Important Super Bowl 51 Statistics

Posted by Peter Boysen on February 1, 2017 in

As Super Bowl LI betting approaches, you may still be wondering whether you should bet on the New England Patriots (-3, -150) or the Atlanta Falcons (+3, +135) to hoist the Lombardi Trophy after the game. The line basically has not shifted since it opened, although once the action starts to hit high gear on Friday you may see some movement. Understanding some of the key numbers going into this game should help you get off the fence and pick a side for this game.

Important Super Bowl 51 Statistics

Quarterback Ratings by Down

Sure, both Matt Ryan and Tom Brady have played stellar ball this season. But if you break the two signal callers’ ratings by down, an interesting trend emerges:

Tom Brady       Matt Ryan

1st down: 108.4       1st down: 116.5

2nd down: 100.4        2nd down: 124.2

3rd down: 122.0       3rd down: 110.8

So while Ryan’s dips once the down marker flips over to “3”, Brady’s jumps up significantly. Some of this could have to do with the fact that the Patriots are better at staying out of third-and- long situations. However, in the playoffs, Brady has gone 8 for 16 on passing attempts when the Pats have faced third down and six or more yards to go for the first down.

This doesn’t mean that Ryan has a big drop in performance, either, on third down. The higher rating on first down could come from the fact that the Falcons like to mix it up on first and second downs, particularly in situations when many teams would run the ball. However, you could take from this that it will be harder for the Falcons to force the Patriots to punt.

Common opponents this season

The Patriots and the Falcons both played Arizona, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Denver in the regular season. Both teams went 4-1 against those common opponents — and both teams lost to the Seattle Seahawks. The Falcons lost by two, thanks in large part to some pass interference late in the fourth quarter that the officials simply did not call, as Julio Jones got mugged in the end zone while Matt Ryan was trying to get him the ball. The Patriots gave up 31 points to the Seahawks at home. This was an uncharacteristically high point total, as the Pats gave up an average of just 15.6 points per game, but the Seahawks had one of the best offenses they would face all season. This could be a sign that Atlanta will be able to find plenty of openings down the field when they have the ball.

The challenge of Bill Belichick

Since 2010, coaches have faced Bill Belichick for the first time 25 times — and only won three times. Belichick has established a reputation as a coach who outworks and outsmarts his opponents, time and time again. The only three coaches who beat Belichick the first time they faced him were Jim Harbaugh, Ron Rivera and Chip Kelly. Dan Quinn definitely has his work cut out for him getting ready for this game.