Thus far, we have broken down the offenses, defenses and special teams of both Super Bowl LI teams.
But who has the best overall player in the big game?
The New England Patriots have one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game in Tom Brady. The Hall-of-Fame bound quarterback is coming off a regular season in which he threw 28 TDs in 12 regular season games and 5 TDs in 2 playoff victories. Brady has the ability to make everyone on his team better, often playing with lesser receivers than the rest of the teams in the league.
Much of Brady’s impact can come before the ball is snapped, as he is one of the best at recognizing a team’s defensive scheme and adjusting with audibles at the line of scrimmage. That trait is highly valued around the NFL, and is something that not all quarterbacks can do.
On the receiving end of many of Brady’s passes is WR Julian Edelman, an undersized, underrated play-maker. Edelman only stands 5’11” tall, but uses his size to his strength and is often a shifty, slot receiver. The receiver totaled over 1000 yards this season while adding three TDs. However, Edelman’s impact isn’t only limited to offense, as he can be a factor in the return game as well.
The Atlanta Falcons have a few good players as well. QB Matt Ryan has been in the MVP conversation all season, as he led the high-powered Falcons’ offense with 38 TDs through the air. Thus far in the postseason, Ryan has continued his hot streak with 7 TDs and no interceptions thus far in the postseason. While Ryan has been a good NFL quarterback for years now, his 2016 play has taken him to a new level.
Luckily for Ryan, he has one of the best receivers in the NFL to throw the ball to: Julio Jones.
Since being drafted in the first round in 2011, Jones has solidified himself as a dynamic play-maker and often draws double and triple teams from opposing defenses. Jones uses his size to his advantage, often bullying smaller defenders to get the ball. This season, Jones totaled over 1,400 yards for the third season in a row. He also added 6 scores.
However, Jones has really taken advantage of playing in the spotlight. Thus far in the playoffs, Jones has totaled 247 yards and 3 TDs in two games, causing nightmares for opposing defenses.
Both teams boast great talent, as that is necessary to reach the Super Bowl.
Our question is, who is the best player in Super Bowl LI?