1. Tom Brady (NE vs. Atl, Sun. 6:30 p.m.)
At 39-years-old, Brady is making his unprecedented seventh Super Bowl appearance this weekend. By every stretch of the imagination, Tom Brady has been absolutely stellar in 2016. He’s tossed a passing score on 6.5% of his pass attempts–his best rate since 2010—and his 9.30 adjusted yards/attempt mark is the second-best of his career, just barely behind his record-breaking 2007 season (9.4 AY/A). While Brady and New England’s offense struggled a little against Houston in the Divisional Round, Brady and the Pats’ passing offense absolutely ate the Steelers alive in the Conference Championship. Brady tossed for 384 yards on 42 attempts for three scores in a classic Brady route at home. While the Falcons’ offense is humming along at a startling pace, Brady and Co. will have every opportunity to return the scoring favor. As a team, the Falcons’ defense has improved slightly recently—but their secondary is still a bit of a mess. Most notably, all of the Falcons’ cornerbacks are giving up counting statistics in bunches. RCB Jalen Collins has allowed a touchdown in three of his last four games while LCB Robert Alford has allowed 5/81/1 and 5/51/1 in coverage in the Falcons two playoff games (per PFF). Even slot corner Brian Poole has allowed 8.95 yards per coverage target in his last five games, well above league average of about 7.6 YPT. With a plethora of healthy weapons coming off of an additional week of rest—both Malcolm Mitchell (knee) and Conference Championship hero Chris Hogan (thigh)—all Patriot receivers should be well rested and ready to attack Atlanta’s weaknesses. No matter the direction Brady looks in Super Bowl 51, he’ll have an amazing matchup versus burnable corners.
2. Matt Ryan (Atl vs. NE, Sun. 6:30 p.m.)
At 59 points, Falcons-Patriots is the largest over/under for the Super Bowl ever, eclipsing Colts-Saints in 2009 (56.5). For good reason, Vegas are giving major respect to Atlanta’s elite offense. Since Atlanta lost to Kansas City at home in Week 13, Matt Ryan has averaged 310.2 YPG, has an 18:0 TD-to-INT ratio, and he has thrown for 9.54 yards pe...