Freeman has eased the pressure on Ryan

Key Falcons Offensive Players’ Odds – Super Bowl LI

The Atlanta Falcons boasted one of the most fearsome offenses in the history of the NFL to blast their way into the Super Bowl.

Matt Ryan and company put over 500 points on the board to match some of the great teams of the past such as the 2007 New England Patriots, 2000 St Louis Rams and the 2013 Denver Broncos.

Kyle Shanahan orchestrated the offense’ success throughout the season, and his exploits were noted by the San Francisco 49ers who have hired him as their new coach – meaning Sunday will be his final match as part of the Falcons’ staff.

As a result, the club will be determined to end their season on a high note with their impressive offense continuing their fine form. They will have to be at their best in all stages of the game as they are facing the number-one ranked scoring defense in the NFL.

Ryan has been outstanding this season, but we’ll now break down the three key offensive players outside of the quarterback that need to shine to secure the Falcons’ first Vince Lombardi trophy.

Julio Jones

Jones has been outstanding for the Falcons

The Falcons paid a king’s ransom to trade all the way up from the 27th selection to the sixth in the 2011 Draft to pick Jones out of Alabama.

Many evaluators said it was a too much of a price to pay, including Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who advised his former staffer Thomas Dimitroff – the Falcons general manager against the move.

However, Jones has been a star in the NFL and is arguably the best wideout in the league, with Antonio Brown perhaps the only player to match his production.

Jones’ play on the field warranted the selection, although in recent seasons Atlanta may have benefitted from the use of the three first-round picks that they used to trade for him.

Unfortunately for former head coach Mike Smith he paid the price for the failure, while Dimitroff was allowed to remain and build with Dan Quinn. Jones has been a vital part of the new building project and has reeled off two incredible seasons under the club’s new coaching staff.

The 27-year-old recorded a 300-yard performance this term against the Carolina Panthers – the sixth highest single receiving display of all time.

In six seasons in the league he has notched 1,000 yard terms in four of them, including 1,400 yards and six touchdowns this season. He will be the number one priority for the Patriots defense to stop, but his height and insane catching ability will cause them huge problems right across the field.

Jones is a man for the big occasion and will not be overawed by appearing in the Super Bowl following a 180-yard and two touchdown display in the NFC Championship game.

Therefore with Bovada sportsbook back him at +800   to be crowned Super Bowl MVP in Houston on Sunday.

Devonta Freeman

Freeman has eased the pressure on Ryan

Atlanta’s running game has been just as vital to their success this season as their ability to pass the ball downfield. Freeman has been an essential cog in the system, continuing his fine career for the club.

The back was selected in the fourth round of the 2014 Draft and had the chance to learn from one of the all-time greats during his rookie season, playing behind Steven Jackson. He played a limited role in his first campaign, but the experience gained would benefit him when he rose to become the starter in 2015.

Freeman was a star for the club last season as he recorded a 1,000-yard rushing season and was also a catching threat out of the backfield. He put in stellar performances against the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins, churning out huge yardage on the ground, proving that he could alleviate the pressure on Ryan and the passing game.

Shanahan noticed his dependability and relied more on the 24-year-old this term along with his team-mate Tevin Coleman, who have been a solid change of pace for the offense. In the past the Falcons were far too one dimensional, counting solely on Ryan and Jones to win them matches through the air.

With an added facet on the ground Atlanta have become a much more dangerous outfit and will need Freeman to have another impressive performance on the ground to guide them to victory over the Patriots.

New England have not allowed a rusher over 90 yards in 25 matches, but the 24-year-old may be able to profit on the attention on Ryan and Jones to lead the game in rushing yards, with odds of +140   which would be a good punt to take.

Mohamed Sanu

Sanu has played his part this term

The Falcons made a splash in the off-season to sign Sanu on a five-year deal from the Cincinnati Bengals. Atlanta relied too heavily on Jones in the 2015 campaign as he was forced to catch 136 passes over the course of the season, resulting him being worn down by the end of the term.

Atlanta’s front office recognised the need for complementary weapons and having performed the same role with the Bengals behind AJ Green, Sanu has fit into the system extremely well in his first year.

The 27-year-old stepped up and has become a reliable weapon for the Falcons down the field, averaging 11.1 yards per reception.

He has also notched four touchdowns over the course of the campaign, recording his biggest game of the season against the Packers when he caught nine balls for 84 yards and a strike.

Sanu tailed off down the stretch due to the rigours of the season, but has been solid in the post-season with nine catches, including four receptions for 44 yards against the vaunted Seattle Seahawks defense.

Atlanta will need him to thrive in the Super Bowl as Jones will draw much of the attention. Sanu has to catch every pass that is thrown is way and make the most of his opportunities down the field.

The Patriots will compete at every chance so it will not be straightforward, but take the over on 45.5 or more total receiving yards at -135   with Bovada as he will see a lot of the ball.

Tips Summary

Julio Jones To Win Super Bowl MVP
Sunday 5th February 18:40 ET (23:40 GMT)
Odds: +800

Devonta Freeman To Lead The Super Bowl In Rushing
Sunday 5th February 18:40 ET (23:40 GMT)
Odds: +140

Mohamed Sanu To Record Over 45.5 Receiving Yards
Sunday 5th February 18:40 ET (23:40 GMT)
Odds: -135

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