The Falcons finished the regular season at just 11-5, and while the offense looked unstoppable for most of the year, there was no guarantee they'd find a way to put everything together on both sides of the ball in order to make it to Houston.
Here are five obstacles Atlanta overcame on the way to Super Bowl LI.
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Desmond Trufant suffered a season-ending injury in Week 9
The Falcons lost Trufant, their best defensive back, to a season-ending pectoral injury in Week 9. But Atlanta managed to finish the regular season winning four of its last five without its Pro Bowl defender, and the team has played some of its best defense in the playoffs.
Jalen Collins was suspended the first four games of the season
Collins violated the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances. But he's made up for that mistake in Trufant's absence and had a key fumble recovery in the NFC Championship game win over the Packers.
Tevin Coleman missed three games due to injury
Coleman has proven to be an important weapon in a backup role to running back Devonta Freeman this season, but he was forced to miss three games after suffering a hamstring injury in Week 7. The Falcons went on to beat the Packers and the Buccaneers the next two weeks without him, before losing to the Eagles ahead of their bye in Week 11.
Julio Jones missed two games late in the season due to injury
Jones is unquestionably one of the NFL's most dangerous wide receivers and is Matt Ryan's biggest weapon in the Falcons' aerial attack. But as Atlanta was making its late-season push toward the postseason, Jones was sidelined in Weeks 14 and 15 with a toe injury.
The Falcons were fortunate that the Rams and the 49ers were up next on the schedule, and they were able to score more than 41 points in each of the two victories, even with Jones out of action.
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Atlanta faced two of the NFC's best QBs in the playoffs
The Falcons' road to the Super Bowl was as tough as possible, thanks to playoff matchups against Russell Wilson's Seahawks and Aaron Rodgers' Packers. But Matt Ryan outplayed them both in leading Atlanta to its second Super Bowl appearance in franchise history.