Super Bowl LI gets underway Sunday night US time with the record-breaking New England Patriots taking on the Atlanta Falcons. We take a look at some of the important stats that may decide the outcome of the game.
New England Patriots
The Super Bowl matchup will be the fifth meeting between Atlanta and New England since 2001. New England have won all four by an average of 10 points. The last meeting was in Atlanta in September 2013 when the Patriots won by 30-23.
New England’s defence has conceded just 15.6 points per game in the regular season – a league low – and the Patriots have only allowed 30+ points on one occasion in their last 24 games.
In the AFC Championship game the Patriots’ Tom Brady threw 3-or-more touchdowns in the postseason for a ninth time, becoming the first quarterback to throw at least 60 passing touchdowns in the postseason, tying record holder Joe Montana.
Wide receiver Julian Edelman has caught six-or-more passes in nine straight playoff games, just one off the record set by former Patriot and Bronco Wes Walker.
Atlanta have scored more than 30 points in six consecutive games, a franchise record. They led the NFL in scoring during the regular season with an average of 33.8 points.
In the NFC Championship game, the Falcons offense gained 493 yards in beating Green Bay 44-21, the sixth most in a Conference Championship game. Their 44 points were the fifth-best in a Conference Championship game.
Ryan rushing for success.
Quarterback Matt Ryan threw 396 yards against Green Bay, the most passing ever in an NFC Championship game. Ryan also equalled the record of Tobin Rote (1957) with four passing touchdowns and one rushing score.
Wide receiver Julio Jones racked up 180 yards and two touchdowns against the Packers to become the first player to receive more than 150 yards and two-or-more receiving touchdowns in multiple conference championship games.