68. the one thing that nobody’s going to talk about…….

    the pats putting up 50 on the the pathetic falcons defense

    the pats are healthy unlike the packers and seahawks

    Branch will ragdoll Mack and it all falls apart from there

  69. “peyton42 says:
    Jan 26, 2017 10:51 AM
    quizlingclinic says:
    Jan 26, 2017 10:28 AM

    “peyton42 says:
    Jan 26, 2017 9:57 AM
    Everyone who thinks the Pats defense will automatically be ready for the Falcons because they face Brady every day is just wrong. The Pats can’t emulate what the Falcons do. If they could, they would have been the team that scored 540 points this year.”


    But that’s not how it works. Pats had large leads by the middle of the 3rd quarter in most of their games and took the pedal off the accelerator. Couple with their league-best defense it was a rare game that the Pats needed to run up the score. The 4th quarter in most games was for chewing up clock with Blount. Pats offense is at least as good as the Hawks, and probably better.

    Yeah man, I don’t think you have been watching the Falcons this year. They ran up way more big leads than the Pats did. They could have easily hung 60 on the Niners or the Rams. They are an all time great offense, and the Pats offense is very good, but not nearly to the same level.

    The Pats were locked in a 13-10 game with the Niners at half. The Falcons scored 4 TDs and fumbled on the 1 yard line in their 1st half possessions against the Niners.”


    That’s one game. Pats had a + 191 point differential Falcons were + 131. Numbers don’t lie.

  70. plum54 says:
    Jan 26, 2017 10:22 AM
    At least this year Welker won’t be dropping a touch down pass that’s a plus!
    ————————-
    Correct! I will be Hogan this year!

  71. Let’s see, scored 17 and 21 points against them. The first needed a miraculous helmet catch, the second needed a miraculous pseudo-Hail Mary to Manningham. That’s hardly “cracking the code”. Especially when the Patriots gave up more points to every team except the Rams (17) and Eagles (21). But you know, headlines.

  72. Soon after Sunday, I realized that there is a very simple theme across the boards when praising Atlanta: offense, offense, Matty Ice, offense, Jones, offense, offensive line, Shanahan, offense and then some more offense.

    I don’t want to dismiss Atlanta’s chances of winning next week but can you please tone it down? No matter how good their offense is, they still lost 5 games this season so please stop acting like they can win any game they want to.

    I like the Patriots’ chances because they have an almost as good offense too, a better QB, a better defense and a better coach but I’ve also seen enough SBs to know that the best team going in isn’t necessarily the best team on the field that day and not always the winner.

  73. List of QBs the Patriots played this year:
    Carson Palmer
    Ryan Tannehill
    Brock Osweiler
    Tyrod Taylor
    Cody Kessler
    Andy Dalton
    Landry Jones
    Russell Wilson
    Colin Kaepernick
    Ryan Fitzpatrick
    Jared Goff
    Joe Flacco
    Trevor Siemian
    Bryce Petty
    Matt Moore

    Only one can be considered a top 10 QB. All of the others are bottom feeders playing on offenses that barely break the top 10. Yeah that Patriots D looks good when you play the worst offenses of the year

    #skewedstats
    #PatsHomersEmbellishStats
    #PlayARealQB

  74. “Luck. Haha you forget the tuck rule? Your whole dynasty was built on luck.”

    Not sure what was lucky about a rule being called correctly.

    And in fact earlier the same season the Jets had the tuck called in their favor, taking away a turnover to the Pats, and was a factor in the Jets winning that game.

    On average every team had the tuck called once per season in favor of the opposing team.

  75. Giants offense didn’t beat the Patriots in either SB, the Giants defense beat the Patriots twice. Plus the stickum on Tyree’s helmet (and fortunate non-call of in the grasp).

  76. “That’s one game. Pats had a + 191 point differential Falcons were + 131. Numbers don’t lie.”

    Also helps that the Patriots were playing some of the worst offenses this year.

  77. peyton42 says:
    Jan 26, 2017 10:51 AM

    Yeah man, I don’t think you have been watching the Falcons this year. They ran up way more big leads than the Pats did. They could have easily hung 60 on the Niners or the Rams. They are an all time great offense, and the Pats offense is very good, but not nearly to the same level.
    ——————————

    The Rams had an all time great offense, and lost in Super Bowl XXXVI.

    The Broncos had the most prolific offense in the history of the NFL, and they nearly got shut out in Super Bowl XLVIII.

  78. “Belichick’s defense would have been beaten two years ago had Russell Wilson handed the ball to Marshawn Lynch instead of throwing an interceptin.”

    Keep dreaming. You are ignoring one very important fact that is the reason why they threw that pass.

    In that season the Seahawks had run Lynch on 4th and 1 five different times. You know how many first downs he got? One. With a 20% success rate doing so its no wonder they chose to pass.

    You people who think it was a guaranteed TD if they’d run Lynch are ignoring that important fact. There was no guarantee at all based on the previous failures by Lynch in the same season.

  79. OFFENSE
    Patriots scored 15.8 Points/game in the first half of games (2nd in league)
    ATL scored 18.8 in the first half of games. (tps in league)
    Pats were exactly the same in this regard home/away.
    ATL was 2.5 5 at home and 15.5 on road.

    DEFENSE:
    Pats allowed 7.3 PPG in first half of games (best in NFL by a mile)
    ATL allowed 11.4 points in first halfs.

    In other words the Pats had an average lead of 16-7 at halftime.

    ATL had an average lead of 19-11. At home it was 15-11.

