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The All-Time Greatest Super Bowl: Fantastic Comeback for Brady Led Patriots

By Chris Malumphy

We've probably just witnessed what is likely to be the greatest Super Bowl ever. Down by 25 points shortly after the half, the Tom Brady led New England Patriots rallied with 31 unanswered points in a fantastic comeback that required two two-point conversions and a trip into overtime before ending in a 34-28 victory over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI.

The reason why the Patriots were able to overcome adversity, the coolness of coach Bill Belichick and the affect of Tom Brady's grace under fire are best described in Peter King's MMQB column at SI.com: "Funny thing," said offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels after the game. "When we came out after halftime, "Bill [Belichick] said to me, 'We'll be okay. Our guys believe. They will fight their ass off.' I think when you've got Tommy, you feel like there's never going to be any kind of panic in him, so there's never going to be any kind of panic in us."

The combination of Brady / Belichick has now won a record five Super Bowls in seven appearances. I've noted in the past that the Patriots have triumphed in the Super Bowl games even though Brady has often been outplayed, at least statistically, by his opposing quarterback. Super Bowl LI was yet another example. The Falcons' Matt Ryan had a passing rating of 144.1, the highest in any Tom Brady Super Bowl and the fourth best of all-time, completing 73.9 percent of his passes with two touchdowns and no interceptions. Brady was a more pedestrian 95.2. Ryan gained 12.3 yards per attempt versus 7.5 for Brady. Ryan's average net yards per attempt adjusted for touchdowns and interceptions was 10.0 to Brady's 6.5. Where Brady sorely outplayed Ryan was in avoiding sacks and minimizing losses on those plays. Both Brady and Ryan were sacked five times each, but Brady had 62 pass attempts compared to just 23 for Ryan. While Brady was sacked 7.5% of the time he contemplated passing, the Patriots got to Ryan 17.9% of the time. Brady limited his sack losses to 24 yards. Ryan lost 44 yards on an equal number of sacks with the most important coming late in the fourth quarter when avoiding a loss could have permitted a field goal attempt that would have iced the game. Ryan had a great game statistically. Brady had a great game when it mattered most.

Super Bowl for 2016 Season
Patriots 34 - Falcons 28
NameTeamAttCPctYdsYds
Att
Yds
Comp
TDPct
TD
IntPct
Int
SacksYds
Lost
Pct
Sacked
RatingANY/ARush
Yds
Team
Rush
Yds
Matt RyanFalcons231773.928412.316.728.700.054417.9144.110.00104
Tom BradyPatriots624369.44667.510.823.211.65247.595.26.515104
Julian EdelmanPatriots100.000.00.000.000.0000.039.60.02104

Super Bowl Passing Statistics -- The Tom Brady Super Bowls
NameTeamAttCompPctYdsAvg
Att
Avg
Comp
TDPct
TD
IntPct
Int
SackedYds
Lost
Pct
Sacked
RatingANY/APct
Sack
Int
Rush
Yds
Matt RyanFalcons231773.928412.316.728.700.054417.9144.110.0017.90
Jake DelhommePanthers331648.53239.820.239.100.042810.8113.69.5910.80
Russell WilsonSeahawks211257.124711.820.629.514.831312.5110.69.5416.739
Eli ManningGiants744966.25517.411.234.111.46227.596.26.808.83
Tom BradyPatriots30920767.020716.710.0154.951.6161034.995.36.296.526
Kurt WarnerRams442863.63658.313.012.324.53286.478.35.6810.66
Donovan McNabbEagles513058.83577.011.935.935.94337.375.44.5312.70
Julian EdelmanPatriots100.000.00.000.000.0000.039.60.000.02

A somewhat unsung offensive hero for the Patriots was running back James White who had been playing in the shadow of teammate Dion Lewis since Lewis returned to action from injury. White had his biggest day of the season, amassing more receptions, more receiving yards and more yards rushing in the Super Bowl than in any other single game. White put three touchdowns and a two-point conversion on the board for 20 points in all. Belichick goes with the hot hand at running back and is never afraid to change his lineup when it's best for the team.

Rushing and Receiving by Week for James White
WeekOppAttYdsAvgTDTargetsRecPctYdsYds
Rec
Yds
Target
TDScore
01Cardinals144.007571.4408.05.70W 23 - 21
02Dolphins4194.804250.0105.02.50W 31 - 24
03Texans3124.002150.022.01.00W 27 - 0
04Bills4123.0055100.05010.010.00L 0 - 16
05Browns5265.206466.76315.810.50W 33 - 13
06Bengals7192.709888.9475.95.22W 35 - 17
08Bills2157.505240.0147.02.80W 41 - 25
10Seahawks252.5044100.0328.08.00L 24 - 31
13Rams3175.705480.0184.53.60W 26 - 10
14Ravens231.5033100.08127.027.00W 30 - 23
15Broncos3113.708337.5248.03.00W 16 - 3
16Jets11414.004375.03210.78.01W 41 - 3
17Dolphins294.5044100.0215.25.30W 35 - 14
20Steelers100.004375.082.72.00W 36 - 17
21Falcons6294.82161487.51107.96.91W 34 - 28
Total   461954.22866575.65528.56.44  

The Falcons also played a great game in many regards. However, the team's high octane defense, which did so well early in the game, could not overcome the time of possession differential that saw the Patriots with the ball for 40 minutes 31 seconds compared to 23 minutes 27 seconds for the Falcons. Being on the field for the equivalent of more than an extra quarter inevitably wore them down and the Falcons' offense was unable to lend assistance near the end when it could have cemented a victory.

