The Falcons and their league-leading offense are back in the Super Bowl for the first time in 18 years after thoroughly defeating the Packers, 44-21. Quarterback Matt Ryan has brought his MVP caliber play with him to the postseason. In two games, he’s thrown for 730 yards and seven touchdowns with no interceptions. Ryan’s regular season rating average of 117.1 is up to 132.5 in the playoffs.
Lately, however, it’s Atlanta’s defense giving the league fits. It held Seattle to just 20 points in the Divisional round and Green Bay to 21 points in the NFC Championship. The Falcons put immense pressure on Aaron Rodgers en route to their first Super Bowl appearance since 1999.
For the Falcons to get their first title, they’ll have to go through a Patriots franchise with four of them. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick head into their seventh Super Bowl looking for win number five.
Both teams were among the top four best offenses in yards per game, and the top three in points per game — with Atlanta leading the league (33.8). Though in the playoffs, New England proved it could beat teams however it needed to.
The Patriots ran roughshod through the AFC in the postseason, besting the league’s top defense in Houston before stymying one of the most prolific offenses in Pittsburgh.
Atlanta last faced the Patriots in 2013 at the Georgia Dome, falling 30-23. In fact, Brady is 4-0 in his career against the Falcons. Atlanta hasn’t defeated New England since 1998.
This is only the second trip to the Super Bowl for the Falcons, and the first time they’ve gone to NRG Stadium since 2011. New England last played in Houston in December of 2015.
How to watch
Time: Sunday, Feb. 5, 6:30 p.m. ET
Place: NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas
Announcers: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews
Online: Fox Sports GO