Here's a perfect reminder for anyone who believes the Patriots' defense is going to throttle the Falcons like so many AFC pretenders they've seen. Matt Ryan has been a monster all season, and he's taken his game through the stratosphere in the playoffs. Unrelated: Good job, Matt Hasselbeck. Pat yourself on the back, bud.
This is surprising, right? If you asked me to provide a knee-jerk answer to this question, I'd probably guess around half the teams with the best record have gone all the way. Instead, we're sitting on a goose egg for 12 years. I'd say this should worry the Patriots if they weren't the last team to actually pull off the feat.
Atlanta is an underrated tortured sports town. Even the Atlanta Braves managed just one World Series title despite 14 consecutive division crowns spanning 1991 through 2005. The Falcons have had little success historically, this being just their second Super Bowl appearance in 51 years. In other news, it's good to now know that the Atlanta Dream is a thing that exists.
The Patriots play exciting Super Bowls. I must begrudgingly give them respect for this. Who said I'm a hater?
Raise your hand if you completely forgot about Kevin Carter. From a branding perspective, it wasn't easy being a productive edge rusher on The Greatest Show On Turf.
Passer rating is an oft-maligned stat, and I won't use this platform to pound the table in support of it, but Brady's pedestrian career passer rating (88.7) across 33 playoff games is notable. He is not immune from a stinker -- you could argue his performance in the divisional playoffs against the Texans was in that realm. All that said, he is Tom Brady and there's a good chance he will assassinate the Falcons' dreams in four days.
Here's some never-too-early fantasy advice for 2017: Go get Dion Lewis a round or two ahead of where he'll be projected in most drafts. He might just win you some money and prestige.
Bill Belichick was a working coach in the NFL before Queen released "Bohemian Rhapsody". Before Jimmy Carter was elected president. Before the first Rocky was released. Before anyone had any idea what a Darth Vader was. Before Tom Brady was born.
Bill Belichick has existed forever and will never die.