    So yes, the Pats did tend to have bigger leads early in games than ATL. And Had they kept the pedal to the medal in the 2nd half, they would likely have had comparable overall offensive stats to ATL.

    Factor in that this game will not be in ATL and there really is no case to be made that ATL has a better offense. And the Pats D is VASTLY superior

  80. The Giants wins were lucky?

    How about the Pats lucky win when Pete Carroll idiotically opted to throw the ball from the one-inch line? I guess that’s not luck, right?

    This is why Pats fans are hated.

  81. peyton42 says:
    Jan 26, 2017 9:57 AM
    Everyone who thinks the Pats defense will automatically be ready for the Falcons because they face Brady every day is just wrong. The Pats can’t emulate what the Falcons do. If they could, they would have been the team that scored 540 points this year.

    =========================================
    Pats with Brady at QB have scored 430 points in 14 games @ 30.7 points/game.
    Hawks with Ryan at QB have scored 620 in 18 games @ 34.4 points/game.
    A difference of 3.7 points (i.e., little over a field goal).

    Defensively, Pats defense has given up 283 points in 18 games @ 15.7 points/game.
    Hawks have given up 447 points in 18 games @ 24.8 points/game.
    A difference over 9 points, i.e., 2.5 times the offensive difference in points.

  82. quizlingclinic says:
    Jan 26, 2017 11:26 AM

    Factor in that this game will not be in ATL and there really is no case to be made that ATL has a better offense. And the Pats D is VASTLY superior…..

    Please list all the offensive juggernauts the Pats have faced this year including the QB’s

    I won’t hold my breath it’s NOTHING TO BRAG about.

    The Falcons D would look just as good if they had that cream puff schedule.

    FACT

  83. to those who think NE fans aren’t giving respect to the Falcons…
    give us a break.

    You’d have to be blind not to see this as a very good matchup between two tremendous teams.

  84. “Falcons have the #1 offense, the Patriots defense hasn’t seen anything like that yet”

    I’ll take my #1 scoring defense and #2 ranked offense over the #1 offense and #25 ranked defense any day thank you very much. Bill will have Matt Ryan seeing ghosts by the 3rd quarter. Get ready to hand that trophy over Roger.

  85. dirtybirdnation says:
    Jan 26, 2017 11:30 AM

    The Falcons D would look just as good if they had that cream puff schedule.

    FACT

    ——————————————————————

    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

  86. jag1959 says:
    Jan 26, 2017 9:43 AM
    Of course their defense can be beaten, whether or not it can be done enough in this game remains to be seen. The Falcons are going to score. The real question here is for Atlanta’s D, not New England’s.
    ********************************************
    Right on, I can see the Pats defense making more stops than the Falcons defense.

  87. TheCommish says:
    Jan 26, 2017 11:28 AM
    The Giants wins were lucky?

    How about the Pats lucky win when Pete Carroll idiotically opted to throw the ball from the one-inch line? I guess that’s not luck, right?

    —————————————————————-

    The 2007 win was lucky. The helmet catch was lucky. Eli threw up a prayer.

    The 2011 win- Giants were the better team. Eli’s pass to Manningham was a great throw and an even better catch. The Pats defense had no answer.

    Butler’s interception was not luck- it was a great play and was something that he had been coached to do.
    The luck part was the ridiculous catch by Kearse when he was lying flat on his backside and the ball fell into his lap.

  88. HIS BOSSES WERE furious. Roger Goodell knew it. So on April 1, 2008, the NFL commissioner convened an emergency session of the league’s spring meeting at The Breakers hotel in Palm Beach, Florida. Attendance was limited to each team’s owner and head coach. A palpable anger and frustration had rumbled inside club front offices since the opening Sunday of the 2007 season. During the first half of the New England Patriots’ game against the New York Jets at Giants Stadium, a 26-year-old Patriots video assistant named Matt Estrella had been caught on the sideline, illegally videotaping Jets coaches’ defensive signals, beginning the scandal known as Spygate.
    ——————————
    sbchamps3233 says:
    Jan 26, 2017 10:08 AM
    Then the Patriots’ coach, Bill Belichick, the cheating program’s mastermind, spoke. He said he had merely misinterpreted a league rule, explaining that he thought it was legal to videotape opposing teams’ signals as long as the material wasn’t used in real time. Few in the room bought it. Belichick said he had made a mistake — “my mistake.”
    ___________________

    Taping signals is not against the rules. I repeat…Taping signals is not against the rules.

    It was all about the location of the camera. Ironically, what NE did during that single game really wasn’t against the rules either. It hadn’t been approved yet by the owners. Belichick was following the rules.
    __________________

  89. This is dumb. I’m a Pats fan and I’ll be the first to say it can be beaten. The idea that a team, or an offense, or a defense, or a player is unbeatable is not only false, its delusional.

  90. Maybe the Patriots will try to beat themselves and play crappy just like they did vs the Texans. The Packers lost vs the Falcons because they themselves helped the Falcons. They started scoring but the gap was too big.
    Sure the Patriots are beatable but so are the Falcons. If a team can beat the Falcons it will be the Patriots.
    Dan Quin is also familiar with the Seahawks. Quite sure that familiarity helped the Falcons. The Texans also are familiar with the Patriots since they are practically Patriots south. Coughlin worked with BB. I don’t think there are any crossovers between the Patriots and the Falcons. The Falcons have the advantage over the Patriots with their rosters. They have 2 pro bowlers on their offense. Julio Jones is the game changer there. Tom Brady have scrubs on his side, but Hogan put up the same stats as Julio Jones. It will be very difficult to win against the Falcons, but it can be done. That being said, I’ll take Jones anytime. Tom Brady should have his clone.

