Tom Brady (left) and Bill Belichick (right) have won four Super Bowl titles together. Getty

The Atlanta Falcons defied expectations in the 2016 regular season and breezed through the NFC playoffs to reach Super Bowl LI. Dan Quinn's squad should feel confident about capturing their first title behind a dominant offense and an underrated defense.

But the New England Patriots may have too much going for them and it makes sense that they enter the Super Bowl as 3-point favorites. In what has the makings of an epic championship game, the Patriots have a slight edge for multiple reasons.

Tom Brady Wants This One More Than Ever

"Deflategate" has been a key motivating factor for the Patriots legend. Brady has always been more focused than his quarterback peers, but he entered the season with a chip on his shoulder after serving a four-game suspension.

Brady proceeded to throw just two interceptions during the regular season and seems to be more in sync with his receivers than in previous seasons. The addition of Michael Floyd might finally start to pay dividends, but even if it doesn't, Brady has a healthy Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan and Martellus Bennett. Meanwhile, Danny Amendola and James Develin are capable of making big plays on third down.

Pats Defense Proved Themselves Against The Steelers

While the Falcons boast Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu and Devonta Freeman, the Patriots defense just got through containing Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, Eli Rogers and Le'Veon Bell. The Falcons' offense was more effective than the Pittsburgh Steelers and seem certain to post more than the 17 points Pittsburgh managed at Gillette Stadium.

But it may seem far-fetched to assume they can score 44 points and 36 points, like they did against the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks, respectively. Just one opponent managed to score more than 25 points against the Patriots in the regular season and playoffs.

Defensive coordinator Matt Patricia likely knows how important it is to take away Atlanta's rushing game. When the Falcons rely too heavily on passing, the offense becomes predictable for the opposing secondary.

Overall, this unit is not loaded with talent. But don't be surprised if the Patriots get strong performances from the pass rush, while Dont'a Hightower, Devin McCourty and Logan Ryan step up when it counts.

Trust Belichick In A Shootout

There will be a lot of points scored in this Super Bowl, with the over/under currently at 59 points. In shootouts, coaching takes on added importance, and the Patriots have Bill Belichick, who is arguably the best in the business when it comes to clock management. The Patriots haven't lost a game that was decided by over 59 points or more since a 35-28 defeat to the Philadelphia Eagles on Dec. 6, 2015, and prior to that it was Dec. 16, 2012, when the Patriots lost to the San Francisco 49ers, 41-34.

The final score should be close so the margin for error becomes particularly crucial. The edge deserves to go the more experienced staff.

Expect the Patriots to win the time of possession battle. They finished fifth in the regular season, while the Falcons finished 13th.

Watch Out For... Dion Lewis?

As much as the NFL is a passing league, and while two elite quarterbacks will be on display in the Super Bowl, games can be decided by short passes and a strong ground attack.

While LeGarrette Blount is expected to earn the bulk of New England's carries, the Patriots may have a secret weapon in Lewis. The Patriots are 16-0 when he plays, and the 26-year-old has "unsung hero" written all over him. The Patriots are often masterful at targeting lesser-known players, so Brady may give a few more handoffs or throws to the clever Lewis with the Falcons' defense perhaps more concerned with Blount, Edelman and Hogan.

In 2015, Lewis had 36 receptions for 388 yards over seven games. He can also be an effective weapon on kick returns.