Patriots Tom Brady v Falcons Matt Ryan: Super Bowl’s Best QB Match Up

By Chris Malumphy

The quarterback matchup in Super Bowl LI between the Patriots' Tom Brady and the Falcons' Matt Ryan is perhaps the greatest of all time. Ryan won the 2016 NFL Most Valuable Player Award completing the 2016 regular season with a passing rating of 117.1, the second highest of any Super Bowl quarterback trailing Tom Brady's marvelous 2007 season by a mere one tenth of a point. Ryan's average net yards per pass attempt of 9.03 is also the highest ever for a Super Bowl contestant.

Of course the 2016 version of Tom Brady is not too shabby either. By virtue of throwing just two interceptions, Brady enters the game with the lowest percentage of passes intercepted during the regular season at 0.5%. Brady is also difficult to sack, being brought down just 15 times, only 3.4% of his attempts during 2016. Overall, Brady enters the game with the lowest regular season percentage of attempts that ended in either a sack or interception at 3.4%. Ryan threw 7 interceptions (1.3%) and was sacked 37 times (6.5%). Ryan's attempts ended in either an interception or a sack 7.7% of the time.

The Falcons and the Patriots have the most explosive offenses in football. A big edge to the Patriots if both defenses play at the same level as they did during the regular season. The Falcons have to hope that Vic Beasley, who led the NFL with 15.5 sacks, can disrupt Brady early and often. The Patriots have a better duo at running back with LeGarrette Blount's power and Dion Lewis' burst. Individually, Falcons' wide receiver Julio Jones is unparalleled but the Patriot's Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan, Dion Lewis and Marcellus Bennett provide Brady with more than enough sticky-handed receivers who never seem to have trouble finding holes in the defense. Mohamed Sanu and Taylor Gabriel provide Ryan with other targets in addition to Jones.

Here's hoping for a great game. The match ups are certainly top notch.

