|Terrell Owens didn’t make NFL Hall of Fame, but did say Patriots will win Super Bowl LI||02.04.17 at 8:55 pm ET|
HOUSTON — The NFL announced its 2017 Hall of Fame class on Saturday and wide receiver Terrell Owens was not one of them.
The wide receiver took to Twitter and appeared upset with the process. He wrote: Unfortunately I DID NOT MAKE IT again this year. Thanks to ALL my fans & supporters. #FlawedProcess.
While he didn’t make it into the Hall of Fame, he did give a prediction for the Super Bowl.
On Radio Row Friday, Owens didn’t have time to stop for an interview, but did tell WEEI.com the Patriots will beat the Falcons on Sunday night in Super Bowl LI.
For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.
HOUSTON — There was some question of whether or not Tom Brady’s mom Galynn would be able to attend Super Bowl LI because of health concerns, but based off Brady posting a picture with he and his parents at NRG Stadium on Saturday it looks like she will be in attendance.
“I’m still hopeful, I’m not sure. Hopeful is a good word,” Brady said on Thursday.
Although Galynn reportedly was dealing with an illness over the last 18 month, the word is she is doing much better of late.
|Bill Belichick on eve of Super Bowl LI: ‘Now it’s the waiting game, but I think we’re ready’||at 5:37 pm ET|
HOUSTON — There are almost 24 hours until Super Bowl LI and the Patriots appear ready to go.
Thanks to a pool report from Jim Thomas, the Patriots didn’t hold a walkthrough, rather a family and friends “photo day” at the stadium in what has become a Patriots Super Bowl tradition.
“They put up with a lot from us all year,” Bill Belichick said. “So it’s a chance for them to experience being on the field and take pictures with their family, the players. It’s a good keepsake.”
The team also gathered for a team photo on the field and also positional group photos.
Now that everything has wrapped up, Belichick has done all he can. Now, it’s just wait for Sunday night and the game.
“Now it’s the waiting game, but I think we’re ready,” Belichick said.
For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.
|Want to get fired up for Super Bowl LI? Watch this video Tom Brady posted to Facebook on Saturday||at 4:20 pm ET|
HOUSTON — Tom Brady posted a video to Facebook on Saturday afternoon.
The message seemed to be how naturally he is a quiet person and doesn’t say much, but when he’s on the football field he is able to let everything go and be himself.
It will surely get you fired up for Sunday’s game.
HOUSTON — It’s almost here.
Sunday’s meeting between the Patriots and Falcons is right around the corner. It figures to be a high scoring game with both offenses being among the best in the league.
With it being Super Bowl LI, here are 51 things to know about the game.
1. The Patriots haven’t scored a single point in the first quarter of any of their Super Bowls under Bill Belichick.
2. Atlanta and New England were the best offenses in the first quarter this season. Going into the game, the Patriots lead the league averaging 8.6 points per game in the opening quarter, while the Falcons are second with 8.3.
3. The Patriots have scored points in 54 of 56 quarters played with Tom Brady this season, including 31 straight. The last time they didn’t score was the first quarter against the Jets on Nov. 27.
4. The Patriots are three-point favorites in the game. The underdog has won the last five Super Bowls outright and the underdogs have covered in 12 out of the last 15 years, according to OddsShark.com. As for the Patriots, they have covered the spread in just two of their six Super Bowls with Belichick and Brady.
5. The over/under for the game is 59 points, the highest in Super Bowl history.
6. Atlanta’s defense has forced a turnover in 10 straight games. The Patriots are 92-10 when not turning the ball over since 2001.
7. Including the playoffs, New England is 178-15 when scoring 23 or more points under Belichick.
8. The Falcons have allowed over 100 yards rushing in six out of their last seven games. In New England’s last five losses overall, it failed to rush for 100 yards, and overall in 13 of its last 16 losses it failed to rush for 100 yards.
9. In the postseason, the Patriots are a perfect 9-0 when they have a 100-yard rusher.
10. Since 2013 including the playoffs, the Patriots are 34-4 when Julian Edelman goes over 70 yards receiving. (He has in 10 straight games.)
|Someone bet $1 million on Falcons in Super Bowl LI||at 4:07 pm ET|
HOUSTON — Underdogs have covered the spread in 12 of the last 15 Super Bowls, so maybe this person knows what they are doing.
