Super Bowl 51 was one of the greatest games in NFL history. The league MVP ran his team out to a 28-3 lead and to the brink of the Falcons’ first-ever championship. The greatest of all time found a way to make history with an epic comeback. Now, Matt Ryan and Tom Brady get to do it again — this time on Sunday Night Football, broadcast live at 8:30 p.m. ET on NBC (live stream).
The two teams have weaknesses that will match well together Sunday. The Patriots defense can’t stop anyone after giving up more passing yards than any other team in the league. The Falcons offense has struggled to score — most notably getting stuck at 17 points in a shocking home loss to the Dolphins in Week 6. That will guide an extremely stoppable force to a near-crumbling object in primetime. The results should be fun to watch.
Time, TV channel, and streaming info
- Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
- Location: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass.
- TV: NBC
- Streaming: NBC Sports Live
- Odds: New England is favored by 4.5 points.
Falcons at Patriots news:
- Atlanta isn’t done blowing big leads to AFC East teams, as last week’s loss to the Dolphins proved.
“(We had a) 17-point lead at the half, and to come away without a win is disappointing. Just a pretty inconsistent game for us,” Matt Ryan said after the loss.
The Falcons may have thought they’d get a respite from 28-3 jokes until their trip to New England for a Super Bowl rematch next week. The loss to the Dolphins just gave folks more blown-lead material to work with, however.
- Six straight passers have thrown for 300+ yards against the Patriots this season — including the immortal Josh McCown.
McCown carved up the Patriots’ defense in the first half of their AFC East showdown, getting his team out to a 14-0 lead in the second quarter before New England stormed back in a 24-17 victory. Despite the loss, McCown managed to throw for 354 yards to keep the Pats’ ignominious streak alive.
- The Falcons offense has been bad — and Dan Quinn is banishing his offensive coordinator to the press box to fix it.
Dan Quinn has sent Sarkisian back to the booth. He’s supposed to be running the same offense as Kyle Shanahan. Maybe he needs to coach from the same place as Shanahan?
- Noted runner Tom Brady is on pace to break the 1,000-rushing-yard barrier in 2017... for his career.
Brady has 961 career rushing yards and with his impressive average of 4.0 rushing yards per game, he should surpass 1,000 rushing yards in 10 games- also known as the 2017 season finale.
And it doesn’t appear that Brady’s late-career rushing renaissance should play a major factor in his timeline to achieve 1,000 rushing yards; he’s averaged just 3.9 rushing yards per game since the start of the 2014 season.
Can the Falcons erase their demons and gain a modicum of revenge against the team that made them a punchline?
Atlanta endured an entire offseason of 28-3 jokes in 2017, but could get a snappy comeback Sunday night if the Falcons can take advantage of New England’s horrible defense. Winning a regular season game in Foxborough isn’t nearly the same as a Super Bowl, but it’s the kind of quality win that makes you a legit postseason contender — just ask the Carolina Panthers. If Atlanta is going to keep pace in the NFC South, it will have to do what Cam Newton did weeks earlier.
Falcons at Patriots prediction:
All but two of our eight experts picked the Patriots to win, while OddsShark’s computer thinks the Falcons will come away with the victory this time.