A Look Ahead To Super Bowl LI

A Look Ahead To Super Bowl LI

By Trent Tetzlaff and Jake Zipperer

Super Bowl LI is almost here. This year’s matchup between the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons promises to be a great game. Fascinating questions surround the game such as what team will win, who will take home the MVP, and is Bill Belichick the greatest coach in NFL history?

We’ll give you our game predictions later, but first, let’s look back at the Super Bowl history of both squads.

Atlanta Falcons

  • Atlanta is one of 13 teams to never win a Super Bowl, and have only reached the big game once.
  • The Falcons fell big to the powerhouse Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXXIII, 34-19.
  • Chris Chandler was Atlanta’s quarterback during their lone Super Bowl run. During that 1998 season he threw for 3,154 yards and 25 touchdowns.
  • The city of Atlanta’s last major sporting championship was in 1995 (Braves World Series Title).

New England Patriots

  • Tom Brady is tied for the most Super Bowls won as a quarterback. With all four coming as a Patriot.
  • New England has appeared in the Super Bowl nine times in franchise history, which is the most of any NFL team. Seven of those have been with Bill Belichick as coach.
  • The Patriots’ last Super Bowl win came back in 2015 when they defeated the Seattle Seahawks 28-24.
  • This is Tom Brady’s first Super Bowl appearance since the Deflategate scandal in 2015, which led to his four-game suspension earlier this season.

Your Picks

Our Picks

Eastbay sports writers Jake Zipperer and Trent Tetzlaff sat down to discuss the big game and all of the surroundings.Here’s their picks breaking down coaching, quarterbacks, offense, defense, special teams, MVP, and the score prediction.

Quarterback:

TT: Matt Ryan. He outdueled Aaron Rodgers with ease, so why can’t he take down Tom Brady as well?

JZ: Tom Brady. Been there, done that. Tom Brady is the one of the greatest of all time, and shows that in this game.

Head Coach:

TT: Patriots. This one is self-evident for me — Bill Belichick and crew know what to do in the big game.

JZ: Patriots. Bill Belichick and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia have been here before, and have the experience to get the job done.

Offense:

TT: Atlanta. Matt Ryan, Devonta Freeman, Tevin Coleman, Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu — The list goes on and on. Atlanta has the weapons needed to win it all.

JZ: Atlanta. The weapons surrounding Matt Ryan make this number-one-scoring offense a major threat.

Defense:

TT: Patriots. An experienced secondary and line-backing core puts the Patriots defense ahead of the Falcons in my mind — but it’s close.

JZ: Patriots. The number-one-scoring defense shines bright on the big stage once again.

Special Teams:

TT: Atlanta. Punt and kick returner Eric Weems comes up with some big returns to give the Falcons good field position, and kicker Matt Bryant knocks in all of his extra points and field goals.

JZ: Atlanta. Returners and the kicking game put this one in Atlanta’s favor.

MVP:

TT: Julio Jones. Julio picks up where he left off against the Packers and torches the Patriots secondary for over 200 yards receiving and multiple scores.

JZ: Tom Brady. The savvy veteran who has been there before continues to play well in the big game with over 300 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Score Prediction:

TT: Falcons 34-31. The Falcons playmakers show how good they really are as they torch a normally strong Patriots secondary.

JZ: Patriots 31-21. Tom Brady continues his Super Bowl magic, and the Patriots defense slows down Matt Ryan and Julio Jones.

Join in on the Super Bowl conversation with us and drop us a comment below with your thoughts on the big game! No matter who you are rooting for Sunday, we’ve got you covered at eastbay.com with our selection of Atlanta and New England fan gear!

‘Nike Knows’ Air Trainer Max ’94

‘Nike Knows’ Air Trainer Max ’94

'Nike Knows' Air Trainer Max '94 (1)

words // Brandon Richard

Ahead of Super Bowl XLVIII, Nike will celebrate its training legacy with a collection of footwear inspired by its golden era. One of the shoes in the collection, dubbed ‘Nike Knows,’ is the Air Trainer Max ’94.

