Falcons shred Patriots’ defense on first touchdown drive of night

The Falcons are off to a strong start in Super Bowl 51.

Atlanta’s first touchdown drive started with a nice catch from Julio Jones.

Announcers hyperventilating over 40-yard dashes by linemen who rarely run more than 10 yards. Three-cone drills and shuttle runs 鈥?yawn.
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And let’s see how many reps the wide receivers can manage on the bench press, as if that’s as important as what kind of route-runners they are and how well they catch the football.

Same for quarterbacks throwing to receivers with no pass rushers or defensive backs in coverage. How tough is that?

Tom Savage Limited Jersey I generally feel the Combine is a boring, tedious, expensive exercise. For the coaches, it is in effect a convention with their peers. GMs are more interested in talking potential contracts for free agents with the many agents in town. Those agents are there to support their rookies, but they’re just as focused on free agency, which this year begins March 9.

That moment came when Brady led the Patriots 91 yards 鈥?only one yard short of the 92-yard drive Montana had against the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl XXIII 鈥?for the game-tying score. Brady’s encore was a 75-yard walk-off drive in overtime.

My text, Facebook and Twitter notifications 鈥?and probably yours 鈥?were combinations of wow, unreal, and unbelievable. Because it was all of those things, and somehow more.

Hightower was the one young pending free agent to not be traded away from New England, so it would make sense for the Patriots to keep Hightower. He should be looking to be the highest paid non-rush linebacker in the NFL, which would put his salary over $13 million a year.

That won’t be an easy negotiation if the Patriots want to keep him for the long term. The Patriots have used the tag five times since 2009, but only once in the last four years, so they could be inclined to let Hightower test the market and not use the tag.

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