Regular Season Statistics for Super Bowl Quarterbacks
NameSeasonAttCompPctYdsYds
Att
Yds
Comp
TDPct
TD
IntPct
Int
SackedYds
Lost
Pct
Sacked
Pct
Sack
+ Int
RatingANY/ARush
Yds
Tom Brady200757839868.948068.312.1508.781.4211283.54.8117.28.8898
Matt Ryan201653437369.949449.313.3387.171.3372356.57.7117.19.03117
Peyton Manning201365945068.354778.312.2558.3101.5181202.74.1115.18.87-31
Steve Young199446132470.339698.612.3357.6102.2311636.38.3112.88.24293
Joe Montana198938627170.235219.113.0266.782.1331987.99.8112.48.31227
Tom Brady201643229167.435548.212.2286.520.515873.43.8112.28.8164
Drew Brees200951436370.643888.512.1346.6112.1201353.75.8109.68.3133
Kurt Warner199949932565.143538.713.4418.2132.6292015.58.0109.28.3192
Dan Marino198456436264.250849.014.0488.5173.0131202.35.2108.98.94-7
Tom Brady201161140165.652358.613.1396.4122.0321735.06.8105.68.25109
Bart Starr196625115662.222579.014.5145.631.2261839.410.5105.08.01104
Roger Staubach197121112659.718828.914.9157.141.9231759.811.5104.87.81343
Donovan McNabb200446930064.038758.312.9316.681.7321926.48.0104.77.87220
Ken Stabler197629119466.727379.414.1279.3175.8192036.111.6103.47.45-2
Joe Montana198443227964.636308.413.0286.5102.3221384.87.0102.97.93118
Len Dawson196628415956.025278.915.9269.2103.5    101.7 167
Kurt Warner200154637568.748308.812.9366.6224.0382336.510.3101.47.4160
Aaron Rodgers201047531265.739228.312.6285.9112.3311936.18.3101.27.50356
Jim Kelly199034621963.328298.212.9246.992.6201585.57.9101.27.5063
Russell Wilson201340725763.133578.213.1266.492.2442729.811.8101.27.10539
Peyton Manning200655736265.043977.912.1315.691.614862.54.0101.07.9336
Chris Chandler199832719058.131549.616.6257.6123.74528312.115.3100.97.61121
Peyton Manning200957139368.845007.911.5335.8162.810741.74.599.97.51-13
Cam Newton201549529659.838377.813.0357.1102.0332846.38.199.47.20636
Troy Aikman199339227169.131007.911.4153.861.5261536.27.799.07.12125
Ben Roethlisberger200526816862.723858.914.2176.393.4231297.911.098.67.5369
Ken Anderson198147930062.637547.812.5296.1102.1251405.06.998.47.43320
Colin Kaepernick201221813662.418148.313.3104.631.4161126.88.198.37.55415
Matt Hasselbeck200544929465.534597.711.8245.392.0241545.17.098.27.15124
Mark Rypien199142124959.135648.514.3286.7112.67591.64.297.98.346
Earl Morrall1970935154.87928.515.599.744.31413113.116.897.66.186
Jim Kelly199147430464.138448.112.6337.0173.6312276.19.597.66.9545
Tom Brady201458237364.141097.111.0335.791.5211343.55.097.47.0157
Boomer Esiason198838822357.535729.216.0287.2143.6302457.210.597.47.79248
Rich Gannon200261841867.646897.611.2264.2101.6362145.57.097.36.95156
Ben Roethlisberger201038924061.732008.213.3174.451.3322207.68.897.07.35176
Joe Theismann198345927660.137148.113.5296.3112.4342426.99.197.07.22234
Kurt Warner200859840167.145837.711.4305.0142.3261824.26.496.97.00-2
Brett Favre199654332559.938997.212.0397.2132.4402416.99.195.86.61136
Russell Wilson201445228563.134757.712.2204.471.5422428.59.995.06.72849
Doug Williams19871438156.611568.114.3117.753.57534.78.094.07.329
Troy Aikman199543228064.833047.611.8163.771.614893.14.793.67.2232
Fran Tarkenton197327416961.721137.712.5155.572.63127010.212.593.25.99202
John Elway199835621059.028067.913.4226.2102.8181354.87.593.07.1194
Brad Johnson200245128162.330496.810.9224.961.3211214.45.792.96.5630
Eli Manning201158935961.049338.413.7294.9162.7281994.57.192.97.4515
Brett Favre199751330459.338677.512.7356.8163.1251764.67.692.66.82187
Tom Brady200447428860.836927.812.8285.9143.0261625.28.092.66.9228
Joe Theismann198225216163.920338.112.6135.293.63022310.613.891.35.90150
Ron Jaworski198045125757.035297.813.7276.0122.7272135.68.291.06.9495
Bob Griese197126314555.120897.914.4197.293.4232488.011.290.96.3582
Craig Morton197020710249.318198.817.8157.273.4201668.811.989.87.2237
Troy Aikman199247330263.834457.311.4234.9143.0231124.67.589.56.38105
Fran Tarkenton197641225561.929617.211.6174.181.9252215.77.689.36.2245
Joe Montana198148831163.735657.311.5193.9122.5261935.17.488.46.2595
Terry Bradshaw197528616557.720557.212.5186.393.1312909.812.688.05.43210
Joe Montana198839723859.929817.512.5184.5102.5342237.910.287.96.19132
Joe Flacco201253131759.738177.212.0224.1101.9352276.28.087.76.3322
Neil O'Donnell199541624659.129707.112.1174.171.7151263.55.187.76.6645
John Elway199750228055.836357.213.0275.4112.2342036.38.487.56.49218
Roger Staubach197736121058.226207.312.5185.092.5302197.710.087.06.03171
Tom Brady200141326463.928436.910.8184.4122.9412169.011.786.55.3943
Tom Brady200352731760.236206.911.4234.4122.3322195.77.985.95.9463
Roger Staubach197841323155.931907.713.8256.1163.9322197.210.884.96.18182
Billy Kilmer197222512053.316487.313.7198.4114.99673.88.584.86.26-3
Terry Bradshaw197836820756.329157.914.1287.6205.4212225.410.584.76.0593
Bob Griese197321811653.214226.512.3177.883.711754.88.384.35.7920
Steve Grogan19851568554.513118.415.474.553.211866.69.684.16.8329
Drew Bledsoe199662337359.940866.611.0274.3152.4301904.66.983.75.7627
John Elway198741022454.631987.814.3194.6122.9201384.77.483.46.74304
Jeff Hostetler1990874754.06147.113.133.411.19389.410.483.26.16190
Kerry Collins200052931158.836106.811.6224.2132.5282435.07.483.15.7865
Jim Plunkett198337923060.729357.712.8205.3184.74236310.014.382.75.1478
Jim McMahon198531317856.923927.613.4154.8113.5261257.710.982.66.11252
Fran Tarkenton197435119956.725987.413.1174.8123.4171424.67.982.16.13120
Craig Morton197725413151.619297.614.7145.583.14333814.517.282.05.09125
Stan Humphries199445326458.332097.112.2173.8122.6252235.27.781.65.8319
Jim Kelly199246226958.234577.512.9235.0194.1201454.18.181.26.0553
Daryle Lamonica196742522051.832287.614.7307.1204.7373348.012.380.85.61110
Jake Delhomme200344926659.232197.212.1194.2163.6231684.98.380.65.7439
Ben Roethlisberger200846928159.933017.011.7173.6153.2462848.911.880.15.21101
Jim Kelly199347028861.333827.211.7183.8183.8251715.18.779.95.58102
John Elway198650428055.634856.912.4193.8132.6322336.08.479.05.68257
Steve McNair199933118756.521796.611.7123.682.416744.66.978.65.72337
Roger Staubach197534819856.926667.713.5174.9164.6362139.413.578.55.40316
Joe Kapp196923712050.617267.314.4198.0135.52819810.615.578.54.99104
Terry Bradshaw197947225954.937247.914.4265.5255.3241964.89.977.05.8983
Trent Dilfer200022613459.315026.611.2125.3114.9231359.213.776.64.4775
Phil Simms198646825955.334877.513.5214.5224.7453598.813.174.64.9972
Rex Grossman200648026254.631936.712.2234.8204.2211424.28.273.95.212
Eli Manning200752929756.133366.311.2234.3203.8272174.98.573.94.8269
John Elway198941622353.630517.313.7184.3184.3352987.811.873.75.11244
Jim Plunkett198032016551.622997.213.9185.6165.03628510.114.672.94.65141
Joe Namath196838018749.231478.316.8153.9174.5151123.88.172.16.5111
Bob Griese1972975354.66386.612.044.144.17456.710.671.64.7411
Len Dawson19691669859.013238.013.595.4137.813897.314.569.94.633
Peyton Manning201533119859.822496.811.492.7175.116954.69.567.94.52-6
Tony Eason198529916856.221567.212.8113.7175.7282298.613.867.54.2370
Bart Starr196721011554.818238.715.994.3178.13432213.920.964.43.7590
David Woodley19821799854.710806.011.052.884.510825.39.563.53.90207
Terry Bradshaw19741486745.37855.311.774.785.4101046.311.455.22.92224
Vince Ferragamo19791105348.27787.114.754.5109.1111159.117.448.82.59-2
Frank Reich1992472451.12214.79.200.024.397616.119.646.50.98-9
Johnny Unitas1968321134.41394.312.626.3412.52155.917.630.1-0.47-1

