Atlanta Falcons vs New England Patriots – Super Bowl LI

New England Patriots vs. Atlanta FalconsAtlanta Falcons, New England Patriots advance to Super Bowl LI

Super Bowl LI is right around the corner and the Atlanta Falcons will be representing the NFC, while the New England Patriots compete for the AFC. The New England Patriots make their  record ninth appearance in the Super Bowl and their seventh with both head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady. The Patriots will be going for their  fifth Lombardi Trophy in this Super Bowl. The Atlanta Falcons will be going for their first ring. The Falcons head coach Dan Quinn has Super Bowl experience. He was defensive coordinator when the Seahawks went to Super Bowls for the 2014 and 2015 seasons. The Patriots lead the all-time series between the two teams, 7-6. The last meeting for these two teams was back in 2013. The showdown for Super Bowl LI between the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots is scheduled to take place on Sunday, February 5, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. ET, at NRG Stadium in Houston Texas.

The New England Patriots made it to Super Bowl LI with a ninth consecutive win by pounding the Pittsburgh Steelers 36-17. The Patriots continued their stifling defensive play in their victory over Pittsburgh, holding the Steelers to 367 total yards while forcing a two turnovers. The Patriots defense have allowed just 10.6 points per game over their past five wins and outscored their opponents by an average margin of 21.8 points. The Patriots have won with offense and with defense. The Patriots have a balanced offense and can hang with the Falcons if this game becomes a shootout.

This will be the Atlanta Falcons second Super Bowl appearance. The last time came in the 1998 season, when Atlanta lost to the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXXIII. The Atlanta Falcons fielded have the league’s top scoring offense in the regular season with an average of 33.8 points per game, while the Patriots defense allowed an NFL-low 15.6 points per game on defense. One of the reasons the Falcons are in the Super Bowl is that their defense improved as the season went on. The Falcons have improved from an average of 25.4 points per game during the regular season to an average of 19.3 points over their last six games, including the playoffs. The Falcons defense rated 15th overall but it’s proving to be effective because of the speed, range and versatility of many of the young players. Even though the Falcons defense have improved they still struggle against the run. For this reason we give the Patriots an edge in what could be a high scoring event.

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Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons – NFC Championship

Atlanta Falcons vs Green Bay Packers Atlanta Falcons host Green Bay Packers in NFC Championship Game

The Atlanta Falcons (12-5) take on the Green Bay Packers (12-6) for the second time this season when they host the NFC Championship Game as home favorites. This may be a high-scoring game with Aaron Rodgers dazzling us with fantastic throws each time he steps on the field and Atlanta scoring 71 more points than any other team did in the regular season. The Atlanta Falcons beat Green Bay 33-32 in the first meeting during Week 8 of this season. The NFC Championship game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Green Bay Packers is scheduled to take place on Sunday, 3:05 p.m. ET, from the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia. The game will be broadcast live on FOX.

When the Green Bay Packers have the ball it’s all about quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The Packers have not relied on the running game lately. With Rogers at the helm, the Packers have won eight in a row in order to make the playoffs. Rogers finally threw an interception for the first time in nine games, but there is no doubt that Rodgers is playing on a completely different level right now. Defenses are lining up in nickel knowing that Green Bay isn’t going to run the ball but still can’t stop him. If Atlanta does lines up in nickel, they may see running back Ty Montgomery get the ball more often. Montgomery only has one 100-yard game this year, but Atlanta is weak on stopping the run this year.

The Atlanta Falcons have the NFL’s best scoring offense with quarterback Matt Ryan who is favorite to win the MVP award this season. Ryan is nearly unstoppable with a healthy wide receiver Julio Jones on the field. Julio Jones is one of the best wide receivers in the league but a nagging toe injury seems to have taken away some of his explosiveness.  Jones is averaging 17 yards a reception. In his last five games, he has only one 100-yard game. The Falcons offense are still putting up points without a fully healthy Jones. Offensive Coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons, Kyle Shanahan uses his running backs in the passing game which makes this offense difficult to stop. Running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman are constantly matched up against linebackers and they have made defenses pay. Freeman and Coleman combined for 204 total yards and two touchdowns against Seattle last week and half those yards came in the form of receptions. We know the Rogers has been magical lately, but we give Atlanta Falcons the edge to win this game in the end.

