Ebs’ One Big Thing: Super Bowl LI

WILKES-BARRE, PA – Look, you probably don’t want to hear this, but the Pro Bowl was pretty enjoyable to watch.

There, I said it.

Sure, points didn’t come at a flurry, but there were some big hits (hat tip to Zach Brown, Lorenzo Alexander and Ryan Shazier). It was refreshing to watch.

Also, the Buffalo Bills balled out! Brown had a huge stop of Ezekiel Elliott on a 4th-and-goal from the one, Stephon Gilmore picked off Drew Brees in the end zone and Alexander had a game-sealing interception of Kirk Cousins.

Thursday’s Skills Showdown was entertaining as well. Brought back memories of the days when Chad Johnson would take on the likes of Terrell Owens in the gauntlet.

Okay, my thoughts on the Pro Bowl are over. I just wanted to put it out there before I turn my attention to the Super Bowl.

Ebs’ One Big Thing is all about Super Bowl LI, baby!

Okay, so before I even start, I think many of you already know where I’ll likely end up. Yes, I think the Atlanta Falcons will win Sunday.

However, there’s a few reasons why.

First, the Atlanta running backs are a huge mismatch for the New England linebacking corps. This is the week the “Patriots Militia” – or whatever Patriots fans call themselves – wished Bill Belichick didn’t trade Jamie Collins. The Cleveland Browns outside linebacker grades better than any New England Patriots outside linebacker, and is very good against the pass.

Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman have caused defenses problems all throughout the postseason, and I don’t see it stopping now.

Then there’s Julio Jones. Who exactly is going to cover the talented wide receiver?

Sure, I’ve never given Malcom Butler enough credit, but he’s not big enough to go toe-to-toe with the Alabama product. The Patriots secondary struggles with bigger wide receivers, and that won’t likely change Sunday.

Even if the Patriots can take away Jones, there’s still Mohamed Sanu and Taylor Gabriel.

Lastly, the New England Patriots offensive line worries me.

For years the Patriots have neglected this position ground, and for the most part it has worked. However, if Brock Osweiler wasn’t quarterbacking the Houston Texans in the divisional round, New England’s season would have likely ended three weeks ago.

Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

If there’s one thing the Atlanta defense does well, it’s rush the passer. Vic Beasley was a monster this year, Dwight Freeney has some gas left in the tank still and Adrian Clayborn has some pass-rushing ability as well. If the Atlanta pass rushers aren’t effective, Tom Brady could give the Falcons fits and it could get out of hand quickly.

While I may not be giving the New England defense much credit, but it’s more that the Atlanta offense is that good. And yes, I’m aware the top defense traditionally does better against the top offense in the Super Bowl.

Either way this game is going to be a fun one. It’ll be a high-scoring affair and both defenses will likely struggle. I wouldn’t be surprised if this game comes down to the last possession.

Prediction: Falcons 34, Patriots 31

Come back Tuesday for Bangin’ Ben Whitney and please follow us on Twitter at @ByDJEberle & @MeetTheMatts and like our Facebook page, Meet The Matts.

I know some of you here are New York Yankees fans, and might be starving for information this off-season. Well, here’s what’s happening at the Triple-A level with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton RailRiders.

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About DJ Eberle 223 Articles
DJ Eberle: The youngest of our team, DJ is also the largest. Offensive Tackle Large. In fact, this Albany native used OT for Western New England University - until he graduated in May of 2014. Like Junoir Blaber, he's a regular on Rugby Wrap Up - his dad played rugby with The Matts. His cross to bear, however, is his love for the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres. As for baseball and basketball, it's the Yanks and Atlanta Hawks. Follow him on Twitter: @ByDJEberle.