Heresy! Patriots Tom Brady Has Been Outplayed by his Opposing Super Bowl QBs More Often Than Not

By Chris Malumphy

On Sunday, New England Patriots Tom Brady will extend his record of Super Bowl starts at quarterback to seven, two more than his closest rival, the Denver Broncos' John Elway. Brady will also have the chance to become the winningest Super Bowl quarterback ever. Currently, he shares the record of four Super Bowl victories with Terry Bradshaw of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Joe Montana of the San Francisco 49ers.

But despite all that success, Brady has actually been outplayed more often than not by his opposing Super Bowl quarterback, at least in common statistical terms. Of course, that is heresy. But it is also true.

In his six prior Super Bowls, Brady has squared off against the St. Louis Rams' Kurt Warner, the Carolina Panthers' Jack Delhomme, the Philadelphio Eagles' Donovan McNabb, the New York Giants' Eli Manning (twice) and the Seattle Seahawks' Russell Wilson. Only the New York Giants led by Eli Manning have been able to defeat Brady and the Patriots on Super Bowl Sunday.

Super Bowl Game Passing Statistics--The Brady Years
Super Bowl for 2001 Season
Patriots 20 - Rams 17
NameTeamAttCPctYdsYds
Att
Yds
Comp
TDPct
TD
IntPct
Int
SacksYds
Lost
Pct
Sacked
RatingANY/ARush
Yds
Team
Rush
Yds
Tom BradyPatriots271659.31455.49.113.700.0173.686.25.93133
Kurt WarnerRams442863.63658.313.012.324.53286.478.36.3690
Super Bowl for 2003 Season
Patriots 32 - Panthers 29
NameTeamAttCPctYdsYds
Att
Yds
Comp
TDPct
TD
IntPct
Int
SacksYds
Lost
Pct
Sacked
RatingANY/ARush
Yds
Team
Rush
Yds
Jake DelhommePanthers331648.53239.820.239.100.042810.8113.610.4092
Tom BradyPatriots483266.73547.411.136.212.1000.0100.57.712127
Super Bowl for 2004 Season
Patriots 24 - Eagles 21
NameTeamAttCPctYdsYds
Att
Yds
Comp
TDPct
TD
IntPct
Int
SacksYds
Lost
Pct
Sacked
RatingANY/ARush
Yds
Team
Rush
Yds
Tom BradyPatriots332369.72367.210.326.100.02175.7110.27.9-1112
Donovan McNabbEagles513058.83577.011.935.935.94337.375.45.1045
Super Bowl for 2007 Season
Giants 17 - Patriots 14
NameTeamAttCPctYdsYds
Att
Yds
Comp
TDPct
TD
IntPct
Int
SacksYds
Lost
Pct
Sacked
RatingANY/ARush
Yds
Team
Rush
Yds
Eli ManningGiants341955.92557.513.425.912.9388.187.36.8491
Tom BradyPatriots482960.42665.59.212.100.05379.482.55.4045
Super Bowl for 2011 Season
Giants 21 - Patriots 17
NameTeamAttCPctYdsYds
Att
Yds
Comp
TDPct
TD
IntPct
Int
SacksYds
Lost
Pct
Sacked
RatingANY/ARush
Yds
Team
Rush
Yds
Eli ManningGiants403075.02967.49.912.500.03147.0103.77.3-1114
Tom BradyPatriots412765.92766.710.224.912.42104.791.16.3083
Super Bowl for 2014 Season
Patriots 28 - Seahawks 24
NameTeamAttCPctYdsYds
Att
Yds
Comp
TDPct
TD
IntPct
Int
SacksYds
Lost
Pct
Sacked
RatingANY/ARush
Yds
Team
Rush
Yds
Russell WilsonSeahawks211257.124711.820.629.514.831312.5110.610.139162
Tom BradyPatriots503774.03286.68.948.024.0182.0101.16.2-357

