If you believe in conspiracy theories and strange coincidences, then you should put money on the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI.
The Pats are making their ninth trip to the Super Bowl, which means they’re starting to repeat venues. The Feb. 5 matchup against the Atlanta Falcons will be New England’s second championship game at NRG Stadium in Houston after they won Super Bowl XXXVIII against the Carolina Panthers there during the 2003 season. Although, it was called Reliant Stadium in 2003.
ESPN Stats & Info noticed some eerie similarities between the 2003 and 2016 Patriots teams heading into Super Bowl Sunday.
However, as strange as these coincidences are, they’re just that — coincidences. The Patriots have been in the top 10 in points allowed all but two seasons since 2003, and it’s not exactly insane that two different Super Bowl teams finished first in that category. And while it is a little weird that both the 2003 and 2016 teams’ first losses were shutouts, the fact that they came against a division opponent, which they meet twice a year every year, makes it a little less random.
Either way, it’s still amusing, and we’re sure Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and Co. will be hoping there is some statistical magic at play here.
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images