The Falcons cruised past the Packers to earn a date with the Patriots in Super Bowl LI, but if they're going to beat Tom Brady and Co., they'll need top-level performances from all of their best players.
These are the seven most important Falcons in Super Bowl LI.
Brett DavisUSA TODAY Sports
RB Devonta Freeman
Despite what Atlanta's high-powered offense would lead you to believe, the Falcons use a heavy dose of the rushing attack, and Devonta Freeman is the one getting the bulk of the carries. Atlanta ran the ball 30 times against the Packers, and the running game will be equally important in a matchup with the Patriots.
LB Vic Beasley
Vic Beasley didn't record a tackle or a sack in the NFC Championship, but the attention he drew opened things up for his teammates to make plays. He finished the regular season as the league leader in sacks, however, and he'll likely need to have a bigger personal impact in the Super Bowl if the Falcons are going to force Brady into making mistakes.
RB Tevin Coleman
Tevin Coleman is right there with Devonta Freeman in the Falcons' rushing attack. He had 11 carries and three receptions in Atlanta's win over the Packers, and just like Freeman, his production is important to the overall balance of the Falcons' offense.
WR Mohamed Sanu
Mohamed Sanu had five catches for 52 yards and a touchdown on seven targets in Atlanta's win ovr the Packers, and will need to make plays when New England's defense inevitably focuses its attention on Julio Jones.
LB Deion Jones
Deion Jones was second on the team in tackles in the NFC Championship, and even came away with a hit on Aaron Rodgers. The rookie linebacker will need to continue to help anchor the defense against a similarly stellar quarterback in the Super Bowl.
AP PhotoJohn Bazemore
WR Julio Jones
Julio Jones was unstoppable in the win over the Packers, finishing with 180 yards receiving and two touchdowns. He was just two yards shy of his own franchise postseason record, which he recorded in 2012 against the 49ers. Atlanta will need him to be every bit as impressive two weeks from now.
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QB Matt Ryan
Matt Ryan put up a quarterback rating of 139.4 in the NFC Championship, and finished with 392 yards passing and four touchdowns without an interception. If he can put up numbers like that against the Patriots, he could be hoisting the Lombardi Trophy when all is said and done.