Super Bowl LI: The Definitive Guide

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It’s almost that time of the year again, when thousands of American Football fans stay up until stupid o’clock on a Sunday night to see who will be crowned this year’s champion of the Super Bowl. Here is Wessex Scene’s guide for everything you will need to know for the night.

For those of us this side of the pond, proceedings will kick off at 11.30pm, and will be aired on BBC and Sky Sports. Lady Gaga will be starring in the half time show and hopefully everything will be wrapped up by 3.30am to give those unlucky few who have a 9am a few hours of .

New England will be looking to win their 5th Super Bowl which would cement their claim to being the best NFL dynasty there ever was. Having gone 14-2 in the regular season, they cruised past the Houston Texans and Pittsburgh Stealers to retain their number one seed and bag their spot on the biggest stage.

A lot of the team’s success rests on the shoulders of Tom Brady. Drafted 199th in 2000, and benched for his rookie season, no one would have predicted that he would be the franchise changing player that he is now. The Super Bowl will hold no surprises for this veteran; it will be his 7th appearance, having won 3 of those games. If he is in form, it’s hard to see what the Atlanta defence will be able to do.

With Rob Gronkowski injured, the rest of the offence will have to step up for the Patriots, and Chris Hogan is just one of many who have. In their AFC championship game against Pittsburgh he made 9 catches, 180 yards and 2 touchdowns. If such a feat can be repeated then the night is certainly going to be extremely exciting.

Opposing them, Matt Ryan will be looking to claim the Falcons’ first title in their second Super Bowl appearance. With the best offence in the league, things have been flowing well from the quarter back, with Ryan having 38 touchdowns on the year. Devonta Freeman has rushed over 1,000 yards for the second season in a row and Julio Jones has had plenty of highlight real plays, including his 2 touchdowns in the NFC championship game.

Offense is clearly not a problem for Atlanta, but having gone through the regular season with a record of 11-5 they look a bit shaky in defence. Compared to New England, they leaked points in the regular season, conceding 156 more points than the Patriots did.

Going into Sunday evening, the Patriots are the favourites to emerge as the victors, but that isn’t to say it’s a certainty. Many people will remember when Seattle wiped the floor over the heavily favoured Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 48. Either way, with two great quarterbacks on the field there should be some impressive plays to reward anyone with the stamina to last the whole night.

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