Number one scoring defence
New England have always been solid defensively under Belichick but defensive co-ordinator Matt Patricia has helped take the Patriots to the next level in recent years. In 2015, the AFC champions had the eighth-best scoring defence but they have hit new heights this year; allowing just 15.7 points per game throughout the regular season.
But Patriots fans will tell you that isn’t just about holding opposing teams out. Patricia’s defence have been phenomenal at forcing turnovers in the second half of the season – recording 19 in the past eight games. These game-changing plays on defence are giving Tom Brady and co the chance to rack up more points on offense...
Belichick’s “next man up” philosophy
Over the years, Bill Belichick has developed a reputation for coining phrases but none have summarised his New England roster more than his infamous ‘next man up’ attitude. No matter who goes down injured or is cut from the team, the Patriots always seem to find a way to get the most out of their starters and that is why they are so successful.
Belichick will go down as the greatest head coach in NFL history and his unique terms will live long in the memory at Foxborough. If New England can go up against the Atlanta Falcons without injured tight-end Rob Gronkowski and traded away line-backer Jamie Collins, it will further prove that Belichick’s scheme is more important than its parts.
Tom Brady: the greatest of all-time
The 39-year-old will go down as one of the best quarterbacks to play the game and a fifth Super Bowl ring would cement his spot at the top of the rankings. Brady finished the regular season with 28 touchdown passes and just two interceptions – and his 112.2 passer rating was second only to Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan.
According to TeamRankings, the Falcons are the worst team in the NFL for red zone defence when it comes to allowing touchdowns. 72.13% of trips to the Atlanta red zone ended with a touchdown being scored and with Brady in the form of his life, New England could be set to rack up a hefty points total in the Super Bowl.
Strength in depth
When it comes to strength in depth and team spirit, the Patriots are on another level. They always draft well and their selection strategy ahead of key contests usually pays off – no matter who starts. Belichick and his coaching staff aren’t tremendous risk takers but there isn’t any real need to adopt an aggressive approach in this New England system.
This Patriots side don’t have star names all over the field but they are blessed with reliable and consistent play-makers on both sides of the ball and that is what matters most of all. If truth be told, Atlanta might be blessed with more individual talent than New England but when it comes to strength in depth, Belichick’s men are well placed for glory.
Agenda against NFL commissioner Roger Goodell
The Tom Brady revenge mission started just over two years ago after the ‘Deflategate’ scandal following New England’s 45-7 victory over Chuck Pagano’s Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship game. The aftermath was long and tedious but Brady ended up facing a four-game suspension for his involvement in the alleged tampering that occurred.
Since then, Brady has been fired up and the Patriots man will be relishing the opportunity to seize the Vince Lombardi Trophy off the NFL commissioner in Houston. Goodell played a key role in determining Brady’s suspension and New England fans would love nothing more than to watch the commissioner name Brady as the Super Bowl MVP after another Patriots win.
At the time of writing, you can back the Patriots to win the Super Bowl at 13/20 with 888sport – click here for more NFL odds ahead of the showpiece event.