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Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos – Week 12

Nov 17, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos cornerback Kayvon Webster (36) tackles Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) in the third quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos won 27-17. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY SportsKansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos flexed to Sunday night in Week 12

The NFL has decided to flex a bad game out of the Sunday night slot and put a new game in. The league announced that the Week 12 prime time game will be between Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos. The Kansas City Chiefs or Denver Broncos will remain right behind the Raiders near the top of the AFC West division standings. The Kansas City Chiefs won the last meeting in Denver last November. Before that, the Denver Broncos have dominated the series against the Kansas City Chiefs with a seven-game winning streak. The Chiefs last two wins were both on the road playing as the underdog. The Chiefs are underdogs again on Sunday as the Broncos are a 3-point favorite. The game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Denver Broncos is scheduled to take place on Sunday, November 27, 2016, at 8:30 p.m. ET at Sports Authority Field.

The Kansas City Chiefs have flown under the radar at 7-3 and currently sit atop the AFC West. The Week 12 battle with the reigning Super Bowl champs could be for the lead in the best division in football. The Kansas City Chiefs had a five-game win streak, but that came to an end with a 19-17 loss to Tampa Bay on Sunday. The Chiefs defense allowed 331 passing yards and a touchdown to Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston. The Chiefs offense had deficiencies in that game that cost them the win to the Buccaneers. Every team has to work around injuries and the Chiefs are no exception. The loss of wide receiver Jeremy Maclin has hurt in the passing game. The Chiefs are having trouble scoring inside the red zone and are next to last in red zone touchdown efficiency. If it wasn’t for the accurate leg of field goal kicker Cairo Santos, the scoring average would be lower than their 19th ranked 22.2 points per game.

The Denver Broncos are also coming in with a 7-3 record. Denver has won three of their last four. Denver had a 25-23 win over New Orleans a couple of Sundays ago. During that game, Denver blocked a potentially tie-breaking extra point by the Saints and ran it back the other way for two points and an improbable victory.  The Broncos played their last two games before the off week without cornerback Aqib Talib and defensive end Derek Wolfe. Talib and Wolfe both returned to practice this week.  Also outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware is returning into the rotation from his fractured arm injury. This means the Broncos could field their starting defensive unit together for the first time since Week 2. Even with the injuries, the Broncos are ranked fifth in total defense, second in sacks and top ranked in pass defense. We don’t think that Kansas City has the weapons to win this one against a Broncos healthy team.

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Philadelphia Eagles at Seattle Seahawks – Week 11

Seattle Seahawks vs Philadelphia Eagles FootballPhiladelphia Eagles travel to CenturyLink Field to visit Seattle Seahawks in Great NFC matchup

The Seattle Seahawks are coming off an emotional win last week at New England. Their offense seems to be coming together just in time for another charge at a division title and the postseason. The Philadelphia Eagles rookie quarterback has made quite a good impression this season. The Philadelphia Eagles is looking for its first away victory and has a difficult task in knocking off the Seahawks to get it. The Seattle Seahawks are the favorites after a colossal win in New England and a spotless 4-0 SU home record. The matchup between the Seattle Seahawks and the Philadelphia Eagles is scheduled to take place on Sunday, November 20, 2016, at 4:25 p.m. ET at CenturyLink Field.

The Philadelphia Eagles rookie quarterback Carson Wentz hasn’t been affected by the big leagues and has had a lot of success in his first season. The Eagles are now 17th in total offense with 344 yards per game.  They have been improving with 400-plus yards in back-to-back weeks and average 25.1 points which is 10th in the NFL. Philadelphia has scored 20-plus points in 11 straight games, which is the longest streak in the NFL. Philadelphia has one of the game’s best defenses as well. They are sixth with allowing just 323 yards per game, and are tied for third with allowing 17.8 points per game.

The Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was hobbled by ankle and knee injuries for much of the season. The offense stumbled as Wilson looked uncomfortable in the pocket and didn’t display his usual effectiveness at extending plays and getting outside the tackles. During the past two weeks, Wilson looks like he got his mobility and elusiveness back and the Seahawks’ offense has thrived. On Sunday night the Seattle Seahawks had an impressive road win over the New England Patriots. Wilson had his best game of the season throwing for 348 yards and three touchdowns without a pick. The Seattle Seahawks is 21st in the NFL in scoring at 21.4 points per game and 20th in total offense at 341.9 yards per game. The Seahawks have a great defense and are ranked ninth in allowing 338.4 yards per game, and second in allowing just 17.6 points per game.  If the Eagles had this game at home we would probably lean towards them, but it’s another story at the Link and have to give the edge to the Seahawks.

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Dallas Cowboys at Pittsburgh Steelers – Week 10

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) of the Pittsburgh Steelers dives for a gain against the Dallas Cowboys  at Heinz Field on December 7, 2008 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (AP Photo / Al Messerschmidt) Pittsburgh Steelers open as favorites to host Dallas Cowboys on Sunday at Heinz Field

The Dallas Cowboys (7-1) have seven straight wins, with quarterback Dak Prescott already playing about as well as Tony Romo ever has. The Dallas Cowboys have the best record in the NFC. The Pittsburgh Steelers (4-4) aren’t used to losing three games in a row, but there are extenuating circumstances surrounding that slide, mainly an injured Roethlisberger. The Dallas Cowboys will be tested in the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, November 13, 2016, at 4:25 p.m. ET at Heinz Field.

The Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin started Roethlisberger in last Sunday’s game just a few weeks after knee surgery. Big Ben didn’t look ready for that game but apparently Tomlin thought he was good to go. Roethlisberger threw for 54 yards, had a pick and a few others that should have been intercepted through three quarters. Pittsburgh’s offense failed to get on track amassing a total of two first downs to that point. Then the Steelers offense picked things up in the fourth quarter when Big Ben threw for 210 yards and made a late run. We think it took Big Ben the first 45 minutes to find his timing in the fourth quarter.  We know Big Ben is tough as nails and we bet that it took that long for him to find his groove.

The Dallas Cowboys have been a bit surprising this season. I’m sure not many envisioned this after Tony Romo went down in the preseason. Quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott are getting all the headlines for their play in running the offense. Dallas averages nearly 28 points (fourth-best in the NFL) and tops the circuit in rushing. Add Dez Bryant and Jason Witten, along with a stellar offensive line, and the Cowboys look unstoppable. The Dallas Cowboys defense is only allowing 17.5 points per contest (fourth-best in the NFL). While Pittsburgh is expected to win games at home, it’s hard to go against the Cowboys right now. We like the Cowboys on the road to come out on top, but this could end up being a close game.

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Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys – Week 8

Dallas Cowboys vs Philadelphia EaglesDallas Cowboys are rested from their bye week and preparing to go toe-to-toe with their divisional rival Philadelphia Eagles

The Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles are two divisional rivals that will go head-to-head in what might be a crucial duel for the outcome of the NFC East. Both teams are here because of the stellar play of their rookie quarterbacks. Both Dak Prescott and Carson Wentz will have a chance to sway voters for the rookie of the year award. The game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles will take place on Sunday, October 30, 2016, at 8:30 p.m. ET at ATT Stadium.

The Philadelphia Eagles have stunned the Vikings on their home field and is in a great position to overtake Dallas at the top of the NFC East. The Eagles quarterback, Carson Wentz has shown that he is a rookie who has a future. The wide receiver Jordan Matthews is his only target in the passing game and the Eagles will need to address that in the future.