  91. TheCommish says:
    Jan 26, 2017 11:28 AM

    The Giants wins were lucky?

    How about the Pats lucky win when Pete Carroll idiotically opted to throw the ball from the one-inch line? I guess that’s not luck, right?

    This is why Pats fans are hated.
    ————————————————————-
    No, it’s NOT luck to outcoach your opponent.

    It is LUCK when a way below average NFL receiver catches on a ball on his head and then gets cut the following season.

  92. Who are all of the offensive and defensive juggernauts that the Falcons have faced?

    They lost to the Chargers, for crying out loud.

  93. Give Belichik and Patricia 2 weeks to put together a D for the Falcons.

    Give McMichaels 2 weeks to put together a game plan for the Falcons.

    Commish – Pats fan here saying that the Giants won both those games. As a Pats fan if I am to be hated I want it to be because I am arrogant and obnoxious, and I work at that every day. If that’s not enough I’m sorry, (not) but it is difficult, as in impossible, to be anything but A&O when your team is as consistently good over this many years – Kraft bought the team in 1994 and since then we’ve been to the SB 7 times, won 4, 6 straight appearances in the AFC title game, our other teams do ok too – since the turn of the century the Sox have won 3 times, the Bruins and the Celts one each.

    When next we meet – we’ll bring the cheese, and as always you bring the whine.

    GO PATS!

  94. mmack66 says:
    Jan 26, 2017 11:26 AM

    The Rams had an all time great offense, and lost in Super Bowl XXXVI.

    The Broncos had the most prolific offense in the history of the NFL, and they nearly got shut out in Super Bowl XLVIII.

    ————————————-

    Not to mention the 2007 Patriots. They too had an unstoppable receiver in Randy Moss (98 catches and 25 TD). Wes Welker led the league in catches with 112. Faulk and Stallworth had over 45 catches each and Watson and Gaffney had 36 catches each. The running backs by committee (Maroney/Morris/Faulk) had over 1500 yards on the ground and each averaged at least 4.3 yards per carry.

    We all know how that ended.

    So don’t fall too much in love with the Atlanta offense just yet.

  95. elmerbrownelmerbrown says:
    Jan 26, 2017 11:07 AM
    Maybe the NFL could move that Patriots to a better division then they don’t even make the playoffs and we are no having this conversation every year !
    =====================

    Well from a Pats fan’s standpoint good competition makes the games more entertaining so let’s look at that. As a practical matter they’d need to go to division in the eastern part of the country and from a rivalry standpoint a north division would be even better. How about the AFCN where in the Brady/Belichick era the Pats are .828? Probably not what you had in mind. The NFCN? Nope, .875 there. How about the NFCE? .813 probably won’t give you what you are looking for either. Maybe that .789 against the AFCE is suddenly not looking so bad.
    Oh well, thanks for the thought though.

  96. Let’s put this fantasy to rest once and for all. The first SB was a defensive struggle between two good defensive teams.

    The second one was NOT luck. Giants would have blown the doors off NE if not for Wilfork’s momentum turning flop. We were driving for the kill shot and the blow out was palpable. No flop there, we go up 16 and we’re on our way.

    Don’t make it sound like the defense won that second SB.

  97. One more thing….

    Asante and Welker each needed to be 8 feet tall to catch those balls.

    Your great Saint of football, get this, actually threw a bad pass! waaa.waaaa.

  98. sbchamps3233 says:
    Jan 26, 2017 10:08 AM
    Then the Patriots’ coach, Bill Belichick, the cheating program’s mastermind, spoke. He said he had merely misinterpreted a league rule, explaining that he thought it was legal to videotape opposing teams’ signals as long as the material wasn’t used in real time. Few in the room bought it. Belichick said he had made a mistake — “my mistake.”
    =

    And was correct, it was a badly worded memo and Bill as usual was smarter than those who wrote it. They were po’d that he found the language to be juvenile and ambiguous.

    My mistake was all that was left for him to say once it became evident that the rule, or memo, was being re-interpreted on the spot by it’s authors.

  99. Respect where respect is due. From what I have seen of the Falcons’ offense, they can kill you with great speed and toughness. They have a great attack. It will be a great challenge for Patricia and Belichick to scheme a plan to stop them, and for the D to execute that plan. Pats’ D has really come around since the Jamie Collins trade and are playing at a very high level now, as well. Don’t think the Falcons are the only ones with a good D coming in to this game.

    On the opposite side, the Patriots don’t have a slouch of an offensive team. You have Amendola, Edelman, Hogan, Lewis, Blount, White, Bennett, Mitchell and Develin that can be placed in any number of situations to confuse the defense and get yards. They will grind it until the see an opportunity to break open a big play. The Steelers and Texans both had really good defenses, but you could see that the Patriots’ attack was so relentless that eventually they were able to get yards and points.

    That being said, this is going to be a great game. I cannot wait. My stomach is already in knots over our “Heart Attack Pats”, but we’ll just have to see how it plays out.

  100. Love all the talk about the helmet catch being “the reason.” Fine, I’m a Giant fan. I’m not gonna sound like a delusional Pats fan and say that it wasn’t luck but let’s take a closer look at some other things in that game, shall we??

    While not luck in the Tyree sense, here’s some benefits the Pats got that are a-typical:

    1) Giants driving in 2nd Q to take a 10-7 lead. Eli throws to Steve Smith at the Pats 10, Smith commits rookie mistake and tips it straight up for an easy INT. Eli’s first and only INT of that postseason.