Take note that the largest margin of victory in any of these six championship games has been four points. The games have been tight. One Brady victory was decided by what many consider to be among the worst strategic blunders in Super Bowl history, the Seahawks ill-fated decision to pass at the goal line rather give the ball to their workhorse running back Marshawn Lynch. One Brady loss is attributable to perhaps the most fantastic and improbable catch of all time when Eli Manning miraculously escaped the Patriots rush to heave the ball downfield to receiver David Tyree who even more miraculously trapped the ball overhead against his helmet as he tumbled to the ground with Patriots safety Rodney Harrison flailing in vain to knock the ball away. Tyree never again caught a pass in another professional game. There can be little doubt that the ice cold brilliance of Tom Brady and Coach Bill Belichick have combined to make the Patriots a juggernaut during the regular season, playoffs and Super Bowl alike. Yet statistically, Brady's opposing Super Bowl quarterbacks have more often done a little bit better. In terms of passing rating, Brady bested Kurt Warner (86.2-78.3) and Donovan McNabb (110.2-75.4), but was outplayed by Jake Delhomme (100.5-113.6), Eli Manning (82.5-87.3 and 91.1-103.7) and Russell Wilson (101.1-110.6).

The more “sophisticated” figure filberts who refer to “analytics” will let you know that passing ratings are flawed and that yards per attempt, and better yet, average net yards per attempt factoring in touchdown passes and interceptions, are more meaningful. (Heaven forbid with get into DVOA rankings which are beyond the bounds of this article.) By those measures, Brady was also outplayed by Kurt Warner (5.4-8.3 yds/att and 5.9-6.3 ANY/A). Nevertheless, Brady has won four and lost only two of his Super Bowl appearances. Take note again that in Brady's first three Super Bowl starts, all victories, the Patriots had the dominate rushing game, out gaining the Rams on the ground 133-90, the Panthers 127-92 and the Eagles 112-45. It has been a different story his last three Super Bowls including the two losses to the Giants and the game in which Seattle would have probably won if not for its lame-brained decision to pass rather than give the damn ball to Lynch. The Patriots were out gained on the ground by the Giants 45-91 and 83-114 and by the Seahawks 57-162. Without a decent ground game, Brady and the Patriots have been subject to the vagaries of luck. In his first Super Bowl victory, Brady was not much more than a game manager. Belichick was not yet quite sure of the talent he had and limited Brady to just 27 attempts, the fewest of any quarterback in these six games except for Russell Wilson's 21. In that initial appearance, Brady passed for a meager 145 yards. Warner passed for 365, more than 200 yards more than Brady. Brady had the full faith of Belichick by their second Super Bowl together and passed the ball 48 times and subsequently 33, 48, 41 and 50 in the following championships. Since that first Super Bowl, only Donovan McNabb has attempted more passes than Tom in Brady Bowls.

Take a look at Brady's aggregate passing totals compared to his individual opponents for these six games. Overall, Brady has just the fourth best passing rating of the six quarterbacks and the fourth best average net yards per attempt including factors for touchdowns and interceptions.

Super Bowl Passing Statistics -- The Tom Brady Super Bowls
NameTeamAttCompPctYdsAvg
Att
Avg
Comp
TDPct
TD
IntPct
Int
SackedYds
Lost
Pct
Sacked
RatingANY/APct
Sack + Int
Rush
Yds
Jake DelhommePanthers331648.53239.820.239.100.042810.8113.69.5910.80
Russell WilsonSeahawks211257.124711.820.629.514.831312.5110.69.5416.739
Eli ManningGiants744966.25517.411.234.111.46227.596.26.808.83
Tom BradyPatriots24716466.416056.59.8135.341.611794.395.36.225.811
Kurt WarnerRams442863.63658.313.012.324.53286.478.35.6810.66
Donovan McNabbEagles513058.83577.011.935.935.94337.375.44.5312.70

So how in fact has he won? Or is it just luck. After all, albeit for the Seahawks' brain fart, Brady would likely be just 3-3 in his Super Bowl games.

Well if it is talent rather than mere luck (and you don't get to the Super Bowl seven times by just being lucky), take note that Brady is tops overall in percentage completed at 66.4%. His closest competitor, to whom he has lost twice, is Eli Manning at 66.2%. But those steeped in analytics will tell you that completion percentage is much too pedestrian of a statistic to have meaning. Let's go further then. How about the simple facts that Brady has protected the ball and has avoided sacks. Brady's overall interception percentage of 1.6% has only been bettered by Eli Manning (the man who beat him twice) at 1.4% and Jake Delhomme who didn't throw an interception. Brady was also sacked far less frequently overall per pass attempt than his competitors. Brady was only sacked 4.3% of the time on pass plays. No one else was within two percent of that figure. Warner was next with 6.4%. McNabb went down 7.3% of the time. Arch-nemesis Manning was sacked 7.5% of his pass plays. Delhomme (10.8%) and Wilson (12.5%) faired much, much worse.

Calculate the rate at which the quarterback is either sacked or throws an interception per pass attempt and Brady's dominance is even more evident: Brady 5.8%, Manning 8.8%, Warner 10.6%, Delhomme 10.8% and Wilson 16.7%.

