After all, the teams outlasted everyone else and will be facing each other in Super Bowl 2017 on Sunday in Houston.
They have a lot things in common. Explosive offenses? Check. Stud quarterbacks? Check. Standout special teams? Check. We can go on and on.
Another way we can compare them is by the teams they played this season. In fact, their schedules featured a handful of common opponents. Both the Patriots and Falcons faced the Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos. The Falcons actually played the Seahawks twice, including once in the playoffs.
Both New England and Atlanta pretty much rolled through those parts of their respective schedules. The Pats were 4-1 against that slate, the Falcons 5-1. Both losses came courtesy of the Seahawks in the regular season. Atlanta, though, got its revenge on Seattle in the postseason.
All teams in the AFC East (Patriots) and NFC South (Falcons) played against the NFC West (49ers, Cardinals, Seahawks, Rams) this season as was dictated by the rotating schedule. Atlanta played Denver as the NFC South also matched up against the AFC West (Broncos). And the Patriots faced the Broncos because of their division finishes in 2015 (they both won).
Here are the breakdowns of the Falcons and Patriots against common opponents this season:
Against the Arizona Cardinals
Patriots: Won 23-21 at Arizona in Week 1
Falcons: Won 38-19 in Atlanta in Week 12
Against the Seattle Seahawks
Patriots: Lost 31-24 in Foxborough in Week 10
Against the San Francisco 49ers
Patriots: Won 30-17 in San Francisco in Week 11
Falcons: Won 41-13 in Atlanta in Week 15
Against the Los Angeles Rams
Patriots: Won 26-10 in Foxborough in Week 13
Falcons: Won 42-14 in Los Angeles in Week 14
Against the Denver Broncos
Patriots: Won 16-3 in Denver in Week 15
Falcons: Won 23-16 in Denver in Week 5