    2) Giants stop Pats yet again but dummy Blackburn doesn’t get off the field in time on 4th down. Ball snapped, the great BB wins the challenge, gets the penalty, 1st down inside the Giants 40. Stopped again.

    3) Bradshaw fumbles, dives for it, tries knocking it out of bounds but it stays in where its scooped up by Steve Smith for a 1st down. Refs throw flag for intentional shoveling the ball to Smith. Giants punt. (This was probably the right call but it could have easily went against NE).

    So….it’s not like we were blessed with a win before the game started or something. Let’s stop that narrative. The Pats got some lucky breaks too but didn’t capitalize.

    Both games are called, “that’s football.”

  101. Harrisonhits is one of the very few Patriots fans on here who continues to show respect and class. The rest of these homers spew the same thing every article regarding the Patriots – Brady is the GOAT, every other team stinks, Eli is garbage, the Giants got lucky, the Giants’ D won both Super Bowls, etc.

    The same Patriots fans who knock Eli and say he got lucky TWICE in their Super Bowl wins equate their last Super Bowl win, where Butler won the game on the 1, to Tom Brady. It was all Tom! Meanwhile, any other team beats the Patriots that same way, and it would be “the defense beat us”! Also, let’s not forget about the clutch FGs from Vinatieri all of those years. Any other team? “The kicker won those games, not the QB”!

    Hypocrisy at its finest, but I do appreciate a fan like Harrisonhits who seems to be one of the few levelheaded Patriots fans.

    Man, people understand that Patriots are a good team thanks to the greatest coach of all time, but you’d think the majority of their fans actually played on the team the way we have to hear them talk day in and day out.

  102. peyton42 says:
    Jan 26, 2017 9:57 AM
    Everyone who thinks the Pats defense will automatically be ready for the Falcons because they face Brady every day is just wrong. The Pats can’t emulate what the Falcons do. If they could, they would have been the team that scored 540 points this year.
    **********************
    Yes The Falcons scored 540 points. Lets not forget that the Pats were THIRD in points scored. Its not like the Pats were just another offense.

  103. The Giants scored 17 and 19 points (offensively since 2 came on a safety) in those two games. Hardly cause to say they cracked any code. The Giants wins were a credit to their defense and interior rush much more than what they did on offense.

  104. justintuckrule says:
    Jan 26, 2017 12:15 PM
    One more thing….
    Asante and Welker each needed to be 8 feet tall to catch those balls.
    Your great Saint of football, get this, actually threw a bad pass! waaa.waaaa.

    —————

    Who ever won the game won the game. Patriots should have tackled Eli but they didn’t. Asante should have caught that pick (Maybe high but it went directly through his hands) but he didn’t. Brady should have made a better throw and Welker could have come down with it anyway. But they didn’t.

    I will take those 2 losses along with the other 4 wins that could have gone the other way easily.

    There are no lucky wins. You either win or you lose. That’s it.

  105. The real question about this game is can the Falcon defense put up a better effort than the Patriots have seen so far in the playoffs.

    As for Belichick shutting down the biggest threat on the Falcon offense, good luck with that. The Falcon offense is a whole lot more than Julio Jones. They can put together long sustained drives running the ball and/or throwing short, as well as the quick strike.

    No question the Falcons are going to score. The real question is whether or not the Patriot offense can be stopped. I expect another close finish, just like all other Patriot Super Bowls with the BBs.

  106. This is how you beat the Patriots:

    1. Get to Brady with a 3 or 4 man front.
    2. Get to Brady with a 3 or 4 man front.
    3. Get to Brady with a 3 or 4 man front.

    It’s the only way since 2001.

  107. Everyone in this thread, including me, is probably getting a little too hung up on statistics.

    I don’t think the Pats will slow the Falcons down much, but I can agree to disagree with Pats fans on that, because we’ll have our answer in ten days.

    The other side of the equation is even harder to say, because Atlanta’s defense is playing fantastic right now, and it doesn’t really mesh with their statistical performance on the season.

    But the Falcons defense has 4 rookie starters at WLB, SLB, SS, and nickel corner and 3 second year players too, so that is a defense you would expect to be playing their best at the end of the year.

    Will they wilt under the pressure of playing Tom Brady in the Super Bowl? I don’t know, but they’ve already won 4 games (at least) this season against future HOF QBs, so I’m not going to count them out before the game happens.

  108. “Factor in that this game will not be in ATL and there really is no case to be made that ATL has a better offense.”

    Most ridiculous thing said in this thread.

    How about the fact that the Falcons offense is better in every measurable way by a wide margin except for turning the ball over a couple times more.

    I think that is a pretty good case.

  109. Patriots’ fans are sounding awfully nervous on here,with good reason. After struggling to knock off Houston and Pittsburgh, this team is primed for a good old fashioned southern beatdown and no one will be crying but Cheetah Nation.

  110. “I do appreciate a fan like Harrisonhits who seems to be one of the few levelheaded Patriots fans.”

    Thank you very much. I prefer to talk about football fan to fan. I think fans of any team claiming either Atlanta or the Pat are “gonna put up 50 on them and blow them away” are foolish.

    Both of these teams are great teams and earned the right to be here. They won their conferences. The other teams did not. There’s no reason to act like either of these teams, or the great Giants teams the Pats faced in the Super Bowls were anything otherwise.

  111. julyeast says:
    Jan 26, 2017 12:55 PM
    it has happened 3x before…..Packers steamrolled Pats in ’96 – BB was D Coordinator
    —————————————————

    FWIW, BB was actually the Secondary Coach for the Pats in ’96, Al Groh was the D-Coordinator.

