Super Bowl Sunday is just a few days away. Teams are already in Houston, going through final practices, walkthroughs, and preparations before the actual game on Sunday. One of the things that both squads need to do is to prepare for opponents running back groups. Both Patriots and Falcons have good running backs, and they are a big part of what they are going to be doing in the Super Bowl.
Patriots and Falcons like to use their RB’s as pass catchers. Shanahan likes to have Coleman on the field when there is a pass-catching play designed for a running back, while McDaniels of the Patriots prefers to use Dion Lewis in those situations. On the other hand, when it’s time to get those hard yards on the ground, they are going with Devonta Freeman and LaGerrette Blount.
Devonta Freeman is a powerful runner, and his matchup with the Patriots linebackers is going to be a big one in this game. Hightower and Ninkovich are two guys that will be chasing Freeman around, and they are known as good defenders. Generally, this New England’s defense is good against the run as the secondary is also helping the front seven. Freeman is a tough guy, but Atlanta’s offensive line will have to make big holes for him in order for Falcons‘ running game to be effective.
Blount, on the other hand, is a guy that uses his size and power to get important yards for New England. He will see fewer touches than Freeman in this game as the Patriots have an extra running back that also gets a lot of snaps in James White, but we think his impact will be much bigger, especially if the Patriots have the lead. This man is a great option to have in the red zone, he can explode for big plays, and New England will use him if they need to milk the clock. He is a tough guy to bring down. The numbers might be similar, but Blount’s presence will be felt.