But truth be told, statistics and history matter little on Super Bowl Sunday. Former Dallas Cowboys legend Gil Brandt recently tweeted that quarterbacks with Super Bowl experience playing against those who have none are 9-10. Their are a lot of other players out on the field, some of whom may unexpectedly rise to the occasion while others give in to the pressures of the game. Coaches have sizable input, including the opportunity to make bone-headed strategic calls. The ball can take funny bounces. The referees may see an important play differently than players and fans. Anything can happen. That's why millions of us will watch. Yet here is one more set of quarterback statistics for you. Compare the seasons of Tom Brady and the Atlanta Falcons Matt Ryan.

Passing Statistics for Super Bowl Starting Quarterbacks
Matt Ryan - Falcons
SeasonAttCompPctYdsYds
Att
Yds
Comp
TDPct
TD
IntPct
Int
SackedYds
Lost
Pct
Sacked
RatingANY/APct
Sack + Int
Rush
Yds
Games
100+
Rating
Total60942670.056749.313.3457.471.1402506.2119.09.67.213714
Regular53437369.949449.313.3387.171.3372356.5117.19.47.711712
Playoffs755370.77309.713.879.300.03153.8132.611.23.8202
Tom Brady - Patriots
SeasonAttCompPctYdsYds
Att
Yds
Comp
TDPct
TD
IntPct
Int
SackedYds
Lost
Pct
Sacked
RatingANY/APct
Sack + Int
Rush
Yds
Games
100+
Rating
Total51234166.642258.312.4336.440.8191053.6110.28.94.3629
Regular43229167.435548.212.2286.520.515873.4112.29.03.8648
Playoffs805062.56718.413.456.322.54184.899.58.17.1-21

Brady was fantastic. One of his best years ever. Ryan was even better, leading the league in passing rating. A quick check shows:

Both Brady and Ryan put up numerous games with passing ratings exceeding 100.0, which is usually a regular season game winning effort.

Ryan has upped his game in the playoffs, improving his numbers in every category. Brady has played well this post-season, but not as good as he did in the regular season. Who will you be betting on?

On Super Bowl Sunday, the numbers be damned. Tom Brady, his teammates, Bill Belichick, Robert Kraft, the Patriots' organization and its many fans will only care about one thing. Same for Matt Ryan and his other Atlanta Falcons counterparts. Whether their team's efforts lead to victory or defeat.

Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots Take Different Approach to Building Super Bowl Rosters

By Chris Malumphy

Thirty teams will be watching from the stands or on television when Super Bowl 51 is played, their seasons having been ended prematurely. During the long build up to the big game their fans will be wondering what went wrong this season for the team they love. Each of the front offices will be trying to figure out what needs to be done to reach the next tier. All will be searching for the secret to success. Everyone will study the Patriots and the Falcons in hopes of gleaning a tip to help them achieve the ultimate goal.

The need for great coaching and a good quarterback is obvious. But how are the rest of the Super Bowl rosters put together. A partial answer can be obtained by just looking at the anticipated starting lineups and observing where in the draft those players were selected. You'll quickly learn where the two best teams of the 2016 season place their priorities.

Reflecting the differences in the relative success of the two teams over the past decade, the Falcons have three top 10 draft picks starting on offense and two on defense while the Patriots have no top 10 pick starting on offense and the only one starting on defense, Chris Long, was signed after being released by the Rams who originally drafted him. While New England didn't use top ten picks to build their roster, both the Falcons and the Patriots are built around high draft choices on defense. The two teams differ widely, however, on the emphasis placed on building the offensive skill positions.

Defense

Of the Falcons and Patriots 22 defensive starters, 16 taken within the top 83 draft picks. Five others were drafted within the top 147 choices. Only one was undrafted. Thirty general managers should take note: no player drafted in the 6th or 7th round will start on defense in this year's Super Bowl. In fact, only a handful of defensive players drafted after the 3rd round will start. With rare exception, late round defensive draft picks are essentially worthless except for manning special teams and serving as backups. That is a harsh reality. But remember, if this was the NBA only the top half of the 1st round would really matter. The top two NFL teams in 2016 ooze with defensive talent (at least as measured at draft time).

Super Bowl Defensive Starters
Atlanta Falcons Defense
PositionNameDraftedTeamRoundPickPlayerPositionCollege
LDEBrooks Reed2011Texans21042DEArizona
DTJonathan Babineaux2005Falcons22759DTIowa
DTGrady Jarrett2015Falcons51137DTClemson
RDETyson Jackson2009Chiefs133DELouisiana State
SLBVic Beasley2015Falcons188LBClemson
MLBDeion Jones2016Falcons22152LBLouisiana State
WLBDe'Vondre Campbell2016Falcons417115LBMinnesota
LCBRobert Alford2013Falcons22860DBSoutheastern Louisiana
RCBJalen Collins2015Falcons21042DBLouisiana State
FSKeanu Neal2016Falcons11717DBFlorida
SSRicardo Allen2014Falcons57147DBPurdue
New England Patriots Defense
PositionNameDraftedTeamRoundPickPlayerPositionCollege
LDEChris Long2008Rams122DEVirginia
DTAlan Branch2007Cardinals2133DTMichigan
DTMalcom Brown2015Patriots13232DTTexas
RDETrey Flowers2015Patriots42101DEArkansas
SLBShea McClellin2012Bears11919DEBoise State
MLBDont'a Hightower2012Patriots12525LBAlabama
WLBRob Ninkovich2006Saints52135DEPurdue
LCBMalcolm Butler             West Alabama
RCBLogan Ryan2013Patriots32183DBRutgers
FSDevin McCourty2010Patriots12727DBRutgers
SSPatrick Chung2009Patriots2234DBOregon

All 11 of the Falcons' defensive starters were drafted, two by other teams: defensive ends Brooks Reed (Texans) and Tyson Jackson (Chiefs). Eight of the Falcons' defensive starters were selected in the top 60 picks. All 11 were within the top 147 picks. The Falcons have three 1st rounders and five 2nd rounders starting on defense.