    But, yes, of course the Falcons can defeat the Pats. And, yes, of course the Pats can defeat the Falcons.

    Florio’s question was rhetorical. Hence his ‘Yes’ hint at the end of the question.

  112. The defense in Super Bowl XLVI was not very good. They repeatedly let the Giants control the ball for several long drives. They simply could not get the ball. People who judge the relative strength of the offense and the defense only by the final score miss that.

    Late in the game the Pats got the ball in terrible position and still managed to drive the ball far, punting it to pin the Giants within their on 10 yard line. One play later the Giants were at midfield.

    As for Super Bowl XLII, most of the credit there has to go to the Giants defense.

    People think that because the two games involved the same teams, and the scores were similar, that the stories must have been similar. But in XLII the offense had problems with the massive pass rush, while in XLVI, it was the defense that struggled.

  113. The other side of the equation is even harder to say, because Atlanta’s defense is playing fantastic right now, and it doesn’t really mesh with their statistical performance on the season.

    Both the Seahawks and Packers were riddled with injuries. By the end of Sunday’s game, the Packers were using their nose tackle on their offensive line because they had so many injuries. And the Seahawks had the worst offensive line in the NFL all season long.

  114. Seriously…with respect to the “Code,” Gilbride did what most other OCs who have lost the SB to the Pats didn’t do – – he incorporated in the game plan alternatives to feeding the best player.

    The Giants knew that BB was a master at taking away your best player. In 07′ that was Plax. So, Gilbride went to Tyree (yes Pats’ fans, he made more than just the helmet catch. His TD catch came when he was option 1). He also went to Smith, Boss and ran heavy.

    In 11′, BB took away Nicks and Cruz. His ability to do this tells me he’s a greater coach than Brady is a QB. But that’s a debate for another day. Gilbride game planned more runs and more looks to Manningham.

    That’s the “code.” Kyle Shanahan better have more up his sleeve than force feeding JJ.

  115. going by these comments between Giant fan, Patriots fan and Patriot-haters, I’m surprised it hasn’t branched off into a political or religious debate yet. I’m waiting for the first “your mother” insult

  116. NO & NO. The Hoody is the best prepared coach ever. The only way to defeat him is if it’s just one of those nights and you don’t try to be to clever. He generally has a couple of elite players, the majority of the players he signs generally are hungry or have a chip and they all are very much football savvy. Those that get invited in and don’t show or lose those traits get shipped normally for some kind recompense. He has no respect for names it’s all about now and tomorrow. He has years of experience more importantly he has failures to remember. He always has the last laugh. He is human he does make mistakes just not as many as the other coaches, and he does bare grudges and he does like to pay you back normally in ♠️s.

  117. Make the Pats play the short game, knock the crap out of their receivers and make Brady feel pressure all day. Do that, they score less than 20 or so points = Falcons win. Anything else? Likely not. Patriots cannot consistently run the ball.

  118. Actually it happened 3 times. Mike Holmgren’s Packers tore Belichick’s defense up in a superbowl.

    Belichick is gameplan specific.Brett Favre played off instincts so Belichicks gameplan specific defense was no match for Favre.

  119. one of those superbowls to get really drunk in the first half. make an ass of yourself in front of all your wife’s friends and then go to bed after watching the half time show and giving a five minute rant on how society is going down hill and everyone 15 years younger than you is lazy, immoral, and generally useless!

  120. And Pats’ fans…recognize this. Us Giants’ fans might be the only other fan base in the league besides your own that is generally on your side!!! We love BB. He’s our guy too. More importantly, we love being the only team to have whizzed in your cornflakes. We don’t want to share that honor…especially with a team’s who QB is named Matty Ice. You kidding me? Beat those Falcons! Win 10 more Super Bowls. Go for it. Cement that legacy from stone to granite for all we care. The more you win, the more our Lombardis shine! 🙂

  121. Honest Question for Cheetah Nation. In that your life is consumed with loving Tom Brady — you watch every game, you dote on everything he says and does, you do not have a life apart from the Patriots, you think about him more than you do your friends or loved ones – in light of this, do you believe in your fan boy mind that you have a close, personal relationship with Tom? Just curious.

  122. Any team can beat any team on any game day.
    I do not believe that Quinn can outcoach Belichick, nor do I believe that Ryan can outplay Brady. Not this year. The Patriots are not playing for a victory; they’re playing for immortality.

  123. “Depends. Are the Patriots going to tape the Falcons walk though like they did the Rams?”

    Yes keep telling the same tired lies. You know very well the Herald had to retract that claim and make a front page apology and also fired the writer involved.

    And here’s a newsflash for you. 100 million dollar corporations or whatever the Herald is worth do not retract major stories and apologize, thus opening up huge corporate liability, unless they are absolutely sure there was nothing there in the first place.

    SMH

  124. Interesting angle, but in both those Super Bowls, the Patriots were beaten by their opponents’ defenses and a handful of miraculous plays (and, in the second loss, a ridiculous drop of a game-sealing pass by Welker).

  125. “Any team can beat any team on any game day.
    I do not believe that Quinn can outcoach Belichick, nor do I believe that Ryan can outplay Brady. Not this year. The Patriots are not playing for a victory; they’re playing for immortality.”

    That just creates more pressure. Now nobody is more equipped to deal with that pressure than the Pats, but this playing for immortality stuff and the whole Goodell storyline, just media talking points.

    I have no doubt both of these teams are motivated to the fullest possible extent to win this game.

  126. You seem to be trying real hard to make us think that Atlanta might stand a chance in this game. Probably going to be a Patriot blowout.

