This weekend sees the return of the world’s most popular sporting event – the NFL Super Bowl.
Taking place between the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots, the 51st iteration takes place at the NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, kicking off at 11:30pm GMT.
The UK’s fanbase of American Football is growing, evident in the sales and attention given to the NFL UK games over the past few years. Are you staying up late to watch it? Well, here are a few facts (and our prediction).
- Looking for re-sale tickets? Be prepared to shell out. A lot.
It has been reported that the average re-sale ticket price for the Super Bowl is $4,744, with the largest sale reported at a whopping $74,928 dollars. To put that into context, an American could purchase 3 Ford Mustangs for $75,000.
It gets worse when you apply a little maths to the situation. Consider the fact that the capacity at the NRG Stadium is 71,785, putting the average value of all seats in the arena at a staggering $337,436,500. Wow.
- Matt Ryan is odd-on for the season MVP, with a remarkably understated record.
Although a lot of the attention this (post)season has been on the Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rogers, it’s actually Matt Ryan that has proved to be the most consistent performer over the whole campaign.
He’s averaged 2.38 pass touchdowns a game over the course of the season, compared to Tom Brady’s 2.33. His pass completion is second only to Drew Brees, while he has averaged over 309 pass yards per game. Either way you look at it, Matt Ryan has had a phenomenal season, and is a leading contender for MVP.
- The Patriots will appear in their ninth Super Bowl, seven of which have featured Tom Brady.
It’s hard to believe that Tom Brady first featured in a Super Bowl (and earned his first MVP) back in 2001, when the Patriots beat the St Louis Rams. Despite his youthful appearance, he’s turning 40 this year, and many believe that a Super Bowl victory may see Brady retire as one of the all time greats.
A 24-year old Jacoby Brissett and a 25-year old Jimmy Garoppolo are waiting in the ranks, but the shoes are certainly going to take some filling.
- Our prediction:
Taking everything in to consideration, we are expecting a close game with quality from both quarterbacks. This is Matt Ryan’s first Super Bowl appearance, and the occasion has got to many in the past. That being said, many expected him and the Falcons to falter during the playoffs, particularly against a previously resolute Aaron Rodgers of the Packers.
As great as it would be to see a new team pick up the Super Bowl Championship, I can’t see past a strong, consistent Patriots outfit. Even without superstar Rob Gronkowski, the likes of wide receivers Chris Hogan and Edelman have raised their game, while James Develin and LeGarrette Blount offer quality in bucket loads.
We’re going with a Patriots win by 7-10 points.