Marc (Beetle) Bertrand was born in Boston and raised in Quincy, Mass. At 18 he started working in radio at the on-campus station of the University of Massachusetts. During his four years in Amherst, Marc provided play-by-play for hundreds of UMass athletic events while also hosting a weekly sports talk show.

 
Shortly after graduating, Marc was hired by Metro Networks in Boston to provide sports updates on a local sports talk station. He moved to CBS Radio—still in Boston—in August of 2009 for the launch of 98.5 The Sports Hub and has been there ever since. In addition to his duties at 98.5 The Sports Hub, Marc makes frequent appearances on Comcast Sportsnet New England. He also hosted the Patriots.com pre-game and post-game shows in 2013 and 2014 and was a co-host of “The Show” on Comcast Sportsnet during the 2013 Baseball season.                                                                                      
  
  1. What do you think: Might this just be Matt Ryan’s year?
 
It could be. He’s playing his best right now, as are the guys around him. All those things could make this his year, but not all the success they’ve had rests on his shoulders. If he plays mistake-free on Sunday, he’ll put himself in a really good position for this to be the year he gets over the hump. That said, when it comes to this game, the defenses are going to play a big role. Ryan will need to do everything in his power to win the game, but he’s going to need help from his D. If he gets into a game of shootout, it’s going to come down to which team gets more stops, and based on this year, the Pats have had the better defense.
 
  1. Falcons receivers vs. Pats defensive backs. Thoughts on the matchup?
 
This is going to be one of the big matchups of the game. The Pats will put Logan Ryan on Julio Jones with help over-the-top while lining up Malcolm Butler against Mohamed Sanu. This is the way the Patriots have dealt with talented, big, physical guys like Julio Jones (who I think is the best in the game). The Pats will give him the respect of using two guys to defend him, and I think the secondary will do what they always do: take away the deep threat. It may free some things up underneath for the Falcons, but that’s how the Pats want to play it in this game. They can dictate the tempo and the way the Falcons go down the field. 
 
  1. What are the key matchups in the trenches that could decide this game?
 
The Falcons need to find a way defensively to get pressure up the middle on Tom Brady. They won’t be able to do it on the edge. Vic Beasley has had a great season with 15.5 sacks. He needs to find a way to go up the middle as opposed to coming off the edge There was so much talk about James Harrison before the Steelers game, and similar thoughts regarding edge pressure going back to the Texans game. The reason Houston was so good at getting to the quarterback was because they moved Clowney and sent him up the middle. The Falcons should try to exploit the middle of the Patriots offensive line. It’s where they’re young and at their weakest.
 
For the Patriots, I’d take a look at Alan Branch. He’s been so good up front and can do so much damage; he can clog things up and free things up for the guys on the outside.
 
  1. For the uninitiated, describe the Falcons’ defensive strengths/weaknesses.
 
They have a lot of young players. Their strength is more up front than in the secondary. How good is the Falcons’ secondary? They’ve made some plays at times, but is it good enough to adjust on- the-fly? Will they be able to take away Edelman—which the Steelers couldn’t figure out how to do—while also doing well against Chris Hogan?
 
  1. Which past Pats SB does this game remind you of?
 
Good question! I’m inclined to say SB XXXVI just in terms of what the opponent brings, which is a tremendous offense. The Rams in 2001 were “The Greatest Show on Turf” and this Falcons offense is just so dominant and has so many great players. This is the first time in a while that the Patriots go into a game looking at an offense on the other side of the ball that’s really good, really high-powered, and can score a lot of points.

Beetle’s Prediction: 31-28. Pats win by a late field goal!


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