Not necessarily, it's not so much about how many plays, it's when a team runs and run the ball and keep getting the first downs,that's the real killer but Atlanta were obviously tired, NE were obviously hyped.Adrenalin kicked in against a deflated Atlanta defense.
True. At 28-9 or 28-12, the ToP and plays/yards stats weren't too damning as the Falcons had some quick strike drives early and will still have multiple opportunities to seal it. But missed opportunities time and time again (after the onside kick, Falcons had the ball at the NE 32 yard line before a penalty and sack. They, of course, repeated the trick later) took its toll. At 28-20, the defense was really feeling it, and that drive had TD written all over it, especially with Edelman's catch. At 28-26, the defense was shook from the long touchdown drive they just gave up in addition to their fatigue. The 2-pt seemed inevitable.
Also give the Pats credit, Tom Brady at the goal-line is an incredible challenge for a defense no matter what the situation. Though the play did have an air of inevitability about it. Overall, the Pats moved the ball with ease and a huge part of it was the d-line not having the energy to get consistent pressure like they did before. I think the play discrepancy was surprising but not too crazy at 28-9 and 28-12, but the Falcons' inability to get anything going made things snowball real fast. Up 28-9, it shouldn't really matter your defense had been on the field longer (they were getting some stops too), but when your offense consistently stalls (other than 2 nice plays to Freeman and Julio), everything piled up.
Falcons offense was high-octane but very ineffective in trying to seal the game. Must be immensely frustrating and sad for any Falcons fan.