Previous games at NRG Stadium in Houston (against the Texans)
December 4, 2011 – Atlanta 10, Houston 17
November 30, 2003 – Atlanta 13, Houston 17
The Texans have been in the league since 2002. In that time, Atlanta has only faced them in their building twice. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones have only been to Houston once in their career, however (2011 – Jones was a rookie). The Falcons have had a bit of a rough go at NRG Stadium, losing both times in low scoring games. We didn’t see Atlanta lose too many games this year, and we certainly didn’t see this offense stymied to the tune of 10 or 13 points (for comparison’s sake, their lowest output this season was 23 in a week 5 win over the Broncos), so I wouldn’t expect the Superbowl this year to follow that pattern.
You would think that a dome would be perfect for the high flying offense of the Falcons…and you’d be right! Atlanta went 9-3 in dome stadiums this year, including 7-3 at home (including the last two playoff games). The speed and shiftiness of the offensive playmakers shines through indoors, where weather is not a factor. I would expect the Falcons to have a decided edge over the Patriots given the fact that this year’s game is played indoors. While it obviously would not be a “home field” advantage, I can see the terrain working more to the advantage of Atlanta when the game kicks off on February 5.