The Dallas Cowboys are coming off a bye week and five straight wins. This round of rest gave them the chance to get some of their injured players back. The biggest name that is most likely to be back on the roster is Dez Bryant. The Dallas Cowboys offense has been pretty good even without him, but there is no question that quarterback Dak Prescott and his offensive line are even more dangerous with Bryant on the field. Dak Prescott’s success also has been made easy with another Rookie of the Year candidate in running back Ezekiel Elliott. The Cowboys have a good offense and the Eagles will have a tough time defending everyone, even though they’ve been pretty good at doing it. We give the Dallas Cowboys the edge for playing at home, but this game will be as close as the team’s are in the standings.

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Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles – Week 7

Minnesota-Vikings-vs.-Philadelphia-Eagles-Week-7Minnesota Vikings (5-0) travel to play the Philadelphia Eagles (3-2) in Week 7

The Minnesota Vikings are the only unbeaten team in the NFL thanks to their devastating defense. The Philadelphia Eagles have lost two straight and quarterback Carson Wentz doesn’t look like the golden boy any longer. As impressive as the Eagles 3-0 start was, two of their three wins were over the Browns and the Bears. The Eagles had been pretty good at stopping the run until last week as the Washington Redskins ran for 230 yards on 33 carries. The game between Minnesota Vikings and the Philadelphia Eagles will take place on Sunday, October 23, 2016, at 1 p.m. ET at Lincoln Financial Field.

The Minnesota Vikings were dealt a massive blow less than two weeks before the season when starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater blew out his knee at practice. The Minnesota Vikings went out and traded a first-round pick and a conditional fourth-round pick to the Philadelphia Eagles for Sam Bradford. Bradford is now the starting quarterback and has been playing some of the best football of his career. He has completed 70.4 percent of his passes for 990 yards and has six touchdowns in his four starts. Even more impressive is that Bradford has yet to throw an interception through 125 pass attempts and is currently second in the NFL with a 109.8 passer rating. Bradford found his favorite target in wide receiver Stefon Diggs, as he completed 18 passes for 269 yards in thee games to Diggs. Diggs missed the Vikings’ Week 5 win over the Houston Texans with a groin injury but is expected to return against the Eagles.

The Philadelphia Eagles were not looking in good form last Sunday against the Washington Redskins. The Redskins don’t the best defense, but were able to hold the Eagles offense to just a pair of field goals. It looks like they may have figured out how to slow down quarterback Wentz and the Vikings have taken notice. The Vikings defense is good and have not surrendered more than 16 points in any game this season. Even though the Vikings are on the road we give the edge in this game to them because their defense flies around and makes plays. They can stop the run, the pass, force turnovers and get sacks. It’s going to be a long day for Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles.

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New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys, Week 1

New York Giants vs Dallas Cowboys
New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys in NFC East Rivalry on Sunday

The NFC East is one of the most competitive divisions in the NFL. This season The Dallas Cowboys start the season with a rookie quarterback as they host the New York Giants in their opener on Sunday. The Giants have lost five of their last six games against the Cowboys, but managed to win the final meeting between the teams last season. The Dallas Cowboys are 1-point underdogs for Sunday’s season opener. The Dallas Cowboys will start rookie Dak Prescott at quarterback this Sunday afternoon at 4:25 PM ET, on FOX when they kick off the 2016 regular season in Arlington at AT&T Stadium against the New York Giants. 

The New York Giants had a 6-10 win-loss record last season partially because of their defense, which gave up the most yards in the league. The Giants now have a rookie head coach Ben McAdoo. He was promoted from offensive coordinator to replace Tom Coughlin, and McAdoo has already proved capable of getting good results from QB Eli Manning.  The offense is still intact with Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr., who’s one of the top receivers in the league. The health of the defense has been a concern though. That’s where they focused their offseason efforts with the additions of Janoris Jenkins, Damon Harrison and Eli Apple

The Dallas Cowboys had a 4-12 win-loss record last season, with an injured Tony Romo. Rpmo is out once again with a back injury. That puts rookie Dak Prescott under the spotlight and another rookie, Ezekiel Elliott, will line up behind him at running back. The Cowboys still have a tremendous offensive line, but it’ll have to survive without Romo, which they struggled with last season. Top Sports Blog sees that this game has lots of unknowns and could go either way.