In 1994, the Air Trainer Max ’94 debuted with an innovative neoprene sleeve for support and cushioning through a bubble Air unit. For ‘Nike Knows,’ the shoe has been updated with a modern black upper, graphic printed overlays and iridescent detailing on the tongue tab, Swoosh logos and heelstay. Below sits an icy translucent rubber outsole.

These Nike training shoes will launch Monday, January 27 for $150. Follow @Eastbay on Twitter and @OfficialEastbay on Instagram for all release information and updates.

'Nike Knows' Air Trainer Max '94 (2)

'Nike Knows' Air Trainer Max '94 (3)

'Nike Knows' Air Trainer Max '94 (4)

'Nike Knows' Air Trainer Max '94 (5)

'Nike Knows' Air Trainer Max '94 (6)

'Nike Knows' Air Trainer Max '94 (7)

Nike Lunar Terra Arktos: Lightweight Comfort, All-Weather Protection

Nike Lunar Terra Arktos: Lightweight Comfort, All-Weather Protection

Nike ACG Lunar Terra Arktos Metallic Silver (1)

words // Brandon Richard

In celebration of the upcoming Super Bowl, Nike introduces a special edition Lunar Terra Arktos boot.

The Lunar Terra Arktos sports a protection-aiding waterproof leather and Hyperfuse upper, supported by ultra-light Flywire cables that cradle the foot for an adaptive, glove-like fit. A bonded zip along the medial side speeds up fastening and releases a removable insulated inner bootie that can be worn indoors. Lunarlon cushioning works along with an aggressive outsole with a  reverse tread pattern for durability and cushioned traction.

Following Nike’s theme of ‘Silver Speed’ for this year’s Super Bowl, this Lunar Terra Arktos features an all-silver upper, accented by a white midsole and black hits on the laces, eyelets, pull-tab, Swoosh and sole.

You can pick up these big game-inspired Nike ACG boots here today.

Available: Nike Lunar Terra Arktos

Nike ACG Lunar Terra Arktos Metallic Silver (3)

Nike ACG Lunar Terra Arktos Metallic Silver (4)

Nike ACG Lunar Terra Arktos Metallic Silver (9)

Nike ACG Lunar Terra Arktos Metallic Silver (5)

Nike ACG Lunar Terra Arktos Metallic Silver (6)

Nike ACG Lunar Terra Arktos Metallic Silver (7)

Nike ACG Lunar Terra Arktos Metallic Silver (8)

Nike ACG Lunar Terra Arktos Metallic Silver (10)

Nike ACG Lunar Terra Arktos Metallic Silver (2)

Nike Training ‘Silver Speed’ Super Bowl Collection

Nike Training ‘Silver Speed’ Super Bowl Collection

words // Brandon Richard

With Super Bowl XLVIII less than a month away, Nike training introduces its ‘Silver Speed’ Collection, which will be worn by Nike athletes during Super Bowl Media Day.

The pack consists of the Free Trainer 3.0, Free Trainer 5.0 and Free Trainer 7.0, each decked out in metallic silver with black and volt accents. Shoes are equipped with Nike’s top training performance technology and feature Super Bowl logo graphics for an official connection.

You can pick up all three of these special edition Nike training shoes here today.

Nike Training 'Silver Speed' Super Bowl Collection - Free Trainer 3.0

Available: Nike Free Trainer 3.0 SB

Nike Training 'Silver Speed' Super Bowl Collection - Free Trainer 5.0

Available: Nike Free Trainer 5.0 SB

Nike Training 'Silver Speed' Super Bowl Collection - Free Trainer 7.0

Available: Nike Free Trainer 7.0 SB

NFL Watch // Niners, Ravens Set Up ‘HarBowl’

NFL Watch // Niners, Ravens Set Up ‘HarBowl’

NFL Watch // Niners, Ravens Set Up 'HarBowl'

words // Brandon Richard

With 20 weeks of NFL football now in the books, we finally have our two Super Bowl XLVII participants. On Sunday, February 3, the AFC’s Baltimore Ravens will take on the NFC’s San Francisco 49ers at the Superdome in New Orleans.

