PFF's Ultimate Super Bowl LI drinking game
When the big game kicks off on Sunday, take your fandom to the next level with Pro Football Focus’ Super Bowl LI drinking game. As does every NFL team, the Patriots and Falcons have tendencies and quirks worth watching for throughout the night—including several that even their biggest fans might not have noticed before.
That’s where the PFF grades and data come in handy. For the purpose of this game, PFF’s team of analysts—who have watched every snap taken by NFL and FBS players this season—have identified those notable situations and occurrences.
And now for the necessary disclaimers: This game is for informational and entertainment purposes only. We are not suggesting you should necessarily drink alcohol while watching the Super Bowl (Diet Dr. Pepper works just as well in this game, we’ve been told), and if you do, make sure you drink responsibly and follow all applicable laws (like being over 21 years old, if you’re in the U.S.).
But we do hope you enjoy this deep dive into the most important things to be watching for on Sunday—including several that will almost certainly impress those you’re watching the game with.
When the Patriots are on offense, take a drink if…
The Falcons blitz the Patriots on 3rd-and-10-plus.
On 13 occasions this season, the Falcons have blitzed on third down when the opposing offense has needed 10 or more yards for a first down.
Falcons OLB Vic Beasley beats a block for a sack.
Of the 16 times Beasley has sacked the quarterback this season—a league-high mark—nine have been either unblocked or of the clean-up variety.
Patriots QB Tom Brady successfully executes a QB sneak.
Brady is six of eight on QB sneaks for the entire year (though the two he missed were the only first-and-goal situations he attempted.)
Falcons CB Robert Alford breaks up a pass.
Alford has recorded a league-best (including postseason) 14 breakups this season.
The Patriots run an end-around, reverse or wildcat QB run.
New England has done so 22 times this year, and is never afraid to open up the bag of tricks.
The New England quarterback completes a deep comeback to a receiver.
Patriots QB Tom Brady has completed only four such attempts this season.
Tom Brady throws a “turnover-worthy” pass (an off-target throw or bad decision that should be picked).
Incredibly, Brady has thrown just six turnover-worthy passes all year, compared to 18 for Falcons QB Matt Ryan.
Patriots RG Shaquille Mason surrenders a QB pressure on a bull-rush.
The former Georgia Tech guard has given up just two QB pressures to the bull-rush all year, while Patriots LG Joe Thuney has surrendered 23.
Falcons WR Julio Jones lines up on defense in the fourth quarter.
Jones has lined up on defense eight times in his career, each time in anticipation of a Hail Mary. In all of those instances, Atlanta has not given up any points.
When the Falcons are on offense, take a drink if…
Falcons RBs Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman line up on offense at the same time.
Despite the success of both Freeman and Coleman, they’ve only been on the field together 11 times.
Patriots defender Trey Flowers records a QB pressure when lined up as a defensive end.
Although Flowers has a healthy 39 QB pressures on the year, only six have come when he lined up outside the tackle.
Falcons FB Patrick DiMarco lines up at a wide receiver spot.
While a fullback typically lines up behind the quarterback in an I-formation or offset I-formation, DiMarco has lined up wide 28 times this season.
Falcons WR Julio Jones catches a pass thrown 20 yards or more downfield (from the line of scrimmage).
Jones’ 12 receptions on deep targets (20 yards or more downfield) were fifth-most during the regular season.
Falcons QB Matt Ryan completes a go route.
Ryan completed 24 go routes this year; 13 went for touchdowns. That’s good for a 138.2 QB rating on throws to that specific route (the NFL average is 89.1).
Falcons WR Mohamed Sanu completes a pass.
Though Sanu hasn’t attempted a pass yet as a Falcon, he has lined up at the quarterback spot twice in his pro career. His NFL passing record reads five attempts, five completions, 177 yards and two touchdowns.
The Patriots rush the passer with just two defenders.
The Patriots have rushed the opposing quarterback with two defenders on just two occasions this season.
Matt Ryan throws an interception on an out route.
There were 54 out route interceptions in the league this season. Meanwhile, Ryan hasn’t thrown one on this type of route since Week 12 of the 2014 season.