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Denver Broncos vs Carolina Panthers – Super Bowl 50

Broncos-PatriotsSuper Bowl 50 – Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers square off in Santa Clara, California

The Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers will square off in Super Bowl 50. The Panthers have a top ranked scoring offense and the Broncos have the No. 1 defense in passing and total yards. Both teams have enjoyed their success due to great defenses. The Panthers are the early 4.5 point favorite. The Super Bowl between the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers will be played on Sunday, February 7, 2016, at 6:30 p.m. ET at Levi’s Stadium. The game will be broadcast on CBS.

The Denver Broncos defense demonstrated a great pass rush against New England during the AFC championship game last Sunday. Tom Brady was rushed, hit and sacked throughout the game. Denver forced four sacks and three interceptions.  Denver’s defense had great success against Brady, but the Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has an elusiveness that Brady does not have. Denver quarterback Peyton Manning and the offense have not consistent this season. The Denver offense looked much better against New England but  they will have to face a different caliber of defense against Carolina.

The Carolina Panthers rolled over Arizona in the NFC championship game with an impressive defensive showing as well. The defense forced the Cardinals to turn it over four times in the first half. The key matchup will be the Carolina offensive line against the Denver defensive front. The strength of the Carolina line has been a pleasant surprise led by center Ryan Kalil. Also, Cam Newton has the ability to run with the ball when the defense poses a threat in the pocket. The Panther’s tackles might be over matched by Denver’s outside rushers in Miller and DeMarcus Ware. Offensive tackles Mike Remmers and Michael Oher have held up well, but this will be a tough task. The team that wins the turnover battle usually wins the final game of the season. No team had more takeaways in the regular season than the Panthers. Super Bowl 50 might come down to which offensive line can play the best.

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Arizona Cardinals at Carolina Panthers – NFC Championship Game

carolina-panthers-arizona-cardinalsPanthers host the Cardinals in NFC championship game

The Carolina Panthers held on to beat the Seattle Seahawks 31-24 on Sunday with their 12th straight home win. Now they’ll host the NFC championship game for the first time in franchise history. The Arizona Cardinals beat the Green Bay Packers 26-20 in a wild overtime game on Saturday night to advance. The Panthers and Cardinals have not played this season but this game has a potential to be high scoring. The Panthers averaged more than 31 points this season and the Cardinals were a close second at 30.5. These two teams couldn’t be much closer to one another and home field advantage is the only thing separating them. The NFC Championship Game  between the Arizona Cardinals and Carolina Panthers is scheduled for Sunday, January 24, 2016, at 6:40 p.m. ET at Bank of America Stadium. The matchup will be broadcast on FOX.

The Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer threw for 349 yards and three TDs with two picks during their win against the Packers. Palmer had issues hitting his receivers and one of his touchdowns was of a fluke pass that was intended for a different receiver and landed in the hands of Michael Floyd. The other touchdown was a big catch and run by Larry Fitzgerald. The Arizona receivers Floyd, Fitzgerald and John Brown are all very good, and are sure to have a big impact in this game also. For the second game in a row, the Cardinals had trouble running the ball, gaining just 40 yards on 19 attempts.

The Carolina Panthers defense wore down last week after going up 31-0 over Seattle, and had to recover an onside kick to pull out a 31-24 victory. Carolina has a very talented defense however they don’t have a particularly deep unit. Arizona could take advantage of this if they can stay on the field for a majority of the time. The Panthers are going to rely on quarterback Cam Newton during this NFC championship game. Against Seattle, Newton completed 16 of 22 passes for 161 yards and a touchdown. The Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart was able to run over 100 yards on the ground against Seattle, who has the league’s best rush defense.

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