  127. If my life was consumed by TBrady, I’d still be better than someone posting Patriots bile all day, everyday; keeping my spreadsheet of different usernames constantly updated.

  128. This Belichick’s defense is special. Yes the Falcons have a lot of weapons but if the Patriots can bring pressure and force Matt Ryan into errant throws, the Patriots secondary can capitalize. With Mack being less than 100%, pressure will get home.

  129. Roethlisberger had 314 yards and 100+ more worth of dropped passes, so he could’ve done 400 easily against New England. Not only that, but the Steelers WRs dropped or brain-cramped away 17 points (at least 3 from the bomb that clanged off Coates’s hands; 4 points lost by Hamilton dropping the pass in the end zone which then resulted in a FG instead; and 7 points thrown away by Hamilton stepping in and out of bounds for no reason before catching another pass in the end zone.)

    That’s 34 points easily on the great Belichick D. They’re hardly invincible. If Atlanta’s receivers merely hold on to the ball, they can do the same if not better.

    Belichick stopped the Greatest Show on Turf by mugging and holding the receivers and counting on the refs not to throw flags in the Super Bowl. If I’m Atlanta I’m having a little talk to the officials before the game about that.

  130. peyton42 says:
    Jan 26, 2017 10:51 AM
    quizlingclinic says:
    Jan 26, 2017 10:28 AM

    “peyton42 says:
    Jan 26, 2017 9:57 AM
    Everyone who thinks the Pats defense will automatically be ready for the Falcons because they face Brady every day is just wrong. The Pats can’t emulate what the Falcons do. If they could, they would have been the team that scored 540 points this year.”


    But that’s not how it works. Pats had large leads by the middle of the 3rd quarter in most of their games and took the pedal off the accelerator. Couple with their league-best defense it was a rare game that the Pats needed to run up the score. The 4th quarter in most games was for chewing up clock with Blount. Pats offense is at least as good as the Hawks, and probably better.
    **********************************************
    Yeah man, I don’t think you have been watching the Falcons this year. They ran up way more big leads than the Pats did. They could have easily hung 60 on the Niners or the Rams. They are an all time great offense, and the Pats offense is very good, but not nearly to the same level.

    The Pats were locked in a 13-10 game with the Niners at half. The Falcons scored 4 TDs and fumbled on the 1 yard line in their 1st half possessions against the Niners.
    *************************************************

    The Falcons played the 49ers in the Georgia Dome. The Patriots played the 49er’s in Santa Clara, and there was a monsoon during the second and 3rd quarters that prevented this from being a blowout. The Patriots did whatever they wanted in the first and 4th quarters, and ended the game taking a knee on the 2 yard line. The rain greatly aided the 49er’s cause. They seemed to play well in the rain, though only scored 7 points. The Patriots did not play well in the rain for some reason. They are generally a good bad weather team, but it was ridiculous out there. It was a total downpour. It ended 30-17 and could have been 37-17 had they not taken a knee several times at the 2 yd line, and that is with the Patriots offense in park while it rained. The split second the rain let up they were lighting it up again. This is not a good game to use if you are trying to compare the teams.

    I don’t think you can look at common opponents and get much insight. The Patriots took the pedal off the metal many times this year rather than run up the score. Brady even came out of games early, which was previously unheard of.

    I trust the Patriots to play better from behind than I trust Atlanta. Atlanta’s best hope is to sprint to an early lead and hope they can hold off the Patriots, or keep pace from there. That’s why I think Atlanta, which typically plays zone defense, will mix it up and plan man to man enough to make it a guessing game early, hoping to slow the Patriots offense just enough to allow the Atlanta offense to possibly outscore them. I also assume the Patriots will be ready for that.

    I don’t see the Patriots getting blown out. They generally don’t blow teams out in the Super Bowl themselves, but if Atlanta plays defense like Pittsburgh, it may happen.

    FUN FACT: Atlanta only played 4 games against defenses in the top half of the league, and they lost 3 of them. The one they won was against a team with very little offense (Denver). These teams also had decent offenses.

    The Patriots have a #1 scoring defense and a #3 scoring offense. Atlanta has a #23 defense and a #1 offense.

    In my experience, when we start hearing about all the ways the weaker team can actually win the game, people start to believe it, but then reality hits. That’s just my experience over the years. I’m not dissing Atlanta.

  131. I think Kyle Shanahan can come close to matching wits with any defense, but you never know what kind of cheating the Patriots are up to. You just can’t trust that everything is legit with them. They’ve been caught doing things on multiple occasions, but how many people who break rules get caught every time? I’m sure the Pats have gotten away with more cheating than they’ve been caught.

  132. I’m so sick of hearing how great the Pat’s defense is.

    They played 1, that’s ONE, pro bowl QB all season!

    Give me a break. NE’s entire season allowed them to face no name QB’s. Good schedule for them. But that fact means the entire teams numbers, both offense and defense, are inflated numbers. Simple logic. Get off of the fandom.

    Atlanta will expose that phony 16-2 record.

  133. How about the team formally known as greatest show on turf…OR Seattle…OR…sorry pal different era you will have to take it as it comes. Pats are the only modern era dynasty and Brady is the all-time GOAT.

    ****

    You’re right bud, different eras… Brady will just have to settle for the best of the 2000’s

    I like how you dismiss the 90’s Cowboys in your modern era dynasties though. I hate ’em, but dude, they would’ve creamed the Pats.

