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Super Bowl pits Pats' stingy defense, Falcons' No. 1 offense
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NEW ENGLAND (16-2) Vs. ATLANTA (13-5)

Sunday, 6:30 p.m. EST, Fox

OPENING LINE — Patriots by 3

RECORD VS. SPREAD — Patriots 15-3, Falcons 12-6

SERIES RECORD — Patriots lead 7-6

LAST MEETING — Patriots beat Falcons 30-23 at Georgia Dome, Sept. 29, 2013

LAST GAME — Patriots beat Steelers 36-17 in AFC championship, Jan. 22; Falcons beat Packers 44-21 in NFC championship, Jan. 22

AP PRO32 RANKING — Patriots No. 1, Falcons No. 4





STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES — This is first playoff meeting between Patriots and Falcons. ... Patriots have won last four regular-season meetings. ... New England is playing its NFL-record ninth Super Bowl. Atlanta is making franchise's second trip to Super Bowl. ... Game is matchup of Atlanta's top scoring offense (33.8 points per game) and New England's defense, which is allowing NFL-low 15.6 points per game. It is sixth time since 1970 merger that Super Bowl is matchup of top scoring team and team allowing fewest points. Better defensive team has gone 5-1 in those meetings ... Since 2001, Patriots have won four Super Bowls, most in NFL. ... Patriots have 31-19 (.620) all-time postseason record, second-highest winning percentage in playoff history. ... Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are winningest coach and quarterback combination in postseason history, taking 24 games together. Next are Chuck Noll and Terry Bradshaw with 14. ... Sunday marks Belichick's 36th playoff game, tying him with Tom Landry and Don Shula for most by head coach. ... Belichick is 4-1 against Falcons as Patriots coach. ... Brady is playing in seventh Super Bowl, most by any NFL player. Win would give Brady five Super Bowl victories as starter, breaking tie with Joe Montana and Bradshaw for most by quarterback. It would also tie Brady with Charles Haley, who is only player with five Super Bowl wins. Bart Starr is only other quarterback with five NFL championships, winning three before Super Bowls began. ... Brady ranks first all-time in postseason wins (24), passing attempts (1,263), completions (788), yards (8,628) and touchdowns (61). He has most multi-touchdown games (19) and most career 300-yard games (11) in NFL playoff history. ...RB LeGarrette Blount has eight rushing TDs in seven career postseason games. ... WR Julian Edelman ranks seventh in NFL postseason history with 84 receptions. ... LB Rob Ninkovich has 1 1-2 sacks in past two Super Bowl appearances. He has six career postseason sacks. ...CB Logan Ryan has 16 tackles and interception in past two postseason games. ... K Stephen Gostkowski has eight winning kicks in his career, but just one in playoffs — back in 2007. ... Falcons coach Dan Quinn is making third Super Bowl appearance in four years, having served as defensive coordinator for Seattle in Super Bowls 48 and 49. Seahawks won vs. Denver and lost to New England. ... Matt Ryan is first quarterback in NFL history with three or more passing TDs in four consecutive playoff games. ... Ryan set franchise record and ranked second in NFL with 4,944 passing yards. ...In Ryan's past six games (including playoffs), he has 1,861 passing yards, 18 TDs and no interceptions. ... WR Julio Jones was All-Pro for second straight season with 83 catches, 1,409 yards and six TDs. He has 15 receptions, 247 yards and three TDs in postseason. ... RB Devonta Freeman has 829 yards from scrimmage (497 rush, 332 receiving) and 10 TDs (nine rushing, one receiving) in his past eight games, including playoffs. ...DE Dwight Freeney has 10 career postseason sacks, fourth among active players. ...LB Vic Beasley Jr. led NFL with 15 1-2 sacks. ...LB Deion Jones (106) and S Keanu Neal (105) led NFL rookies in tackles. ... Fantasy Tip: Kickers could play big role in this one. Patriots have won their four Super Bowls by total of just 13 points. Atlanta's Matt Bryant led NFL in scoring with 158 points.