According to ESPN’s David Purdam, Sportsbook operator CG Technology took a $1 million bet on Friday for the Falcons to cover the three-point spread. The million-dollar bettor, an account-based customer at CG Technology, risked $1.1 million to win $1 million on the Falcons covering the three points.
As of Friday, 61 percent of the point spread bets were on the Patriots.
For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.
HOUSTON — Here’s everything you need to know about Super Bowl LI between the Patriots and Falcons:
WHEN THE PATRIOTS RUN THE BALL
The Patriots have been able to get good, consistent and (mostly) steady yardage out of their backs all season long, finishing the regular season with an average of 117 yards per game, seventh in the NFL. Leading the way has been LeGarettte Blount, who had career highs in carries (299), yards (1,161) and touchdowns (18). New England figures to mix in a healthy dose of Dion Lewis (64 carries, 283 yards in seven games) as a changeup presence between the tackles. His make-you-miss ability combined with Atlanta’s occasionally dicey work against smaller backs could mean he’ll get more work that initially anticipated as a runner. As has been the case all season long with Blount, it’s not how many yards he gets; it’s when he gets them. No one is better at closing out games than he is — his work in the second half is a sizable reason why the Patriots ranked fifth during the regular season in time of possession (31:13). If he is able to top 60 rushing yards in the second half, this game won’t even be a contest. When it comes to defending the run, Atlanta was 17th in the league this year, having allowed 104.5 rushing yards per game. Some of the stats have to be placed in context because of game situations and whatnot (there were lots of leads in those games, and they would willingly yield yards on the ground and time at the expense of a big pass play). But in their last nine games (including the playoffs), opponents have topped 95 yards on the ground in eight of them.
WHEN THE PATRIOTS PASS THE BALL
This season, Atlanta hasn’t faced a combination in the passing game like New England. Tom Brady (67 percent completion rate, 3.554 passing yards, 28 TDs, 2 INTs, 112.2 passer rating) and the Patriots are able to get production out of multiple areas, with wide receivers Julian Edelman (98 catches, 159 targets, 1,106 yards, 3 TDs) and Chris Hogan (38 catches, 58 targets, 680 yards, 4 TDs), running backs James White (60 catches, 86 targets, 551 yards, 5 TDs) and Dion Lewis (17 catches, 24 targets, 94 yards) and tight end Martellus Bennett (55 catches, 73 targets, 701 yards, 7 TDs).
The key here? The Falcons have shown some zone over the course of the year, but they’ll need to play sturdy man coverage against the Patriots. Brady practically salivates at the idea of an occasionally vulnerable 3-deep zone like Atlanta has shown at times this year. The real backbreaker here will be in the White/Lewis combo out of the backfield. The Atlanta is one of the worst teams in the league (26th per Football Outsiders) at defending backs in the passing game. Expect New England to lean heavily on that grouping in the passing game. It’s no coincidence that the Patriots were able to get so much production out of their running back spot in their last game against a Dan Quinn-defense; Shane Vereen set a Super Bowl record with 11 catches two years ago against the Seahawks. Considering what happened down the stretch and into the playoffs, while White will almost certainly get some looks, it’s Lewis who has shown a masterful ability to do multiple things. Bottom line? He’ll get plenty of touches.
One more note that will spell doom for the Falcons: The ability of the New England pass catchers to gain yards after the catch. The Patriots were third in the year at YAC this past season as a team (White and Bennett were both in the league’s top 20), while the Falcons allowed a league-high average of 132.9 yards after the catch per game, an odd stat for a defense with so much speed. If Atlanta can’t find a way to limit the passing YAC ability, it’ll be a long night.
The Falcons pass rush has been better as of late, but the group has to figure out a way to get some sustained pressure on Brady. Do you move around some of your best rushers, like Houston did? Or do you stay static and play to your strengths and hope you’ve prepared to a point where you can out-execute the other side? If Atlanta moves some guys around, rookie Deion Jones is a candidate to try and be that guy who brings some heat up the middle. A dynamic young talent who is capable of blitzing or working in coverage, he’s an X factor for the group. If the Falcons play it straight up, Vic Beasley (15.5 sacks in 2016) will be lining up opposite Patriots right tackle Marcus Cannon. Per PFF, Cannon hasn’t yielded a sack since September. That strength-against-strength matchup will go a long way toward determining the overall success of the New England passing game on Sunday night.
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