OK, it’s not the Eagles and the Patriots, but I have to be honest, I’m really looking forward to this Super Bowl game between Atlanta and Jacksonville. The Falcons won my Super Bowl last year (the 2016 NFL season) by destroying the New England Patriots, so they are in a position to repeat! And, contrary to what some of you may think, even though I live in Atlanta, I am NOT a Falcons’ fan – I’m a Cowboys’ fan, which comes with it’s own load of baggage!!
So, this Sunday, Atlanta and Jacksonville will face-off, and they are two teams that have unique strengths that they’ll be showcasing. Atlanta marched through the playoffs with a 5-1 record (they lost to Detroit 27-20), while Jacksonville is unbeaten at 5-0.
Atlanta has done it with a pretty evenly balanced offensive attack. They have averaged 149 yards per game on the ground (4.6 yards per rush) behind Devonta Freeman’s remarkable post-season – he’s scored 10 touchdowns in the six games! But, they have also had success in the air behind Matt Ryan, completing 64% of their passes, averaging 253 passing yards a game.
The Jags have featured a monster rushing attack, averaging a remarkable 180 yards a game on the ground (5.3 yards per carry), with Leonard Fournette and T.J. Yelton leading the way. Quarterback Blake Bortles has been consistent, if not spectacular, with Jacksonville averaging 203 yards per game via the air, and Bortles connecting on 58% of his tosses.
Defensively, however, both teams have played well. Atlanta has held their six opponents to an average of only 268 yards of offense per game! Meanwhile, the Jaguars have recorded 19 sacks and forced 11 turnovers in just those five games.
And with both teams at just about full-strength – each of them will be without the services of a starting offensive lineman – we’re expecting a great game!
Here’s the injury list:
Atlanta – Andy Levitre (OG), Adrian Clayborn (DE)
Jacksonville – Allen Hurns (WR), Jeremy Parnell (OT), Allen Robinson (WR), Aaron Colvin (CB)
So, stay tuned. This will be the 55th and final game of my tournament that has honestly been the most fun I have ever had playing the football game solo. I’m expecting no less in this final contest!!