Lucas Gebhart

Sports Editor

I have a hard time seeing the Atlanta Falcons winning the Super Bowl this year.

I don’t think this game will even be close, but Vegas doesn’t seem to agree with me, which makes me a little nervous as I’m putting my reputation on the line as I am about to explain why this game will be a New England blow out.

The spread is currently with New England at -3 and let me just say this – New England will win by more than three.

Here’s what’s going to happen: Atlanta will keep pace for three and a half quarters. They might even score on the first drive of the game and it will be a two score game at halftime with the Patriots getting the ball in the second half.

Then, the Patriots are going to do what the Patriots do.

About halfway through the third quarter, the Falcons will feel like they need to make a play.

They will be down two scores after a New England 75-yard touchdown drive, Matt Ryan is going to throw a pick-six on a third-and-long and the game will be over.

Atlanta has a good offense, but defense wins championships and if you are disputing this then you didn’t watch Super Bowl XLVIII where the Seattle Seahawks made the record-setting Denver Broncos look like they were a high school football team.

Going into that game, Denver was averaging 36.4 points per game and the Seattle defense was giving up 14.6 point per game. It was a game of offense vs. defense and the defense won.

This game is no different. Matt Patricia is the best defensive coordinator in football, Bill Belichick knows the game of football better than it knows itself and Kyle Shanahan is a young offensive coordinator for Denver who will be picked apart by the best coaching staff the game has ever seen.

The Patriots are giving up an average of 15.3 point per game and have given up an average of 10.6 over their last five game, two of which were in the postseason.

The Falcons are averaging 34.4 points per game. Does this not sound a lot like Super Bowl XLVIII to you?

I get it, Matt Ryan is good. Julio Jones is good. Devonta Freeman is good. But so is Tom Brady, LeGarrette Blount and whatever short white receiver Belichick has hidden up his sleeve.

Atlanta scored 36 points on Seattle and 44 points on Green Bay.

The Packers have a horrible secondary and most of their corners are hurt, so I never would have imagined that Matt Ryan would have touched the Packers secondary.

Seattle’s defense isn’t as good as it used to be and Dan Quinn used to be the defensive coordinator in Seattle. He knew where the holes were.

Both numbers are impressive, but both defenses aren’t even close to how good the Patriots defense is this season.

The Patriots scored 34 points on the Texans and 36 points on the Steelers and despite what you’ve been hearing the last week and a half, have a better offense than Atlanta does.

New England didn’t have Tom Brady for the first four games, so I’m going to give another 10.5 points per game to the Patriots because that’s how many more point per game the Patriots are averaging since Brady’s return.

Now instead of 28.3 points per game, we’ll say they are averaging 38.8 points per game, four more points than the Falcons are averaging this season.

New England has one of the best defenses in the league, way better than Atlanta’s, and has a better offense than the Falcons do. If you’re a betting man, you take the Pats and the points.

Luke’s prediction:

New England 31, Atlanta 13.

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