When it comes to picking a Super Bowl winner this year, if there's one person you might want to listen to before making your pick, it's Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan. Not only did Ryan close the season by playing the Buccaneers (Week 15), Chiefs (Week 16) and Buccaneers (Week 17), but he also lost a Super Bowl to Tom Brady, which might make him the most qualified person in the world to give a Super Bowl LV prediction.
Before we get to his prediction, though, let's rewind and see how the Falcons did during that brutal three-game stretch to end their season. Although the Falcons lost all three games, they were all extremely close.
In the Week 15 game against the Buccaneers, the Falcons held a 24-7 lead with four minutes left in the third quarter, but then they squandered it away in a 31-27 loss. The Falcons squandering a giant lead to Brady. Stop me if you've heard that one before.
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In the Week 16 game against the Chiefs, the Falcons had a chance to pull off the upset, but kicker Younghoe Koo missed a 39-yard field goal with nine seconds left that would have sent the game to overtime. It was Koo's only miss all year between 30 and 39 yards.
In Atlanta's Week 17 rematch with the Buccaneers, the Falcons trailed just 30-27 with four minutes left to play in the game, but then somehow managed to find a way to lose 44-27.
Basically, all three games were close and they were close because Ryan had three of his best games of the season. In the three losses, Ryan averaged 307 yards per game while throwing a total of seven touchdown passes and zero interceptions.
Based on how well Ryan played and based on the fact that he saw the Super Bowl teams in three consecutive weeks to end the season, that makes the Falcons quarterback the perfect person to ask for a Super Bowl prediction and that's exactly what the crew at 680 The Fan did this week.
So who does Ryan think is going to win?
"Tampa," Ryan said. "As much as it pains me to say that, I felt like their defense was one of the most difficult for us to go against all year, we had to face them twice. I think offensively, they've gotten better the entire year and I think they're playing their best football right now, but I think it's going to be a close game. Both of those teams are really good, but if I had to pick one, I think I'd choose Tampa."
On one hand, this pick makes total sense because you don't want to pick against the team you play twice per year. You also want to show some love for the team in your division -- you know, because a rising tide lifts all boats and whatnot -- but the thing here is that I don't think Ryan was being diplomatic. It sounds like he definitely thinks the Buccaneers are going to win.
"I'm just telling you, first-hand experience going against both teams and we played both of them tough," Ryan said. "There's no doubt about that. To me, that [Tampa Bay] defensive line was the best we faced and they make it difficult on you. It's really hard to run the football, but they also pass-rush, they're beasts in the pass-rush game."
Picking the Buccaneers can't be easy for Ryan if only because they're quarterbacked by TOM BRADY, who handed Ryan the most painful defeat in Super Bowl history just four years ago in a game where the Falcons blew a 28-3 lead (And yes, everyone in the media is requires to mention that game anytime they do a story about the Falcons and/or the Super Bowl. Sorry Falcons fans).
If you want to see if anyone at CBSSports.com agrees with Ryan's Super Bowl pick, be sure to click here to check out our picks.