  134. ampatsisahypocrite says:
    Jan 26, 2017 5:18 PM

    Roethlisberger had 314 yards and 100+ more worth of dropped passes, so he could’ve done 400 easily against New England. Not only that, but the Steelers WRs dropped or brain-cramped away 17 points (at least 3 from the bomb that clanged off Coates’s hands; 4 points lost by Hamilton dropping the pass in the end zone which then resulted in a FG instead; and 7 points thrown away by Hamilton stepping in and out of bounds for no reason before catching another pass in the end zone.)

    That’s 34 points easily on the great Belichick D. They’re hardly invincible. If Atlanta’s receivers merely hold on to the ball, they can do the same if not better.

    Belichick stopped the Greatest Show on Turf by mugging and holding the receivers and counting on the refs not to throw flags in the Super Bowl. If I’m Atlanta I’m having a little talk to the officials before the game about that.

    ********************************************
    The problem with your line of reasoning is that MANY teams could beat the Pats if they only played better. Funny how they somehow don’t.

  135. lengai says:
    Jan 26, 2017 12:10 PM
    The Falcons are about to surprise a lot of people. They are going to win this game. And, no, I’m not a Falcons fan.

    —————-

    The spread is 3. It wouldn’t be very surprising.

    To me the keys of the game are very simple:

    – Can Vic Beasley disrupt Brady and hold their points down given NE was 3rd in the league in points for and ATL was 27th in the league in points against.

    – Can NE, the top scoring defense in the league, slow down ATL, the top scoring offense in the league.

    I think people aren’t giving much respect to the Patriots defense. Against good defenses this season ATL was scoring low 20s (Denver, Seattle) , so I think it is reasonable to think NE could do the same thing to ATL.

    For ATL it’s all about pass rush. If they don’t get one Brady will get 30+

    Of course who ever wins the turnover margin will likely win the game and both teams are good with the ball. Brady seemed to get his bad game out of the way against Houston, but Ryan has looked rock solid. Maybe a few Belichick defensive schemes can force a few picks like he has done against good QBs and WR combos in the past. Maybe not.

  136. One thing that makes Belichick and Brady the Best of All Time is that they have great respect for their opponent and never underestimate them.

    They know they can be beat and work their butt off to avoid it.

    In my opinion, given the current rules favoring offense (Peyton Manning Fantasy Football Rules) the Falcons have the advantage. Hope I’m wrong.

  137. homerhunter says:
    Jan 26, 2017 3:43 PM
    Honest Question for Cheetah Nation. In that your life is consumed with loving Tom Brady — you watch every game, you dote on everything he says and does, you do not have a life apart from the Patriots, you think about him more than you do your friends or loved ones – in light of this, do you believe in your fan boy mind that you have a close, personal relationship with Tom? Just curious.
    —————————————————————
    Something tells me your previous user name had the word steel in it. Let it go man, let it go.

  138. The same posters on every Pat’s article spouting the same tired old baloney, pretty sad the Pat’s live in their heads! Pure JEALOUSY!!
    The drive for FIVE!!

  139. Patriots will not be able to stop Atlanta’s offense. They don’t have they playmakers to stop them. Atlanta is elite at every position other than tight end. Atlanta will put up 30 and if they can pressure Brady, they should be able to pull off the upset.

  140. people are disrespecting the pats d, which is why people
    don’t get it

    if you read the media, they can brainwash you

    bb would have to cure cancer for him to get any credit
    with is d

  141. npadln says:
    Jan 26, 2017 5:34 PM
    The problem with your line of reasoning is that MANY teams could beat the Pats if they only played better. Funny how they somehow don’t.
    ———————————————–

    I didn’t post this as the typical “my team shoulda won!” cry, it’s not even about that. It’s about the topic of whether Belichick’s defense can be taken. Or not. The point is if you look past the “Pats blew them out!” hype you’ll see a defense that had the ball moved on them pretty easily. And in this case the usual “bend but don’t break” rationale doesn’t apply, because the Steelers had no problem putting the ball in the end zone, they simply dropped passes in the end zone. So it wasn’t about the Pats defense stopping them, it was the unforced errors that bailed out New England that kept them from giving up 31-34 points, at least.

    You do know one TD was taken off the board because a dumb WR ran out of bounds and back in for no reason, right? That’s not about playing well or not, that’s just being stupid. And gifting back points.

    Even the great goal-line stand shoulda never happened, if Hamilton just holds on to the ball in the end zone on the other play he goofed. The same thing with Houston, they just plain dropped one sure TD, and goofed a whole bunch of others for no reason.

    So what does that say going forward?

    Namely, with the receiving corps Atlanta has, they can rack up some good pointage if they don’t get the same case of butterfingers. Or brain cramps. Maybe enough to beat Brady even if the Falcons D plays the same dumb soft zone as the Steelers. And decides not to gawk at guys rather than actually cover them.

    Somehow I doubt Atlanta will though.

  142. The defense wasn’t the primary reason they lost in 07, let’s be serious here. Even in 2010 it wasn’t the primary cause. The giants defensive game plan won those games.

    This game will come down to the Pats offense playing like they have all year.

  143. So what does that say going forward?

    Namely, with the receiving corps Atlanta has, they can rack up some good pointage if they don’t get the same case of butterfingers

    Were all those Pittsburg drops to wide open receivers? coverage have anything to do with it?

  144. Per WEEI, … “Despite allowing 20 and 21 points in their two playoff games, the Falcons had only five games in the regular season where they allowed fewer than 24 points, and three of those came against the 49ers, Rams and Broncos……

    When the Patriots are able to score points in the postseason, more often than not they win games. Brady is 24-1 in the playoffs when scoring 21 or more points.

