If you’re looking for reasons why the Atlanta Falcons can beat the New England Patriots Sunday in Super Bowl LI, you’re in the right place.
The Atlanta Falcons are in the Super Bowl for just the second time in franchise history, in Houston to play the four-time champion New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI Sunday at NRG Stadium.
If you’re looking for some reasons to think the Falcons can get the win, here are 15:
- Experience doesn’t count in the Super Bowl. Seven of the last 10 champions had fewer players with Super Bowl experience than their opponent (this doesn’t count Super Bowl XLVII, where both teams had an equal number of players who had been to Super Bowls).
- The combined record of the Patriots’ opponents (division foes’ records only counted once) was 89-166-3, a .436 winning percentage. The combined record of the Falcons’ opponents was 100-106-2, a .486 winning percentage
- The New England defense played the easiest schedule of offenses in the NFL in 2016 (the Falcons’ offense played the second-hardest schedule of defenses).
- All of the opposing QBs New England faced combined for a 84.4 quarterback rating.
- New England did not face a top-10 offense after Week Nine.
- The Patriots faced three top-10 offenses all year, allowing an average of 19.5 points per game (the Falcons faced three top-10 defenses, scoring an average of 25 points per game).
- Seattle put up 31 points on the Patriots in Week 10, with Russell Wilson throwing for 348 yards and 3 touchdowns.
- The Patriots ranked 20th in covering running backs out of the backfield, per Football Outsiders DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average) statistic*. Remember what Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman did to Denver in Week 5?
- Speaking of beating Denver, the Broncos were undefeated when Atlanta beat them. They had been on a nine-game win streak and hadn’t lost a home game since Dec. 13, 2015.
- When the Falcons beat Arizona in Week 12, they scored the most points the Cardinals had allowed all season and racked up the most yardage Arizona had allowed since Week 1.
- If the Pats want to take Julio Jones out of the game, they can go right ahead. The Falcons were undefeated in the six games Julio either missed or was held to less than 40 yards receiving. They averaged 37 points per game in those wins.
- Matt Ryan set an NFL record by throwing touchdown passes to 13 different targets during the 2016 regular season.
- The Falcons scored more than 30 points in 14 of 16 regular-season games in 2016.
- Atlanta’s defense allowed 27.5 points per games in Weeks 1-12, but cut that down to 20.8 in Weeks 13-17. They also increased their takeaways per game from 1.1 to 2.0 during those respective periods.
- If the Falcons win Super Bowl LI, they will do so with more regular season points per game, total yards per game and yards per play than any previous Super Bowl champion.
- Bonus stat – the Patriots ranked 16th in total team defense DVOA.