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The Patriots Aren’t Championship Shoo-Ins

Nobody is giving Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons much of a chance in Super Bowl 51.

Nobody is giving Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons much of a chance in Super Bowl 51.

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Picking the Patriots to win the Super Bowl is like picking a LeBron James team to win the NBA title every year. The odds are highly in your favor.

However, both the Pats and LeBron have been known to lose a championship or two. Since 2001, LeBron is 3-4 and the Pats are 4-3 in championship games.   

Picking the Pats is a no-brainer. New Englands in the Super Bowl for the ninth time in the last 31 years and looking to secure its fifth championship next weekend in Houston.


Picking LeBron to win it all is also a no-brainer. Hes led his teams into the last six NBA Finals and appeared in seven overall.  


However, championship records tell us that New England and King James can be had in the big game.

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In fact, it took unforeseen miracle circumstances for both to win their last title. The Pats won in 2014 on the dumbest goal line call ever by Seattle HC Pete Carroll. It took a Draymond Green suspension and the ascension of Kyrie Irving to get LeBron that elusive Cavs title. If those things didn’t occur we could be examining a completely different narrative. 

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So it’s never easy. Sometimes you have to be more lucky than good. 


The Patriots should be favored on paper as they have the championship pedigree, the best coach, QB and ran roughshod over the league since Brady returned after missing four games due to Deflategate. However, the New York Giants beat them twice as underdogs and that cant be forgotten when analyzing the potential outcomes of this contest.

The Atlanta Falcons are trying to catch lightening in a bottle as they are still seeking the franchise’s first Vince Lombardi Trophy. If Matty Ice is going to finally break into the elite QB sector of society, then he has to win this one against one of the greatest franchises in NFL history.


Atlanta has the offense and the defensive poise to pull it off. The Killer Bs have not been lights out in Super Bowls. Just like the outcome of an NBA finals in which LeBron is playing in, it’s a toss up.

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In the Super Bowl, the underdog has an even greater chance of winning because its just one game. We’ve seen the Patriots make mistakes in huge spots. The Falcons have to take advantage of those mistakes when they come. The odds says its unlikely, but history tells a different story.

JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The Deputy Editor and Senior Writer is in his 23rd year of covering sports and culture professionally. He began working in major newspapers in 1995 and has covered a cornucopia of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, magazines and national TV.

Gamble has covered World Series, Super Bowls, NBA and MLB All-Star Games, Final Fours, World Cup, NASCAR events and done hundreds of exclusive interviews over the years. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.