Garrett Chapman
Staff reporter

Houston, Texas; NRG Stadium; Super Bowl 51; Atlanta Falcons, NFC representative, vs. New England Patriots, AFC representative. This is the first time in Super Bowl history for these teams to take the field together on Super Bowl Sunday.

Tom Brady will lead the New England Patriots in his seventh career Super Bowl appearance. Brady has won four out of his first six Super Bowl games.  With a win Sunday night, Brady would surpass quarterback legends Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw for the most Super Bowl victories (5) by one quarterback.

Brady was drafted 199th overall by the New England Patriots in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL draft, which is worse on paper than the opposing quarterback, Matt Ryan. Ryan was drafted third overall, by the Atlanta Falcons, in the first round of the 2008 draft.

But this draft statistic says nothing about the two quarterbacks. Brady has lead his team to 14 division titles in his 15 years as a starter for the Patriots. Matt Ryan, on the other hand, has three division titles to his name in his nine years as the starting quarterback for the Falcons.

Brady enters Sunday’s game with an impressive experience stat of 33 career playoff games, major advantage over Ryan. Sixth round pick, Brady, has a 24-9 playoff record. He has played in 26 more playoff games than first round pick, Ryan. Ryan is 3-4 in his seven career playoff appearances.

In my opinion, New England will win the quarterback battle. Brady will also be joined by the better defense. I am a firm believer that if the better quarterback is playing with the superior defense behind him, he will win the Super Bowl. This plays into why I have chosen the Patriots to be the winners of Super Bowl 51.

Although the postseason stats show that the Falcons have one of the best offenses, I don’t believe they have the ability to keep up with Brady and Co. The Patriots defense has performed better than the Falcons in this years’ postseason. The Patriots defensive has allowed 326.5 yards per game and 16.5 points per game. The Falcons defense has not been played as stout, giving up 338 yards per game and 20.5 points per game.

New England’s defense will have a threatening task in stopping Atlanta’s offense. Atlanta’s offense has averaged 40 points and 457.5 yards on their playoff journey. Brady will have to play outstanding to keep up on the score board. This postseason his offense has averaged 35 points and 404 yards per game.

The New England defense will need to step up and make stops allow Brady to do what he does best. He gets the ball in the touchdown. Brady has thrown 456 career touchdown passes, fourth most all time behind Peyton Manning (539), Brett Farve (508), and Drew Brees (465).

Whether the game is won by a nail biter or a blowout, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are my favorite to win Super Bowl 51.

Garrett Chapman is a senior majoring in communication. You may email him at