Peter King: How the Patriots defensive front can give the Falcons trouble

0:55 | NFL
Peter King: How the Patriots defensive front can give the Falcons trouble
Thursday February 2nd, 2017

Peter King of The MMQB thinks the Patriots defensive front could keep the Falcons running back duo of Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman under 100 combined rushing yards. 

"If that happens, then Matt Ryan is going to have to win this game with a controlled passing game," King says. "He can do that—don't get me wrong, he can do that. He's got the tight ends so he can do that. 

"I really think the key to this game is 2nd-and-9, 3rd-and-8—long yardage downs. The other key is, Tom Brady has to possess the ball to limit the possessions for the Falcons."

Freeman and Coleman combined for 1,599 rushing yards and 19 rushing touchdowns on the season. Ryan had an MVP-caliber season, throwing for 4,944 yards and 38 touchdowns against only 7 interceptions. 

The Patriots defense gave up just a league-best 15.6 points per game during the regular season.

The Patriots take on the Falcons on Sunday in Super Bowl LI. 

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.