Seven of the Patriots' defensive starters were drafted in top 34 picks. Eight were in the top 83 picks.

Four of the Patriots' defensive front seven come from other teams: defensive end Chris Long, defensive tackle Alan Branch and linebacks Shea McClellin and Rob Ninkovich.

The only undrafted starter on the Patriots' defense is cornerback Malcolm Butler.

While both the Falcons and the Patriots have obtained some of their defensive talent by signing players from other teams, none of those players were overly expensive free agent acquisitions.

Offense

The Patriots and Falcons differ markedly in how their offenses were built, particularly at the skill positions. The Falcons expended three top six picks on key offensive positions: quarterback Matt Ryan (3rd, 2008), wide receiver Julio Jones (6th, 2011) and left tackle Jake Matthews (6th, 2014). The Patriots have only had two top ten picks this century and both were expended on defensive players who are now gone from New England: Richard Seymour and Jerod Mayo.

Super Bowl Offensive Starters
Atlanta Falcons Offense
PositionNameDraftedTeamRoundPickPlayerPositionCollege
QBMatt Ryan2008Falcons133QBBoston College
RBDevonta Freeman2014Falcons43103RBFlorida State
FBPatrick DiMarco             South Carolina
WRJulio Jones2011Falcons166WRAlabama
WRMohamed Sanu2012Bengals32083WRRutgers
TEAustin Hooper2016Falcons31881TEStanford
LTJake Matthews2014Falcons166 TTexas A&M
LGAndy Levitre2009Bills21951 GOregon State
CAlex Mack2009Browns12121 CCalifornia
RGChris Chester2006Ravens22456 COklahoma
RTRyan Schraeder             Valdosta State
New England Patriots Offense
PositionNameDraftedTeamRoundPickPlayerPositionCollege
QBTom Brady2000Patriots633199QBMichigan
RBLeGarrette Blount             Oregon
RBDion Lewis2011Eagles518149RBPittsburgh
James White2014Patriots430130RBWisconsin
WRJulian Edelman2009Patriots723232WRKent State
WRChris Hogan             Monmouth
TEMartellus Bennett2008Cowboys23061TETexas A&M
LTNate Solder2011Patriots11717 TColorado
LGJoe Thuney2016Patriots31578 GNorth Carolina State
CDavid Andrews             Georgia
RGShaquille Mason2015Patriots432131 CGeorgia Tech
RTMarcus Cannon2011Patriots57138 TTexas Christian

The Patriots offense is built upon later picks and castoffs from other teams. The only starter in the Patriots/Falcons Super Bowl drafted later than quarterback Tom Brady (199th, 2000) is his leading receiver Julian Edelman (232nd, 2009). His other wideout is the undrafted Chris Hogan. The leading runner on the Patriots, LeGarrette Blount, was also undrafted and has been cut by numerous teams. I guess that Bill Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels know how to coach them up. And they sure know how to keep the salary cap in check.

Apparently, the Falcons and Patriots do agree on one thing offensively, however. Both teams seem to ascribe to the theory of the diminished worth of ball carriers. Neither will start a running back drafted earlier than the 4th round or within the top 100 picks.

The only 1st round draft pick starting for the Patriots on offense is left tackle Nate Solder. The only 2nd round pick is tight end Martellus Bennett, originally drafted by Bears. Of course the Patriots lucked out by drafting the greatest quarterback of this era with the 199th pick in 2000. And the Patriots' starting Super Bowl lineup does not reflect that the team expended a relatively high 2nd round choice (42nd pick) on the currently injured tight end Rob Gronkowski in 2010.

The only two offensive starters drafted by the Patriots in the top 100 picks are LT Nate Solder (17th, 2011) and LG Joe Thuney (78th 2016). Five of the Patriots' offensive starters were drafted 130th or later: quarterback Tom Brady (199th, 2000), whoever will start at running back from Dion Lewis (149th, 2011) or James White (130th, 2014), wide receiver Julian Edelman (232nd, 2009), guard Shaq Mason (131st, 2015) and tackle Marcus Cannon (138th, 2011).

The Patriots have three undrafted offensive starters: running back LeGarrette Blount, wide receiver Chris Hogan and center David Andrews. Blount would probably have been drafted in the first few rounds had he not punched a player on the sidelines in a game while at Oregon. Four Patriots' offensive starters began careers elsewhere: Blount, Lewis, Hogan and Bennett.

The Patriots starting offensive line is entirely homegrown. The team drafted left tackle Nate Solder, left guard Joe Thuney, right guard Shaq Mason and right takle Marcus Cannon and signed center David Andrews as an undrafted free agent.