    As it relates to other Super Bowl teams, it isn’t good. The Falcons are allowing an average quarterback rating of 91.7 this season, which is the highest opposing quarterback rating in the history of the Super Bowl.”

    The last 3 “greatest offenses of all time are 0-3” in the Super Bowl

    ’01 Rams
    ’07 Patriots
    ’13 Broncos

    I am happy with the Patriots chances against the ATL defense.

    -NE Patriots fan since 1975

  145. osiris33 (bandwagon since 1976) says:
    Jan 26, 2017 9:46 AM
    In fact, the Cowboys, Seahawks & Packers would all beat this Patriots team too. The Seahawks already have.
    =====================
    Basing this of course on playoff teams each have played this year. To that end the Falcons are 2-2 and the Patriots are 4-1.

    The Seahawks beat both teams in the SB this year.

  146. Lemmy Aksyadis says:
    Jan 26, 2017 9:38 PM


    Were all those Pittsburg drops to wide open receivers? coverage have anything to do with it?
    ————————————————–

    Did you not watch the game or something?

    1. Coates is past the defender when the ball clangs off his hands on the long bomb.

    2. Hamilton has the ball right in his gut in the end zone and just lets it fall out.

    3. Hamilton steps out of bounds for no reason, then back in, before catching the ball in the end zone on his other goof.

    None of these were because of plays the defender made. They were just drops or brain cramps. Which is my point — you can’t use the bend or don’t break excuse here. It’s not like New England gave up yards then got tough in the red zone. They just watched as Steeler receivers dropped balls in the end zone. Bit of a difference.

    I’m only saying Atlanta can score if they don’t goof it up like this.

  147. harrisonhits2 says:
    Jan 26, 2017 9:49 AM
    The Giants had brilliant game plans and Coughlin and his coaches got every player on their roster to overachieve. They played great and earned the wins.

    That said the Tyree catch was a miracle and that player could have played another 10 careers and not made it. Fact is he was such a mediocre receiver he was out of the league the following season never to return to the NFL.

    But such is the making of Super Bowl wins. The Giants earned it and deserve all the respect in the world for doing so.

    ———————————————

    If I’m not mistaken that was David Tyree’s last catch in the NFL. Probably the greatest catch I have ever seen.

  148. The thing about the 2011 sb that nobody seems to mention is that BB’s plan was to stop Nicks and Cruz. He did that and still lost. He’ll probably do the same to Atlanta and Jones. The key is to have other parts on your offense that you can rely on. Manningham made a great play on a perfect throw. Bradshaw had a good game. Sure, they let him score towards the end of the game. But the “GOAT” couldn’t return the favor in the end and had to resort to failed hail mary.

    In 2007, the defense shut down the greatest (now the 2nd greatest, statistically) offense of all time. The Giants even called the score before the game and made it come true. That’s not luck, that’s destiny.

  149. I punked Tom Brady when he was in college at Michigan. In the 90s when I was in grad school at Rice, my buddies and I went to Ann Arbor, MI to watch our Owls play his wolverines. After the game we were at a bar when this clown showed up like he owned the place, talking about how he was going to “whoop on everyone” for not giving him respect. When he came to our table and confronted us, him being 6’4 225 lbs. and me 6’11 280 lbs. I changed his attitude very quickly. I’m just glad this was before the age of camera phones so nobody could take a video.

  150. Actually the Patriots defense has spent its entire career being rescued by the offense in the Superbowl and playoffs in general, from trailing 13-3 to the Raiders in the fourth quarter, to blowing a 14-point lead to the Rams, to barely escaping a dropped Drew Bennett (Titans, Kevin Gilbride’s former franchise) first-down catch, to getting shredded for three touchdowns in the fourth by Jake Delhomme (Panthers), to gagging up a late touchdown to a gagging Donovan McNabb (Eagles), to falling behind the Chargers 24-13, to falling behind the Ravens before a late Brady touchdown, to falling behind the Ravens by 14 points TWICE, to falling behind the Seahawks by 10.

    And BTW Gilbride’s team needed two of the most preposterous pass plays in Bowl history for HIS offense to rescue his defense.

  151. usdcoyotesfan says:
    Jan 31, 2017 3:54 PM
    I punked Tom Brady when he was in college at Michigan. In the 90s when I was in grad school at Rice, my buddies and I went to Ann Arbor, MI to watch our Owls play his wolverines. After the game we were at a bar when this clown showed up like he owned the place, talking about how he was going to “whoop on everyone” for not giving him respect. When he came to our table and confronted us, him being 6’4 225 lbs. and me 6’11 280 lbs. I changed his attitude very quickly. I’m just glad this was before the age of camera phones so nobody could take a video.

    ======================================

    … and then you woke up.

  152. nard100 says:
    Jan 31, 2017 9:22 AM
    In 2007, the defense shut down the greatest (now the 2nd greatest, statistically) offense of all time. The Giants even called the score before the game and made it come true. That’s not luck, that’s destiny.
    ====================
    David Tyree says Hi.

  153. Let’s face it, the Giants won because of one thing . . .

    Luck

    I hate it when people make stupid comments like this. While I am a Pats fan and that 2007 SB loss still bothers me to this day, I would never just chalk it up to luck. For one thing the helmet catch was made on 3rd and 5. If the catch was not made the Giants still might have driven for the winning TD. As a Pats fan, I would say the team has had it’s share of good luck (tuck rule, Butler Int.) and bad luck (helmet catch, Welker drop, insane Seattle catch, bogus PI call in 2006 AFC Championship). The bottom line is that luck is what you make of it and eventually it evens out. Maybe the Pats will get a lucky break on Sunday.

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