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Super Bowl LI Has A Familiar Ring To It

The big game returns to Houston for the first time in 13 years, and there are a couple of parallels here.

NFL: AFC Championship-Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to Bonus Falcons Hate Week, Who Dat Nation! Although there are many of us that are dreading this Super Bowl, I am genuinely excited for the prospect of Matt Ryan and the Falcons getting globally embarrassed much like Cam Newton and the Panthers were last year at this time in Super Bowl 50. Here’s the quick details for this Sunday:

Super Bowl LI

New England Patriots vs.

Atlanta Falcons

When: Sunday, February 5th - 5:30pm CST / FOX

Where: NRG Stadium - Houston, TX

The Patriots advanced by easily beating the Pittsburgh Steelers 36-17 in the AFC Championship Game. The Green Bay Packers allowed Atlanta to advance by losing 44-21 in the NFC Championship Game.

The Patriots fan base will be out in full force, as always, over the next two weeks, as they are always one of the most vocal groups in American sports fandom. On the other side, I’ve been told the Falcons may have a fan base. I’ll take their word for it.

SB Nation and The Falcoholic’s Jeanna Thomas saw these similarities also, and she wrote a great piece about it on SB Nation’s home page. Read it here. I noticed another similarity between these two games not mentioned there, though.

This isn’t the first time Houston’s NRG Stadium has hosted the Super Bowl. Super Bowl XXXVIII was held there (then known as Reliant Stadium) in 2004, and there are few similarities in that game and the one that will be held there in this Sunday.

  • The 2003 New England Patriots entered Super Bowl XXXVIII with a 14-2 record and were just two years removed from their last Super Bowl title (XXXVI)
  • The 2016 New England Patriots enter Super Bowl LI with a 14-2 record and are just two years removed from their last Super Bowl title (XLIX)
  • The 2003 NFC South Champions (Carolina Panthers) represented the NFC in Super Bowl XXXVIII with an 11-5 record.
  • The 2016 NFC South Champions (Atlanta Falcons) will represent the NFC in Super Bowl LI with an 11-5 record.
  • The 2003 Carolina Panthers entered Super Bowl XXXVIII on a 6-game winning streak before losing the big game.
  • The 2016 Atlanta Falcons are entering Super Bowl LI on a 6-game winning streak as the big game looms.

The Patriots and Falcons could put on an entertaining game, especially if it’s anything like the game played there 13 years ago. The main thing is that the Patriots come out on top once again. The synergy there has a nice ring to it.