Value bet to win the next Super Bowl? ESPN’s Tuley says the Falcons

Denver Broncos’ Von Miller (58) strips the ball from Carolina Panthers’ Cam Newton (1) during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl 50 football game Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Ball’s loose. Game’s over. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

According to the Westgate SuperBook, the Atlanta Falcons have the 16th-best chance of 32 NFL teams — actually, there’s a six-way tie for 16th — of winning Super Bowl LI (or 51, or next year’s championship game). According to ESPN’s Dave Tuley, the Falcons are the best value bet on the board. Tuley’s rationale:

“My reason for liking the Falcons is a little similar to what put me on the Steelers last year. The trio of Matt Ryan, Devonta Freeman and Julio Jones is nearly as potent as Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown, so I’m not too concerned with the offense. The defense is where the Falcons need the most help, but that’s why we’re getting 40-1.”

Something else to consider: The Falcons play in the NFC South, which is also home to the Carolina Panthers, who just lost the Super Bowl as emphatic favorites after going 15-1 over the regular season. (Only loss to guess who.) Not since the 1993 season has the Super Bowl loser qualified for the big game the next season, and the team that did it then was Buffalo, which was in process of losing four consecutive Super Bowls. One reason being: The Super Bowl loser has to endure an offseason of being picked apart.

NFC South teams that have lost the Super Bowl have fallen particularly hard. The Falcons went from 14-2 in 1998 to 4-12 in 1999. (Jamal Anderson hurt his knee, you might recall.) Carolina went from 11-5 in 2003 to 7-9 in 2004. Even the NFC South teams who won it at all weren’t nearly as good the year after: Tampa Bay slid from 12-4 in 2002 to 7-9 in 2013, and New Orleans dipped from 13-3 in 2009 to 11-5 and a wild-card loss in 2010.

As great as Carolina was until the Broncos got hold of it, the Panthers are about to face a winter/spring/summer of scrutiny and skepticism. How do you lose to a team that doesn’t gain 200 yards and converts one of 14 third downs? Why didn’t Cam Newton dive for the ball after his second strip/fumble?

Understand: I’m not saying the Falcons bear the look of a Super Bowl team. (They did just finish 8-8 after starting 6-1.) But that, to echo Tuley, is why they’re getting 40-1 odds.

Oh, and one thing more: I wasn’t crazy about Newton fleeing his postgame press session in a sulk — sulking never plays well, least of all after you’ve spent the season celebrating to excess — but the questions were pretty awful. Such as: “Can you put into words the disappointment you feel right now?”

What’s he supposed to say? “My heart is as heavy as an anvil. I feel as weak as the tiniest kitten even viewed on YouTube. My world is now devoid of meaning. I will give up football and wander the Earth, a figure broken and forlorn. Those words evocative enough for you?”

(Newton’s actual response: “We lost.”)

Then the deal-breaker: “I know you’re disappointed not just for yourself, but for your teammates. It’s got to be real tough. Because you guys talked about how you’re a band of brothers coming in, and this has to be really tough for everyone involved.”

This is my least favorite type of question, largely because — maybe you noticed — there’s no question. This is a statement. (Three statements, to be exact. Another 231 words and it would have been as long as the Gettysburg Address.) Even if such a rambling non-question elicits a response, it’s rarely anything more than, “Yes, I am. Yes, it is.”

For the record, Newton said: “I’m done, man.” I might have been, too. And I’m a media person.

One final thing: My other pet peeve among press-conference questions is the staple, “Talk about (insert topic — usually a player’s name — here).” Most coaches and players will play along with this one. I wouldn’t. I’d say, “Is that a question?” Because it isn’t, either.

Reader Comments 0

21 comments
Anonymous2811
Anonymous2811

From the person who brought you "Dump the Dutchman" many years ago

It does not strike me that this is a good time to be raising ticket prices.


Terry Y
Terry Y

Fig Newton is a selfish, arrogant stupid person. "I'm me, no one is going to  tell me how to live" my life he says....l agree with him. However, with all his rubbing a 1st down, endzone celebrating and sideline selfies during the game in everyones face.....grow up! If ya dishing it out throughout the season. Step up like a man and show some class even when you LOOSE....Tubby 

Smith said once " dont get to high when you win or too low when you loose". Good words to live by in the sports world

dawgfacedboy
dawgfacedboy

I don't care if Newton was asked to "describe in as many words as possible how bad you feel right now" you sit there and take it. Brady, Manning, Rodgers, Brees, Rothlesberger, etc. would've sat there and took it. You know darn well if he had won Newton would have had no problem running up and down sideline like a special ed 5 year old. He would have had no problems sitting up there for an hour answering questions. He wins like a child and loses like a child. The NFL is 70% black, it's not a race thing. When I see black players having a problem with Newton's celebration, it's not a race thing. There is celebrating and there is going too far. You can't watch an NFL game without seeing celebrations on every tackle and touchdown. 


He wins like a child and loses like a child. 

Alberta
Alberta

Um, not one word about having a good coach being part of the equation?  I'm afraid you're clueless, my friend.

lvg
lvg

Just wait when they get out of that falling down dump of a Georgia Dome into new digs, they will be in the Super Bowl every year according to Kaseem.

Falcons2013
Falcons2013

Did I miss where we replaced our GM. I wouldn't bet Falcons at 100/1. Yesterday showed that you can win a Super Bowl with an outstanding defense. Atlanta is sorely lacking a strong D line and with you know who as GM it is painfully hard to be a blind loyalist fan to this team.

csamuels45
csamuels45

Atlanta has a chance just draft on the defensive and offensive line

ATL89
ATL89

I have another stat, how many playoff wins does Kyle Shanahan has as an Offensive Coordinator. With our OC we are not going to beat the odds, the odds are going to be us.

AdmiralObvious53
AdmiralObvious53

What wins games and eventually Super Bowls....defense!  Pay attention Falcons! And unless it's the next Orlando Pace that's all you better be drafting and signing from Free Agency!

Big Wally
Big Wally

Bama has a better chance of winning the Super Bowl than the Falcons.

Big Wally
Big Wally

@OH:IO @Big Wally Ok, Ok, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers have a better chance of winning the Super Bowl than the Falcons.

SaulK
SaulK

ATL in the super bowl 51!!! YES!!! I'll start making plane and hotel reservations asap!!! YES!!! Rise up!!! ATL baby!!!

DawgsFan34
DawgsFan34

Broncos beat Green Bay at the end of the 1997 season.  Green Bay beat New England to end the 1996 season. 

Joseph Houston
Joseph Houston

Actually, your wrong about the last team to lose the big game and then show up the next year. The team your writing about, my Falcons, lost to Denver in 1998. The very same team who lost to Green Bay in 1997, so........

MarkBradley
MarkBradley moderator

@Joseph Houston Actually, I'm not. That was Denver's second consecutive Super Bowl win. The Broncos had beaten Green Bay, which itself was going for two in a row. The Packers had beaten New England the year before.

OH:IO
OH:IO

Draft Darron Lee

OH:IO
OH:IO

And the dogs will win the NC


Right