On the surface, it would appear that the New England Patriots have been the more dominant team overall heading into Super Bowl LI, despite the Atlanta Falcons having the best offense in the NFL. But if we look a little closer, we see that the teams are actually quite even. The Patriots won more games than the Falcons during the regular season (14 to 11) and outscored their opponents by more points (+228 point differential vs +173). However, the Falcons were also a much different team over the last eight games, including the playoffs. Since Atlanta’s Week 10 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, followed by their Week 11 bye, the Falcons are 7-1 and have outscored their opponents by 136 points (17.0 points per game). During that same stretch, the Patriots are 8-0 and have outscored their opponents by 137 points (17.1 points per game). In other words, both teams enter the Super Bowl red hot, and it is hard to say that either team has been playing better than the other in recent games.
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