---- — In a nutshell, the New England Patriots are going to win the Super Bowl. Their toughest game will, of course, be their tilt in Denver for the AFC Championship.
I believe the Patriots and Broncos are the only true Super Bowl entries in the AFC, while the NFC has five formidable teams.
That being said, formidable doesn’t mean great.
I see the Falcons quietly moving through the NFC playoffs because of their balance, consistency and, last but not least, homefield advantage.
They have proven themselves this season, finishing with the best record in the better (top-to-bottom) conference.
While the Patriots defense’s performance will get most of the scrutiny, as long as their defense is solid, Tom Brady and the offense will roll through these playoffs. And I’m not just talking about throwing the ball.
The Patriots have balance and will go toe-to-toe when needed -- see third-and-one or fourth-and-one.
These Patriots are much better than the version that went to Indianapolis last year. This team is very, very good (not yet great, but close).
Super Bowl prediction: Patriots 41, Falcons 13.