Super Bowl LI: Five-part plan for New England Patriots to prevail

Super Bowl LI could be one of the best title games in league history, with the NFL’s top-ranked scoring offense (the Atlanta Falcons) taking on the No. 1 scoring defense (New England Patriots). With a bunch of time to prepare for the game, coaches are digging into the tape to determine the best way to match up with the opposition.

Given some time to take a look at New England’s most recent games, I’ve come up with the following five keys to a potential Patriots victory:

1) Lean on LeGarrette Blount and the ground game.

Despite all the pregame chatter and anticipation of a high-scoring shootout in Houston, the Patriots would be wise to play this game at a snail’s pace. Sure, we’ve seen Tom Brady carve up defenses with surgical precision throughout this season, but the Falcons’ biggest vulnerability could be their suspect defense.

The NFL’s 25th-ranked defense surrendered 104.5 rushing yards per game during the regular season and struggled against teams committed to playing power football. Granted, the league has fewer teams that lean on the run these days, but the Falcons’ loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 10 might’ve exposed the unit’s fatal flaw. In a 24-15 win, the Eagles rushed for 208 yards

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