To get there, the Baltimore Ravens beat the odds, traveling to Foxborough and erasing a halftime deficit to upset Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Often criticized Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco shined on the big stage, completing 21 of his 36 passes for 240 yards and three touchdowns. On the receiving end of two of those passes was Anquan Boldin, who caught 5 balls for 60 yards. However, enough can’t be said about the storied Ravens defense, which limited New England’s top-ranked offense to 13 total points and forced three second half turnovers. Prior to Sunday, Brady was a perfect 67-0 when the Patriots held a halftime lead at home.

Also overcoming a deficit on Sunday was the San Francisco 49ers, who trailed by as much as 17 points in their NFC Championship match-up against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome. Once again, rookie quarterback Colin Kaepernick showed great poise, leading a rally for the ages. Kap went 16 for 21 and 233 yards, including a touchdown pass to Vernon Davis before the half. Just like the Ravens, the Niners pitched a highly impressive second half shutout and running back Frank Gore punched in two ground TDs to give San Francisco the win and a trip to New Orleans.

In two weeks, brothers will coach against one another in the Super Bowl for the very first time — but the storylines don’t end there. Ray Lewis and Ed Reed may be playing in the final games of their Hall of Fame careers. Randy Moss has been relatively quiet all season, but his leadership may help the Niners win and land him the first Super Bowl ring of his legendary career. Speaking of legendary, there’s the 49ers franchise, which is seeking a record-tying sixth Super Bowl win.

We’ll find out how it all plays out in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, take a look at some of the football cleats worn in the Conference Championship games in today’s NFL Watch.

images courtesy of Yahoo

NFL Watch // Niners, Ravens Set Up 'HarBowl'

Joe Flacco wearing Nike Lunar Superbad Pro

Joe Flacco drops back in the Nike Lunar Superbad Pro.

Tom Brady wearing Under Armour Football Cleats

Tom Brady passes in custom turf Under Armour football cleats.

Bernard Pierce wearing Under Armour Highlight

Bernard Pierce drags Rob Ninkovich in the Under Armour Highlight.

Wes Welker wearing Nike Vapor Talon Elite Low

Wes Welker makes a catch in the Nike Vapor Talon Elite Low.

Ed Reed wearing Under Armour Nitro III

Ed Reed flies in to make a tackle wearing Nitro III Under Armour football cleats.

Stevan Ridley wearing Under Armour Nitro Diablo

Stevan Ridley runs through a pile in the Under Armour Nitro Diablo.

Baltimore Ravens wearing New Era NFL Conference Champions Cap

The Baltimore Ravens celebrate in the New Era NFL Conference Champions Cap.

Colin Kaepernick wearing Nike Vapor Talon Elite 3/4

Colin Kaepernick passes in the Nike Vapor Talon Elite 3/4.

Roddy White wearing Reebok Football Cleats

Roddy White extends to make a grab in custom Reebok football cleats.

Michael Crabtree wearing Air Jordan IX 9 PE Cleats

Michael Crabtree runs after making a catch in Retro 9 Jordan football cleats.

Matt Ryan wearing Nike Alpha Talon Elite 3/4

Matt Ryan eyes a target in the Nike Alpha Talon Elite 3/4.

Tony Gonzalez wearing Nike Zoom Flyposite

Tony Gonzalez with perhaps his final “slam dunk” in Zoom Flyposite Nike football cleats.

Frank Gore wearing adidas adizero 5-Star Low

Frank Gore high-steps into the endzone wearing the adidas adizero 5-Star Low.

Frank Gore Holding Nike NFL Conference Champ T-Shirt

Frank Gore holds up his Nike NFL Conference Champ T-Shirt.