Leading up to the Super Bowl, a lot of numbers tend to fly around. Where did these teams rank in the regular season? What does past history suggest will happen? How many times has each team been to the Super Bowl?
Those are all very relevant questions, and they can all help you pick the winner of the game. However, to make it a bit easier on you, we compiled 10 eye-popping trends and stats that will assist you in your selection of which team will win. Some are obscure and others are downright shocking.
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Jersey colors matter
Jersey colors would seem to have almost no impact on the game. When looking at the statistics, though, it’s clear they do. In 11 of the past 12 Super Bowls, the team wearing white has come away with a win. This year, the Falcons chose to wear their home red jerseys, leaving the Patriots with white threads. The only team wearing non-white jerseys to win the Super Bowl in that span was the Packers, who beat the Steelers.
Dion Lewis is undefeated
Dion Lewis is a lesser-known Patriot, but his impact on the team is profound. Since coming to New England, the Patriots are 16-0 when he plays. Without him, they’re 13-7. The Patriots also average 32.3 points per game with him on the field compared to 25.3 when he doesn’t play. In every statistical category, including total yards per game, the Patriots are better when Lewis is healthy.
Pro Bowl trios don't scare Belichick
This is an obscure trend but one that certainly pertains to the Patriots and Falcons this season. In his career, Belichick is 6-0 in the playoffs against teams that had their quarterback, running back and wide receiver make the Pro Bowl. That could signal trouble for the Falcons as Matt Ryan, Devonta Freeman and Julio Jones were all Pro Bowlers this season.
Their first losses came to the Bills in shutout fashion
Previous Super Bowl win: two years prior
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No. 1 defense vs. No. 1 offense: who wins?
This is the sixth time in Super Bowl history that the No. 1 scoring offense will face the top-ranked scoring defense. In four of the past five instances, the team with the No. 1 defense won it all. If that were to happen this season, the Patriots would prevail as champions.
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No INT = Super Bowl for Matt Ryan
Matt Ryan is the seventh quarterback in NFL history to throw at least seven touchdowns and zero interceptions in the postseason. The previous six to do that all won the Super Bowl with each of them being named Super Bowl MVP, too.
Jason GetzUSA TODAY Sports
The Atlanta Falcons scored 540 points this season. A total of nine teams have scored that many points in a single season, but none of them has won the Super Bowl. Is that a sign of things to come for the Falcons?
Jason GetzJason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Belichick almost never loses in first meetings with coaches
Dan Quinn has coached against the Patriots before, losing to them in the Super Bowl a few years ago as member of the Seahawks staff. He hasn’t, however, faced Bill Belichick as a head coach. Sunday will be the first time, and that doesn’t bode well for the Falcons. Head coaches facing Belichick for the first time are 3-22 in their careers.
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Is Vic Beasley the key?
Since individual sacks became a recorded stat in 1982, the NFL’s leader in that department has reached the Super Bowl only three times. This year will be the fourth instance of that with Vic Beasley leading the league (15.5). The previous three – Kevin Carter, Lawrence Taylor and Richard Dent – all won the Super Bowl that year.
The Falcons are playing in just their second Super Bowl compared to the Patriots' ninth. Only four players on Atlanta's roster have Super bowl experience, while the Patriots boast 22. However, as big of a gap as that is, it's meaningless. In seven of the last 10 instances, the team with less experience has won it all.