The Falcons have four first round draft picks starting on offensive: quarterback Matt Ryan, wide receiver Julio Jones, left tackle Jake Matthews and center Alex Mack (signed as a free agent from Cleveland where he was drafted with the 21st pick in 2009).

The only Falcons' offensive starters drafted after the 83rd pick is running back Devonta Freeman (103rd, 2014). Fullback Patrick DiMarco and right tackle Ryan Schraeder were undrafted.

Special Teams

The Patriots used a 4th round pick to draft placekicker Stephen Gostkowski (118th, 2006) while the Falcons drafted punter and kickoff specialist Matt Bosher (192nd, 2011) with a 6th round choice.

Super Bowl Specialists
Atlanta Falcons Special Teams
PositionNameDraftedTeamRoundPickPlayerPositionCollege
PKMatt Bryant             Baylor
PMatt Bosher2011Falcons627192 KMiami (FL)
KOMatt Bosher2011Falcons627192 KMiami (FL)
LSJosh Harris      Auburn
HMatt Bosher2011Falcons627192 KMiami (FL)
KREric Weems             Bethune-Cookman
PREric Weems             Bethune-Cookman
New England Patriots Special Teams
PositionNameDraftedTeamRoundPickPlayerPositionCollege
PKStephen Gostkowski2006Patriots421118 KMemphis
PRyan Allen             Louisiana Tech
LSJoe Cardona2015Patriots530166 CNavy
HRyan Allen             Louisiana Tech
KRCyrus Jones2016Patriots22960DBAlabama
PRDanny Amendola             Texas Tech

Want to be an NFL Coach? You’d Better be a Winner!!!

By Chris Malumphy

Think head coaching in the NFL is a tough, results oriented job? You may not have given consideration to how tough it actually is. Of the 31 currently filled spots (the 49ers position currently being vacant), only 7 coaches have lifetime losing records. Even more astounding, only three current head coaches have lifetime records that are more than two games below .500: the Redskins' Jay Gruden (21-26-1 overall and 8-7-1 in 2016), the Titans' Mike Mularkey (27-46 overall and 9-7 in 2016) and the Browns' Hue Jackson (9-23 overall and 1-15 in 2016).

Only Current NFL Head Coaches with Losing Lifetime Records
CoachTeamCurrent
Team
Tenure
WLTPct
Todd BowlesJets2015171800.486
Doug MarroneJaguars2016161800.471
Jay GrudenRedskins2014212610.448
Doug PedersonEagles20167900.438
Mike MularkeyTitans2016274600.370
Hue JacksonBrowns201692300.281
Anthony LynnChargers20170100.000

2017 Coaching Carousel
CoachLifetimeCurrent Team2016
WLTPctTenureTeamWLTPctWLTPct
Ben McAdoo11500.6882016Giants11500.68811500.688
Bill Belichick23711500.6732000Patriots2017100.73914200.875
Mike McCarthy1146110.6512006Packers1146110.65110600.625
Bruce Arians412210.6482013Cardinals412210.6487810.469
Mike Tomlin1035700.6442007Steelers1035700.64411500.688
Adam Gase10600.6252016Dolphins10600.62510600.625
Chuck Pagano493100.6132012Colts493100.6138800.500
Andy Reid17311410.6022013Chiefs432100.67212400.750
Dan Quinn191300.5942015Falcons191300.59411500.688
John Harbaugh855900.5902008Ravens855900.5908800.500
Pete Carroll1037210.5882010Seahawks704110.62910510.656
Sean Payton946600.5882006Saints946600.5887900.438
Bill O'Brien272100.5632014Texans272100.5639700.563
Dirk Koetter9700.5632016Buccaneers9700.5639700.563
Jason Garrett584600.5582010Cowboys584600.55813300.813
Ron Rivera534210.5572011Panthers534210.55761000.375
Jim Caldwell534300.5522014Lions272100.5639700.563
Mike Zimmer262200.5422014Vikings262200.5428800.500
Marvin Lewis11810330.5332003Bengals11810330.5336910.406
John Fox12811200.5332015Bears92300.28131300.188
Gary Kubiak827500.5222015Broncos211100.6569700.563
Jeff Fisher17316510.5122012Rams314510.4094900.308
Jack Del Rio878400.5092015Raiders191300.59412400.750
Todd Bowles171800.4862015Jets151700.46951100.313
Rex Ryan616600.4802015Bills151600.4847800.467
Doug Marrone161800.4712016Jaguars1100.5001100.500
Jay Gruden212610.4482014Redskins212610.4488710.531
Chip Kelly283500.444201649ers21400.12521400.125
Doug Pederson7900.4382016Eagles7900.4387900.438
Mike McCoy273700.4222013Chargers273700.42251100.313
Mike Mularkey274600.3702016Titans9700.5639700.563
Hue Jackson92300.2812016Browns11500.06311500.063
Gus Bradley144800.2262013Jaguars144800.22621200.143
Vance Joseph0000.0002017Broncos        
Sean McDermott0000.0002017Bills        
Sean McVay0000.0002017Rams        
Anthony Lynn0100.0002016Bills0100.0000100.000
2017Chargers        
John Fassel0300.0002016Rams0300.0000300.000

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