New England Patriots: 5 Most Likely Super Bowl 51 MVP Winners

New England Patriots

Feb 2, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; A general overall view of NRG Stadium with graphics featuring New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) and Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) prior to Super Bowl LI. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots will be facing the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl 51. Who are the five players most likely to win the MVP award?

Super Bowl 51 is almost here, as the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons will be facing off. Both have played excellent this season and in the playoffs, and they will play for the right to hold the Lombardi Trophy.

While the NFL is a team game, one of the most interesting things after the game is who will win the MVP award. Usually, it is always a member of the winning team that gets the award. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is no stranger to winning the award. As the favorite in the game, Brady is certainly the front-runner for the Super Bowl MVP if the Patriots win.

One of the interesting wrinkles in the Super Bowl this season is that we very well could see the Top 2 MVP candidates squaring off. Depending on how the voting goes, many expect to see Tom Brady and Matt Ryan one and two. While it is assumed Ryan will win the MVP, Brady has certainly made a good case.

Both Brady and Ryan will be the favorites on their team to win the MVP in the Super Bowl, However, sometimes it can be an unexpected player who steps up and wins the award. Here are the five players most likely to win the Super Bowl 51 MVP award.

New England Patriots

Jan 30, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; New England Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount (29) and running back Brandon Bolden (38) during Super Bowl LI Opening Night at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

5.) LeGarrette Blount

Due to the suspension of Brady to start the season, the Patriots were forced to rediscover their rushing attack. Leading the way was veteran running back LeGarrette Blount. In his seventh season at the age of 30, Blount had his best regular season of his career.

In 2016, Blount totaled 1,161 rushing yards and 18 rushing touchdowns. The 18 rushing touchdowns broke a Patriots record held by Curtis Martin. When Brady returned from his suspension, many expected Blount’s production to decrease. However, the Patriots still used him frequently.

Having a solid running game allowed the Patriots to be very successful with their play action passing. Depending on how the game goes in the Super Bowl, the Patriots might use Blount either a lot or a little.

If the Patriots are able to establish a lead early, they would likely choose to feed Blount against the Falcons defense. This would allow the Patriots to control the clock and keep the high-powered Falcons’ offense off the field. If Blount gets 20 carries, he could be looking at 100 rushing yards. Add in a touchdown or two, and we could be looking at the Super Bowl MVP. It’s a boom or bust pick, but Blount does provide the potential to have a great game in the Super Bowl.

New England Patriots

Feb 2, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Julian Edelman during the New England Patriots media availability at the J.W. Marriott team hotel in Houston. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

4.) Julian Edelman

Due to the injury to tight end Rob Gronkowski, wide receiver Julian Edelman has emerged as the No.1 option in the passing game for the Patriots. In what is expected to be a high-scoring game, Edelman will likely be the receiver on the Patriots that is targeted the most.

In the playoffs, Edelman has totaled eight receptions in each game. Also, he has been able to eclipse the 100-yard receiving mark in each game. One of the things that will hold Edelman back of winning an MVP is, of course, Brady. If Brady plays a clean game and Edelman is the receipt of some of his passes, Brady would likely win the MVP. However, if Brady has a turnover or two, Edelman might be able to steal the award from him with a big game.

Edelman might not be considered a No.1 wide receiver in the NFL, but he has been great for the Patriots. In the regular season, Edelman totaled 98 receptions and 1,106 receiving yards. Those are certainly numbers that many players dream about. If Edelman is able to play like he has in the playoffs so far, he will certainly be the MVP conversation in a Patriots win.

New England Patriots

Feb 2, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Atlanta Falcons receiver Julio Jones smiles as he answers questions during a press conference at Westin Houston Memorial City Hotel. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

3.) Julio Jones

One of the best players that will be featured in Super Bowl 51 is Falcons wide receiver, Julio Jones. In the NFL, Jones is considered to be a Top-3 wide receiver in the NFL with Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Odell Beckham Jr. of the New York Giants.

This season, Jones was able to total 83 receptions, 1,409 receiving yards, and six receiving touchdowns. Despite dealing with a toe injury, Jones has been excellent in the playoffs. Against the Seattle Seahawks, Jones totaled six receptions, 67 receiving yards, and one receiving touchdown. Going up against cornerback Richard Sherman mostly, this was certainly a good game for Jones.

In the NFC Championship Game, Jones destroyed a poor Packers secondary. He was able to total nine receptions, 180 receiving yards, and two receiving touchdowns in the win. Against the Patriots, Jones will have a tougher matchup against the Patriots’ secondary.

The Patriots do an excellent job taking away a team’s best weapon on offense. You can bet they have been working hard all week to figure out a way to stop Jones. Cornerback Malcolm Butler did a very good job against Brown in the AFC Championship Game. Expect to see him and Devin McCourty shadowing Jones most of the game. Jones is known for his ability to make big plays in the passing game. The Patriots will be trying to limit that. If they can’t Jones is a good choice for a possible Super Bowl MVP.

New England Patriots

Feb 1, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) answers questions at a press conference for Super Bowl LI at Westin Houston Memorial City Hotel. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

2.) Matt Ryan

As the projected regular season MVP, Ryan is certainly a top choice to be the MVP of the Super Bowl. There will certainly be some nerves for Ryan in his first Super Bowl, but he has played fantastic in the playoffs.

In the Divisional Round win against the Seahawks, Ryan totaled 338 passing yards and three passing touchdowns. Even though the Seahawks defense was missing Earl Thomas, it was certainly an impressive showing by Ryan. In the NFC Championship Game against the Packers, Ryan lit up their defense as expected. Against Green Bay, Ryan totaled 392 passing yards, four passing touchdowns, and zero interceptions. The strong postseason backed up a great regular season for Ryan. With nearly 5,000 passing yards and 38 passing touchdowns in the regular season, few teams were able to slow down Ryan.

Despite great games in the playoffs so far, Ryan will be facing a talented Patriots defense. As an underrated group, the Patriots have really caused problems for opposing offenses this season. They do a great job taking away your best player, and Ryan might have to make frequent adjustments in the game.

If the Falcons beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl, Ryan will likely be the winner of the MVP award.

New England Patriots

Feb 2, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Patriots quarterback Tom Brady looks around after someone yelled, “Hi Tom!” from behind the curtain during the New England Patriots media availability at the J.W. Marriott team hotel in Houston. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

1.) Tom Brady

It has been another fantastic season for Brady in New England. Despite serving a four-game suspension to start the season, Brady has had one of the best seasons of his career. In 2016, Brady was able to set the single season record for the best touchdown to interception ratio.

In just 12 games, Brady totaled 28 passing touchdowns and just two interceptions. His ability to protect the ball in 2016 was amazing, and one of the main reasons why he had an 11-1 record as a starter.

Despite the great regular season, Brady did struggle against the Houston Texans. In the win, Brady threw two interceptions matching his regular season total in just one playoff game. the Texans had the best defense of any team in the playoffs, and they certainly bothered Brady. The interior pressure they were able to generate certainly affected some throws by Brady.

In typical Brady fashion, he responded with a perfect game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Against a mediocre Steelers defense, Brady picked them apart with three passing touchdowns in an easy Patriots win.

Now, Brady will have his eyes set on another Super Bowl win and MVP trophy. The unspoken revenge tour for Brady would certainly end with a storybook ending if Brady wins the Super Bowl MVP.

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