My Superbowl Pick The Patriots by Four (games extra rest for Brady)

by Datechguy | February 5th, 2017

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My Superbowl Pick The Patriots by Four (games extra rest for Brady)

Today is super­bowl sun­day and while doing my best to ignore Lady Gaga and the other anti-​Trump non­sense I can’t help but notice they seem to dom­i­nate the cov­er­age, likely because most peo­ple don’t give Atlanta a chance.

Given both the his­tory and the work ethic of the Patri­ots Dynasty this is not a fault likely shared by the team. They under­stand that in a sin­gle game any­thing can hap­pen, fur­ther­more they know that the Atlanta Offense is explo­sive and while the Atlanta Defense is not highly rated they were able to stop two Super­bowl Cham­pion quar­ter­backs in their last two games.

Despite these con­ces­sions I am pick­ing the Patri­ots and the rea­son for that is not only their supe­rior defense and the pos­ses­sion of the great­est quar­ter­back in the his­tory of the game, but I give the ulti­mate credit to Roger Good­ell and deflategate.

Now I’m sure many of you are think­ing that I’m refer­ring to the revenge fac­tor that is often the sub­ject of sto­ries and analy­sis from Rush Lim­baugh on down. It’s no coin­ci­dence that the title on the Boston Her­ald epa­per sup­ple­ment on the game is titled This Time It’s Per­sonal and to be sure that has pro­vided some moti­va­tion for a Patri­ots team that frankly needs lit­tle moti­va­tion than the poten­tial of a championship.

But Iron­i­cally Roger Good­ell has (thanks to an able assist from the Patri­ots back­ups who went 31 dur­ing the Tom Brady sus­pen­sion) given the New Eng­land Patri­ots the sin­gle most crit­i­cal advan­tage in the game.

Foot­ball, despite hav­ing the short­est sea­son of the 4 major Amer­i­can sports is by far the sport most con­ducive to injury. Every sin­gle play involves phys­i­cal con­tact and being hit. By the end of the sea­son its said that every­one is in pain, it’s just a ques­tion of how much. Thus if you can avoid tak­ing repeated hits it can make a huge dif­fer­ence. Franco Har­ris might have taken grief by run­ning out of bounds for exam­ple but as NFL​.com puts it while nam­ing him the 3rd best run­ning back in play­off history

Har­ris totaled 1,556 yards and 16 rush­ing touch­downs in the post­sea­son. Those totals are sec­ond to only one other run­ning back in NFL his­tory (more on that guy later). Har­ris was a key com­po­nent to the Steel­ers’ dynasty, help­ing the team to four Super Bowl championships.

In Super Bowl IX, Har­ris rushed for 158 yards and a TD. He was named Super Bowl MVP. Har­ris also ran for 343 yards in that play­off stretch. That was a Steel­ers’ record for rush­ing yards in a sin­gle post­sea­son, until it was bro­ken just this year by Le’Veon Bell. It’s clear that regard­less of what is thought about his run­ning style, Har­ris was a mon­ster in the playoffs.

It’s also worth not­ing that in a 1996 pro­file the Bal­ti­more sun noted that Har­ris was “with­out the dis­abil­i­ties of many for­mer pro foot­ball play­ers”, I sus­pect his avoid­ance of unnec­es­sary hits had a lot to do with that.

Now Con­sider Tom Brady. while he is a ded­i­cated, one might even say obses­sive when it comes to con­di­tion­ing the fact remains that he is 39 years old, an age where the vast major­ity of play­ers have been safely retired rather than putting impos­si­ble num­bers (28 TD vs 2 Int this sea­son) play­ing for their fifth ring in seven tries and fin­ish­ing 2nd in the MVP vote to his oppo­site num­ber Matt Ryan of the Falcons.

Brady may be spot­ting Matt Ryan 8 years and the MVP award but thanks to Roger Good­ell Brady has one thing that Matt Ryan does not: Four extra games /​weeks of rest, four weeks of not get­ting hit by oppos­ing line­men, four weeks of not being chased out of the pocket and four weeks of not hit­ting the ground hard. Brady is four weeks fresher, four weeks stronger and four weeks less in pain.

