This is a follow-up article to three of my previous articles called “Super Bowl LI Analysis (A look at the team’s QBs, RBs, and WRs), “Super Bowl LI Analysis (A look at the team’s TEs and OL), “Super Bowl LI Analysis (A look at the team’s DL), and “Super Bowl LI Analysis (A look at the team’s LBs. I suggest you all read those articles either before or after you read this article. The Patriots and Falcons will square off in the final NFL game of the season, and both of those teams primarily rely on the passing game. Today, we will be analyzing the player who is trusted with stopping the dynamic air game.
The Patriots cornerbacks are led by Super Bowl 49 hero Malcolm Butler. If you don’t recall, Malcolm Butler intercepted Russell Wilson’s pass with the clock winding down at the goal-line. It was truly a miraculous play. Malcolm Butler and Ryan Logan will start for the Pats, while Eric Rowe and Cyrus Jones will back them up. Butler has had great season thus far, but he will have to face his hardest opponent of the year this Sunday. Julio Jones recently said no cornerback in the league could guard him one on one, but Butler will do his best to contain Julio. Logan and Rowe have both been inconsistent this year, but have been competent corners for the Patriots. Cyrus Jones has not seen the field much this season, but he will be ready in relief if the Patriots need the underrated rookie.
The Patriot’s safety group is one of the best in the league. Free safety Devin McCourty and strong safety Patrick Chung will start in the Super Bowl. McCourty recorded 83 tackles, and Chung recorded just over 90 tackles. Each of these top tier safeties had one interception this season. Duron Harmon will serve as the primary backup safety this season.
The Falcons group of cornerbacks is slightly weaker than the Patriots. The best cornerback on the Falcons, Desmond Trufant, will be unable to play this Sunday due to an injury he suffered during the regular season. The Falcons, due to the injury to Desmond Trufant, will have to start Robert Alford and Jalen Collins. Alford and Collins are both subpar cornerbacks, but Alford has shown signs of greatness this season. Alford is quite inconsistent, but if he can have a solid game this Sunday, he might be the X-Factor; he could be the difference between winning and losing.
The Falcons, similarly to the Patriots, have a stellar group of safeties. The strong safety Ricardo Allen is a pretty good safety but isn’t nearly good as the rookie free safety, Keanu Neal. Keanu Neal has been one of the best safeties in the league since being drafted 17th overall. Keanu Neal earned himself a pro bowl invitation with his incredible performances throughout the regular season. Keanu Neal will look to be a key factor this Superbowl against the Patriots, who are nothing short of an offensive juggernaut.