February 10, 2017

JUST THE WAY THEY DREW IT UP:

Patriots' time of possession advantage a sign they should have won Super Bowl LI (Evan Lazar, February 10, 2017, Boston Herald)

Since at least 1950, teams that possessed the ball for over 40 minutes in a playoff game were 15-2 prior to Sunday. Overall in regular and postseason play, when controlling the clock for more than 40 minutes, teams had a .869 win percentage.

The underrated and speedy Falcons defense was a major reason for the Patriots' struggles throughout the first three quarters on offense. Through the first three frames, Tom Brady was pressured on 43.8 percent of his dropbacks, a sizable increase from the his previous 14 games where he was pressured on just 30.5 percent of dropbacks. However, due to the hefty amount of snaps the Falcons pass rushers were forced to play, they ran out of gas in the fourth quarter and overtime, pressuring Brady just six times on his final 38 dropbacks, in stats provided by Pro Football Focus.

Due to the Patriots' gaudy number of offensive plays, the Falcons' top pass rushers were forced to play an extremely high number of snaps. Atlanta's Vic Beasley (71 snaps), Grady Jarrett (57 snaps), and Dwight Freeney (56 snaps) all stayed on the field for a season-high number of defensive plays, which eventually led to a tired pass rush during the Patriots' comeback.

As soon as Tom Brady was given enough time to find open receivers downfield, the quarterback went 21-27 for 246 yards, one touchdown, and a passer rating of 117.0 in the fourth quarter and overtime. Against the worn-out Falcons defense, Brady led the Patriots on five straight scoring drives and 31 unanswered points to cap off his fifth Super Bowl victory in historic fashion.

Posted by at February 10, 2017 5:59 AM

  

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