Fur­ther­more thanks to the sus­pen­sion both of his back­ups have been tested by fire and rest assured if some­thing hap­pens and Brady goes down you can be sure Bill Belichick will be ready with an offen­sive scheme designed for Jimmy Garoppolo’s strengths based just on prac­tice but on game expe­ri­ence against actual NFL competition.

None of this is pos­si­ble with­out Roger Goodell’s over the top exces­sive pun­ish­ment of Brady and the Patri­ots for their Deflate­gate sins, so if Brady, Belichick and Robert Kraft take the podium as I sus­pect they will, they should thank Roger Good­ell for mak­ing sure their 39 year old QB was one month fresher than the other guy.

Today is superbowl sunday and while doing my best to ignore Lady Gaga and the other anti-Trump nonsense I can’t help but notice they seem to dominate the coverage, likely because most people don’t give Atlanta a chance.

Given both the history and the work ethic of the Patriots Dynasty this is not a fault likely shared by the team. They understand that in a single game anything can happen, furthermore they know that the Atlanta Offense is explosive and while the Atlanta Defense is not highly rated they were able to stop two Superbowl Champion quarterbacks in their last two games.

Despite these concessions I am picking the Patriots and the reason for that is not only their superior defense and the possession of the greatest quarterback in the history of the game, but I give the ultimate credit to Roger Goodell and deflategate.

Now I’m sure many of you are thinking that I’m referring to the revenge factor that is often the subject of stories and analysis from Rush Limbaugh on down. It’s no coincidence that the title on the Boston Herald epaper supplement on the game is titled This Time It’s Personal and to be sure that has provided some motivation for a Patriots team that frankly needs little motivation than the potential of a championship.

But Ironically Roger Goodell has (thanks to an able assist from the Patriots backups who went 3-1 during the Tom Brady suspension) given the New England Patriots the single most critical advantage in the game.

Football, despite having the shortest season of the 4 major American sports is by far the sport most conducive to injury. Every single play involves physical contact and being hit. By the end of the season its said that everyone is in pain, it’s just a question of how much. Thus if you can avoid taking repeated hits it can make a huge difference. Franco Harris might have taken grief by running out of bounds for example but as NFL.com puts it while naming him the 3rd best running back in playoff history

Harris totaled 1,556 yards and 16 rushing touchdowns in the postseason. Those totals are second to only one other running back in NFL history (more on that guy later). Harris was a key component to the Steelers‘ dynasty, helping the team to four Super Bowl championships.

In Super Bowl IX, Harris rushed for 158 yards and a TD. He was named Super Bowl MVP. Harris also ran for 343 yards in that playoff stretch. That was a Steelers‘ record for rushing yards in a single postseason, until it was broken just this year by Le’Veon Bell. It’s clear that regardless of what is thought about his running style, Harris was a monster in the playoffs.

It’s also worth noting that in a 1996 profile the Baltimore sun noted that Harris was “without the disabilities of many former pro football players”, I suspect his avoidance of unnecessary hits had a lot to do with that.

Now Consider Tom Brady.  while he is a dedicated, one might even say obsessive when it comes to conditioning the fact remains that he is 39 years old, an age where the vast majority of players have been safely retired rather than putting impossible numbers (28 TD vs 2 Int this season) playing for their fifth ring in seven tries and finishing 2nd in the MVP vote to his opposite number Matt Ryan of the Falcons.

Brady may be spotting  Matt Ryan 8 years and the MVP award but thanks to Roger Goodell Brady has one thing that Matt Ryan does not:  Four extra games / weeks of rest, four weeks of not getting hit by opposing linemen, four weeks of not being chased out of the pocket and four weeks of not hitting the ground hard.  Brady is four weeks fresher, four weeks stronger and four weeks less in pain.

Furthermore thanks to the suspension both of his backups have been tested by fire and rest assured if something happens and Brady goes down you can be sure Bill Belichick will be ready with an offensive scheme designed for Jimmy Garoppolo’s strengths based just on practice but on game experience against actual NFL competition.

None of this is possible without Roger Goodell’s over the top excessive punishment of Brady and the Patriots for their Deflategate sins, so if Brady, Belichick and Robert Kraft take the podium as I suspect they will, they should thank Roger Goodell for making sure their 39 year old QB was one month fresher than the other guy.

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