The 2016 NFL season has been a long and competitive one complete with controversy, blown calls, TV ratings drops and breakout performances. There were many teams who made an impact on the 2016 season and had the talent to go all the way, but there are only two teams who have the right to battle it out on February 5th. Rookie duo Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott made a lot of noise in year one as they led the Cowboys to the postseason. The Raiders season started off fast and they proved to be one of the toughest outs in football as they seemed to have a knack for 4th Quarter performances, but unfortunately, their season came to a screeching halt when QB Derek Carr severely injured his leg in Week 16. The Texans made a playoff run on the heels of Jadeveon Clowney's late season breakout run and despite some of the worst play we've ever seen from a $17 million player. Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers seemed doomed from the start until a 6-Game win streak catapulted them into the postseason where they earned their spot in the NFC Championship. Unfortunately for these teams, none of that matters now because the two best teams in the NFL are facing off in the biggest game of the season.
The Falcons have been hot pretty much all season as they've averaged a league best 33.8 points per game and have been productive not only through the air, thanks to MVP Matt Ryan, but also on the ground. The backfield tandem of Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman proved dangerous as they collectively rushed for almost 1,600 yards and 19 touchdowns. Both backs also had over 400 yds receiving and multiple receiving touchdowns. All season, their soft spot has been their defense. A young group with veteran leadership, the Falcons regularly started 5 or 6 first and second year players and they came together in the Playoffs to deliver two of their best performances all season. Continuity and the emergence of Vic Beasley as a deadly pass rushing threat has helped propel them to where they are now, one game away from Super Bowl Champions.
The Patriots started their season with a lot media coverage, and not for any particularly good reasons. Patriots sure fire Hall of Fame QB Tom Brady was officially found "guilty" of having knowledge of team staff members deflating footballs during the 2014 season and, as a result, was forced to sit out the first 4 games of the 2016 season. Head Coach, and another sure fire Hall of Famer, Bill Belichick had to prove to the world once again why he was the best. With 2 QBs on roster, both of which had extremely limited NFL experience, Bill Belichick did what nobody thought was possible; he went 3-1 without his golden boy. Tom started his comeback tour in Cleveland and shredded through the Patriots' schedule thanks in large part to his running back LeGarrette Blount and the Patriots' stout defense. Blount ended the season with a league leading 19 rushing touchdowns and the Patriots defense stepped up to the challenge only allowing 15.6 points per game, the best in the NFL. Now, Brady and Belichick are once again on the brink of a Super Bowl victory, their 5th as a duo.
These two teams will now face off in Super Bowl 51 in Houston, TX. This game is sure to be an explosion of points with two of the most efficient and high scoring offenses in the NFL this season. Surely, this game will come down to a big defensive stop late in the game and whichever team can get that stop, could be the 2016 Super Bowl Champions!
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