Prior to Super Bowl LI, the Atlanta Falcons only had one trip to the Super Bowl and are still trying to win their first Lombardi Trophy. Atlanta’s last appearance was Super Bowl XXXIII in 1999. The Falcons were dominated in the game by the Broncos and lost 34-19.
According to Pro Football Talk, the Falcons are among 13 NFL teams who have not won a Super Bowl. The Falcons are joined by the Bills, Browns, Cardinals, Panthers, Lions, Vikings, Eagles, Chargers, Titans, Texans, Jaguars and Bengals.
SB Nation details the breakdown of these 13 teams and Super Bowl appearances. The Browns, Lions, Texans and Jaguars have never made a Super Bowl appearance while the other nine teams were unsuccessful in the big game.
The Falcons advanced to their second Super Bowl thanks to a high-powered offense and a hungry defense filled with youth. In just his second season as head coach, Dan Quinn has helped create a title-contending team. Quinn was previously the defensive coordinator with the Seattle Seahawks and brought a lot of the principals used in Seattle over to Atlanta.
As NFL.com details, GM Thomas Dimitroff deserves a lot of credit for his 2014 draft class that included players like Jake Matthews, Devonta Freeman and Ricardo Allen. Additionally, the Falcons have four starters on defense from their 2016 class.
Two players continue to be at the core of the franchise’s success: quarterback Matt Ryan and wide receiver Julio Jones. Both players have been underappreciated throughout their careers but the production has remained constant. Ryan had the best season of his career with 4,944 passing yards and 38 touchdowns. Jones did his part with 1,409 yards and six touchdowns.
Atlanta faces a New England team on the other end of the spectrum. The Patriots have made eight Super Bowl appearances and won four titles.