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Top 10 stats on Patriots, Falcons heading into Super Bowl LI

Tom Brady and the Patriots are one of two teams that Matt Ryan has never beaten. USA TODAY Sports, Icon Sportswire

In advance of Super Bowl LI, we take a look at the top 10 stats to know for the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons, and a few bonus stats involving both teams:

Patriots

1. The Patriots will be playing in their ninth Super Bowl, which will break a tie with the Broncos, Cowboys and Steelers for the most appearances.

2. If they were to lose, the Patriots (4-4) would tie the Broncos (3-5) for the most Super Bowl losses. If they win, they’d tie the Cowboys (5-3) and 49ers (5-1) for the second-most wins behind the Steelers (6-2).

3. Tom Brady is the all-time leader in Super Bowl completions (164), passing yards (1,605) and passing TDs (13). (More details on Brady's accomplishments here.)

4. The Patriots have won all four meetings against the Falcons since Brady became the New England starting quarterback in 2001. The Falcons are one of seven teams Brady has not lost to as a starter.

5. At 39 years and 186 days on Feb. 5, Brady will be the second-oldest quarterback to start a Super Bowl, trailing only Peyton Manning last season. Brady could become the oldest Super Bowl MVP, and he could become the first four-time winner of the award.

6. Super Bowl LI will be Bill Belichick's 36th postseason game, tying him with Tom Landry for the most among head coaches.

7. Belichick was the third-oldest coach to win a Super Bowl two years ago. If he wins again Sunday, he’ll be the second-oldest, behind only Tom Coughlin.

8. The Patriots led the NFL in scoring defense this season (15.6 PPG) for just the second time in franchise history. The other was in 2003, when they also won a Super Bowl played in Houston.

9. The Patriots have not scored in the first quarter in any of their previous six Super Bowls during the Brady/Belichick era. The Patriots scored 130 points in the first quarter during the regular season, second only to the Falcons (139).

10. Dion Lewis has played 16 games in two seasons with the Patriots (including postseason), and New England has won them all.

Falcons

1. With the Falcons' appearance, the NFC South has now sent all four teams to the Super Bowl, the only division to do so since division realignment in 2002.

2. The Falcons led the NFL in scoring for the first time in franchise history this season, scoring the eighth-most points in NFL history (540). No team to score that many points won the Super Bowl, however.

3. Atlanta ranked 27th in defensive scoring this season, allowing 25.4 points per game. That’s second-most ever by a team to reach the Super Bowl.

4. The Falcons have won their past six games, averaging 39.0 points per game in those contests. They have one giveaway and 13 takeaways in their past six games.

5. Atlanta scored a touchdown on its opening drive in eight straight games. No team in the last 15 seasons has had a streak longer than five straight games

6. By the time Super Bowl LI is played, Matt Ryan will have gone two full months without an interception. Ryan’s last interception came on Dec. 4 against the Chiefs. He’s thrown 212 passes since his last interception.

7. Ryan has thrown seven passing TDs and zero interceptions this postseason. Six quarterbacks threw more TDs with no picks in a single postseason, and all won the Super Bowl.

8. The Patriots are one of two teams Ryan has never beaten (the other is the Steelers). Ryan is 0-2 in his career against the Patriots, with the last meeting occurring in Week 4 of 2013 (lost 30-23)

9. Ryan has thrown at least three passing touchdowns in four consecutive playoff games, the longest streak in NFL history.

10. Julio Jones is averaging 110 receiving yards per game in five career postseason games, the highest average since the merger among players who have appeared in more than two playoff games.

Bonus stats

1. This will be the sixth Super Bowl since the 1970 merger where the top-scoring offense (Falcons) meets the top-scoring defense (Patriots) from the regular season. The top-scoring defense has won four of the five previous meetings.

2. The Patriots and Falcons turned the ball over 11 times apiece during the regular season, tied for the fewest in the NFL. This will be just the second Super Bowl matching the two stingiest teams in terms of giveaways. The first was Super Bowl XVI when the 49ers defeated the Bengals.

3. With the over/under currently at 59 (Westgate), this would be the highest total in pro football championship history.