The New England Patriots capped a day of home team dominance, and will not head to Houston to face the Atlanta Falcons. The Patriots won the AFC Championship Game, beating the Pittsburgh Steelers by a final score of 36-17.
The Patriots and Falcons victories mean Super Bowl 51 will feature plenty of meaning for San Francisco 49ers fan. The offensive coordinators for both teams were finalists for the 49ers head coach job. Josh McDaniels withdrew his name from consideration this past Monday, and all indications now are that Kyle Shanahan is going to be the team’s next head coach.
However this plays out, this means we will get two great offensive minds in Super Bowl 51. After the Falcons destroyed the Packers, New England had their way with Pittsburgh. The Steelers kept it competitive in the first, trailing 10-6 at one point, and going into halftime trailing 17-9. However, three third quarter touchdowns put the Patriots up 33-9, and that was it for Pittsburgh.
The early line for the game has the Patriots as a field goal favorite, and the point total is set at 57.5 points. Neither team’s defense is particularly great, so I would not be surprised to see people bet this point total up closer to 60 over the next two weeks. But I anticipate a fun matchup in two weeks in Houston. I don’t know if it will be a nail-biter, but I think we see a lot of points.
I am inclined to take the Falcons +3, but I’m really just rooting for the Falcons offense to put up big numbers. I’ll happily take another strong Kyle Shanahan game plan before he potentially heads west to the Bay Area.