Atlanta FalconsRecord: 11-5

Top Players
Matt Ryan QB #2

For the first eight seasons of his career, Ryan’s stats hovered around the top. But the veteran Falcons quarterback reached an entirely different level in 2016 with 38 touchdowns, seven interceptions and an NFL-best passer rating of 117.1. No team scored more points than Atlanta and Ryan was at the center of that

Vic Beasley OLB #44

The Falcons defense finished near the bottom of the NFL in most categories, but finished strong and has a stable of young players to build around. Beasley is one of those players, and he’ll be tasked with leading the pass rush to disrupt Tom Brady after finishing 2016 with 15.5 sacks.

Stats
  • Points gained per drive: 3.1 (1st)
  • Yards gained per drive: 40.5 (1st)
  • Points allowed per drive: 2.3 (27th)
  • Yards allowed per drive: 34.5 (26th)
  • Average starting field position: 28.5 (13th)
  • Points gained per red zone trip: 5.3 (6th)
  • Points allowed per red zone trip: 5.7 (31st)
  • 3-and-out percentage (OFF): 14.5 (1st)
  • 3-and-out percentage (DEF): 20.5 (21st)
Injuries
  • Julio Jones, Toe (Limited)
  • Alex Mack, Fibula (Did not participate)
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Check out The Falcoholic for more Falcons coverage

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SB Nation’s Guide to Super Bowl LI

Sunday, Feb. 5th

6:30 PM ET on FOX

NRG Stadium, Houston, TX

In spite of a season that felt more like it was filled with a rash of Thursday Night Football games, we couldn't have asked for a better Super Bowl, a game that's looking more and more like a shootout between the NFL's two most potent offenses. The New England Patriots are making their seventh appearance since the Tom Brady/Bill Belichick era began more than 16 years ago. They're favored to win their fifth Lombardi Trophy. But just because the Patriots have the experience, don't overlook the Atlanta Falcons. Head coach Dan Quinn is making his third Super Bowl appearance in four seasons, his first as captain of the ship. They run what might be the most dynamic offense in history, one that can carve up teams any way they choose. We've waited a long time for a game like this.

New EnglandPatriotsRecord: 14-2

Top Players
Tom Brady QB #12

Brady is in his 17th season and heading to his seventh Super Bowl, yet hasn’t slowed down a bit at age 39. He’s even playing some of the best football of his career with just two interceptions on 432 attempts in the regular season and 28 touchdowns.

Malcolm Butler CB #21

A Super Bowl hero two years ago, Butler returns to the big stage as the No. 1 cornerback for the Patriots. And that means slowing the human highlight reel that is Julio Jones. How well he does with Jones is crucial in New England’s attempt to slow the Atlanta offense.

Stats
  • Points gained per drive: 2.5 (5th)
  • Yards gained per drive: 35.5 (7th)
  • Points allowed per drive: 1.4 (1st)
  • Yards allowed per drive: 28.8 (8th)
  • Average starting field position: 30.7 (2nd)
  • Points gained per red zone trip: 5.2 (7th)
  • Points allowed per red zone trip: 4.6 (6th)
  • 3-and-out percentage (OFF): 24.9 (27th)
  • 3-and-out percentage (DEF): 24.9 (7th)
Injuries
  • Nate Ebner, Concussion (Did not participate)
  • Steven Gostkowski, Illness (Did not participate)
  • Danny Amendola, Ankle (Limited)
  • Martellus Bennett, Knee (Limited)
  • Brandon Boldin, Knee (Limited)
  • Dont'a Hightower, Shoulder (Limited)
  • Chris Hogan, Thigh (Limited)
  • Malcolm Mitchell, Knee (Limited)
  • Jabaal Sheard, Knee (Limited)
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