The New England Patriots will head into Super Bowl LI with two goals in mind. Protect Tom Brady and win. Keeping Brady upright is key but winning means taking pressure off Brady.
The Pats are no strangers to big games as they have played in 7 of the last 16 Super Bowls but the Atlanta Falcons will not be a pushover as they have possible MVP Matt Ryan leading the charge.
As important as Brady is to their chances of winning, the game will be determined by the legs of LaGarrette Blount. Blount has changed his ways but never his game. Since college, he’s always been a bruising back, the kind that reminds people of Christian Okoye, and dares defenders to get in his way.
This season he’s been Brady’s security blanket as the Patriots have dealt with injuries to Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski. Blount finished the season with 1161 yards on 299 carries with 18 rushing touchdowns. All this from a player that teams gave up on. The trouble in college was well documented and he looked to be on track to a promising career his rookie season in Tampa Bay but he soon fell out of favor there. He headed to the Pittsburgh Steelers where he was released due to lack of production and caught on with the Patriots and will now play in his second Super Bowl in three seasons.
While Blount has been counted out the majority of his NFL career he seems to have finally found a home in New England. His running style fits the offensive scheme perfectly and has awarded Brady the luxury of depending on someone other than Edelman or Gronk. If the Falcons are to have a chance, they must focus on stopping Blount. Brady is key but Blount is the engine that drives the Pats offense.