OPUS Mag

Far from timid • Caveat Lector

Rise Up: Super Bowl 51 - Preview 1

Rise Up: Super Bowl 51 - Preview 1

Hey big heads, did you miss me? It is the beginning of the most joyous week of my life. My team, the Atlanta Falcons, is in Houston to play in Super Bowl 51. Oh your team didn’t make it, CANNOT RELATE. I won’t continue to gloat, let’s get right to business and talk about some football.

So for the 2nd time in franchise history we made it to the big game. I was 10 years old in 1999 when we made it to the Super Bowl the 1st time. While I was excited, I wasn’t really into football the way I am now. I mean I had my Jamal Anderson jersey and could do the “Dirty Bird” with great precision, but I wasn’t super hurt when we lost. We weren’t really supposed to be there, s/o to Morten Anderson and that FG though.  In 2012 when we made it to the NFC Championship game against the 49ers I was FULLY invested and found myself devastated when we lost. Oh but on Sunday, January 22, 2017 in The Georgia Dome for the last time ever, I watched my Falcons destroy the Green Bay Packers. As I watched the clock countdown the last 7 seconds of the game, I had a moment, because it was REAL…..we were headed to the Super Bowl, and this time we are coming home with a ring!!!!

We will have the pleasure of playing Bill, Tom and the patriots in next Sunday’s game. This is a meeting between the league’s top scoring offense (Atlanta) and the top scoring defense (New England), so it is sure to be a great game. Atlanta is obviously the underdog, this is the teams 2nd Super Bowl appearance in the 50 years the franchise has existed. We have a QB who has never been to the Super Bowl, a defense with 4 rookie starters, and let’s be honest we are a city full of teams that don’t always show up when it really matters. Yes, the odds are against us but I don’t doubt for one minute that we will show up, show out and win!!! The question on everyone’s mind is how are we going to do that? Well let’s start with offense.

Our offense is REAL, and if you don’t believe that ask Seattle and Green Bay, they’ll tell you. We know the patriots defense is number 1 in scoring but they are definitely more vulnerable when it comes to yards per game and yard per play. This works in the Falcons favor for a few reasons. It will allow Matt Ryan to get something started with Julio rather quickly. It will allow Devonta and Tevin, Atlanta’s two-headed RB monster, the opportunity to get us down the field and into the end zone more efficiently. We also happen to have an offensive coordinator that is overly prepared. Shanahan, who I have not always been a huge fan of but will definitely be sad to see go, tends to call plays with an awareness of each and every possible outcome and has the next play, sent in almost immediately. This type of preparation allows Matt and the offense the opportunity to play calm and collected.

Another huge factor for Atlanta is Quintorris Lopez Jones, you might know him as Julio Jones, the greatest WR in the league right now. If you don’t agree with that and your team is not playing on Sunday, you opinion is invalid. Yes, we know that Malcom Butler and someone else will probably be covering him BUT this is Julio Jones. You really think he’s going to go to the Super Bowl and not show out? I THINK NOT. He will find a way to make a big play. Even if the patriots (no caps because I’m petty) do manage to shut Jones completely out Atlanta has several other receivers to go to. I expect Gabriel, Hooper, Toilolo, Robinson, DiMarco and Sanu to see plenty of action on Sunday. We might even see a trick play utilizing Sanu as QB, because what better time to pull a trick out of your hat than at the Super Bowl. Another great piece of the Atlanta offense is our offensive line, which in my opinion has not received enough credit for how well they’ve played as unit this season. I said at the beginning of the season that adding Alex Mack as center was going to change the way our offense operates. Based on numbers I’d say that I was correct in that statement. The addition of Mack and his leadership has definitely made a difference in the way we block and more importantly protect our QB. The Falcons front five, are the only group of linemen to start every single game this season. To have these same five in the front has allowed a continuity that makes it difficult for any opponent. With the powers of our QB, run and passing game, the front 5 and the leg on kicker Matt Bryant, it will be very difficult for that patriots(again, no caps because petty) defense to stop us.

I could go on and on about the many ways offense is going to win us this game, but I don’t want to take up too much of your time. Tomorrow, yes tomorrow.  I know you didn’t think I was going to give you one basic preview when my Falcons are playing in the Super Bowl, you’ll have the pleasure of reading my words at least 3 more times this week. Tomorrow we’ll talk defense…..and I might even include a few positive sentences about the patriots, I doubt it but maybe. Rise Up!!!!

Wishful Thinking...

Wishful Thinking...

Planting Sequoias - a poem

Planting Sequoias - a poem