Super Bowl LI: Patriots-Falcons game notes

Super Bowl LI: Patriots-Falcons game notes

A quick look at the information you need to know about tonight's Patriots-Falcons matchup in Super Bowl LI:


TEAM RECORDS: Patriots 16-2, Falcons 13-5

GAME TIME: 6:30 p.m. EST


TV ANNOUNCERS: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews, Chris Myers, Mike Pereira


NATIONAL RADIO ANNOUNCERS: Kevin Harlan, Boomer Esiason, Tony Boselli, James Lofton

LOCAL RADIO NETWORK: Anchored by WBZ-FM (98.5 The Sports Hub)

LOCAL RADIO ANNOUNCERS: Bob Socci and Scott Zolak


LAST MEETING: Patriots 30, Falcons 23 on Sept. 29, 2013 at Georgia Dome


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-- The Patriots are playing in their ninth Super Bowl, an NFL record for most appearances by a franchise. They are 4-4 in previous Super Bowls, including 4-2 under Bill Belichick. The Falcons are playing in the second Super Bowl. They are 0-1.

-- The Patriots have won four straight games against Atlanta, dating back to 2001. They haven't lost to the Falcons since a 41-10 defeat at the old Foxboro Stadium on Nov. 8, 1998. Coincidentally, the was the year of Atlanta's only other Super Bowl appearance.

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-- If the Patriots win tonight, they will tie the 49ers and Cowboys for second place in the list of most Super Bowl victories (five). The Steelers have won the most Super Bowls in history (six).

-- If the Patriots lose tonight, they will become the all-time leader in Super Bowl losses (five). They are currently tied with the Vikings and Bills at four.

-- If the Patriots win tonight, they will become the first team in history to win five Super Bowls with the same owner (Robert Kraft), coach (Bill Belichick) and quarterback (Tom Brady). The 1970s Steelers won four with Art Rooney, Chuck Noll and Terry Bradshaw.

-- If the Patriots win tonight, Belichick will become the coach with the most Super Bowl victories in history (five). He is currently tied with Noll at four.

-- If the Patriots win tonight, Brady will become the QB with the most Super Bowl victories in history (five). He is currently tied with Bradshaw and Joe Montana at four.

-- If Brady is named game MVP, he will become the player with most Super Bowl MVP awards in history (four). He is currently tied with Montana at three.

-- If the Patriots win tonight, Brady will tie Charles Haley for most Super Bowl victories by a player (five).

-- When Brady gets into tonight's game, he will have more Super Bowl appearances (seven) than any player in NFL history. He is currently tied with Mike Lodish, at six.

-- Julian Edelman enters the game with 84 postseason receptions, seventh on the all-time NFL list. A big game tonight would move him past Andre Reed (85), Michael Irvin (87), Wes Welker (88), Hines Ward (88) and Reggie Wayne (93) into second place. Jerry Rice is first with 151.

How well does Tom Brady play against former Patriots coaches?

How well does Tom Brady play against former Patriots coaches?

The Patriots will face the Detroit Lions Sunday night in the Pats latest matchup against a former Bill Belichick assistant. The Lions hired Matt Patricia after the defensive guru spent 14 seasons under Belichick in New England. But so far, Patricia and the Lions are off to a rough start (0-2), and it could get worse -- it's been well-established that former Belichick pupils have struggled against the Patriots. 


But what about Tom Brady against Patriots assistants-turned-head coaches? Patricia will be the fifth former coach Brady will face, joining Eric Mangini, Romeo Crennel, Bill O'Brien, and Josh McDaniels. Patricia will join Mangini and Crennel as former defensive coordinators to scheme against Brady, while O'Brien and McDaniels went from calling plays for Brady to trying to stop him. Who has the advantage, Brady or his coaches?


Belichick first discovered Mangini as a ball boy in Cleveland. Mangini eventually became New England's defensive coordinator for a season before accepting the head coaching job with the New York Jets. Because he was in the AFC East, Brady played Mangini the most of any former coach. Brady and the Pats went 4-2 in the regular season and 1-0 in the postseason against Mangini's Jets. Mangini's defenses picked Brady four times in those six games, but Brady still threw nine touchdowns. He completed 116 of his 190 pass attempts (61 percent) for 1,346 yards.

As head coach of the Browns in 2010, Mangini's team beat Brady and the Pats 34-14 for one of their five victories that season. Brady went 19-for-36 for 224 yards and two TDs in that game.


The defensive coordinator for the Patriots' first three Super Bowl champion squads had no answers for Brady and the New England offense in a matchup against the Browns in 2007. The 2007 NFL MVP completed 22 of 38 passing attempts (58 percent) for 265 yards, three TDs, and zero interceptions. 


Bill O'Brien called plays for the Patriots from 2009 to 2011, but is probably most known in New England for his infamous yelling match with Brady on the sidelines during a game in 2011. O'Brien is now in his fifth season as the coach of the Houston Texans and his defenses -- which, for the record, have been very good -- have had absolutely no success against Brady. The Patriots are 3-0 in regular-season games and 1-0 in the postseason when Brady starts against O'Brien. Brady threw for 1,168 yards in those four games, completing 91 of 142 passes (64 percent) and throwing 12 TDs and just three interceptions. 


McDaniels, who is in his second stint as the Patriots offensive coordinator, has a great relationship with Brady, as shown in Brady's Facebook docu-series Tom vs. Time. But in 2009, the two faced off against each other when in McDaniels' first season as Broncos head coach. McDaniels got the win in overtime, but Brady played solid. He was 19 of 33 (58 percent) for 215 yards, with two TDs and no picks. 


It's been business as usual for Brady against his former coaches, with a record of 8-3 in the regular season and 2-0 in the playoffs. In those 13 games, he completed 61 percent of his passes for 3,218 yards, 28 TDs and seven interceptions. Brady will look to continue his success against Patricia this weekend, as the Patriots look to get back on track with a win.

-- Will Lefkovich