WR Brandon Gibson - New England Patriots
|6-1, 210||Born: 8-13-1987||College: Washington State||Drafted: Round 6|
Week 21: at Atlanta Falcons
Mark and Joe say: Good matchup. Tom Brady has posted a phenomenal set of records during his post-season performances - for example, Brady is the all-time leader in Super Bowl completions (164), passing yards (1,605) and passing touchdowns (13) - but he comes into this Super Bowl with several of his targets ailing - Martellus Bennett (knee, ankle), Malcolm Mitchell (knee), Danny Amendola (ankle) and Chris Hogan (thigh) were all limited during practice Friday, January 27 - keep an eye on how the various receivers progress/don't progress in their recoveries this week. So far during the 2017 playoffs, Brady has thrown 18/38 for 287 yards, two TDs and two interceptions vs. Houston (with two sacks taken for -8 yards and several other hits/pressures), followed by a stong 32/42 for 384 yards passing, three TDs and zero interceptions thrown (with two sacks taken for -10 yards) against the Steelers two weekends ago. He threw to three main targets against the Steelers - Hogan (12 targets for 9/180/2 receiving), Julian Edelman (10 for 8/118/1) and Bennett (five for 5/32/0) - Mitchell (four for 1/5/0) and Amendola (two for 2/12/0) were sparingly employed during the Conference Championship game. Brady has found enough offense to win both games by comfortable margins, and his talents as a quarterback remain formidable. The Falcons' pass defense has averaged 238.0 net passing yards allowed per game, with five passing scores given out vs. three interceptions and five sacks generated during the 2017 post-season. Russell Wilson managed 17/30 for 208 net yards passing, with two TDs and two interceptions thrown at Atlanta in the Divisional round (three sacks taken for -17 yards), while Aaron Rodgers managed 27/45 for 268 net yards passing, three TDs and one interception thrown (with two sacks taken for -19 yards) at Atlanta two weekends ago. Atlanta was ranked 28th in the NFL averaging 266.7 net passing yards allowed per game, with a whopping 31 passing scores given out during regular season (vs. 12 interceptions and 34 sacks generated). Over the final three weeks of regular season, Atlanta averaged 19.8 fantasy points allowed per game to opposing quarterbacks (13th-most in the NFL); 21.8 fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers (14th-most); and 8.2 fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends (17th in the NFL during that time span). The Falcons have played stronger during the post-season in this phase of the game, though, as the 28.7 net passing yards allowed per game drop in their post-season average demonstrates. Brady is one of the all-time best players at his position, and he has a wealth of post-season experience. The Falcons are a young, brash defensive unit that has improved over the course of 2016-17 - but they are still suspect against the league's top talents, as Aaron Rodgers showed us two weekends ago. Advantage, New England.
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