Eyes from all over the world will be focused on Houston today with one of the biggest sports days of the year finally here. Stay tuned on VAVEL USA for everything concerning Super Bowl LI.
It's a long wait until kickoff but most players will begin to get into the zone once inside the stadium, and begin to warm up for what may be the biggest game of their lives.
With just under three hours remaining until kickoff, players and coaches from both the Patriots and Falcons have begun to arrive at NRG Stadium.
Hello and welcome to VAVEL USA’s live commentary of Super Bowl LI as the Atlanta Falcons vs New England Patriots live score square off at NRG Stadium in Houston. Stay here as we will start at 1 hour before the game start!
Super Bowl LI could be one of the most exciting offensive showings in NFL history so make sure you're following along every step of the way here on VAVEL USA. Kick-off is set for 6:30PM ET/3:30 PT.
New England quarterback Tom Brady, who is eyeing up his fifth Super Bowl title talked about why he thinks Super Bowl LI will be an emotional one. In his press conference, he said: "I think there are different emotions every season. Yeah, this year my mom hasn't been to a game this season and my dad has been to one. It is very atypical.
He added: "Us agains't the world isn't going to win us any games. What's going to win us games is practicing, preparing, studying film, executing the game plan and then being able to do that for 60 minutes against a great Falcons team on Sunday."
The Patriots' defense is ranker number one in the NFL going into this game, and they are going against the number one ranked offense in the league, and defensive back Duron Harmon has talked about the importance of their fans and preparing for the game. He said: "We have one of the best fan bases in sports. I mean, we continue to get the support from them each and every week.
Brady continued: "They are going to be here this weekend, which I am excited about, so it will be nice to see everybody. I have a big group coming."
He added: "At the end of each game, we talk about the things ourselves. What we did well, what we didn't do well, what we could've done differently. If we were playing this team again, all the things that might have happened in the game that were noteworthy and so forth. You reflect back on a game like that."
As for the Patriots, head coach Bill Belichick spoke to the media about game-planning for the Atlanta Falcons, and said: "I'd say it's more than in our head or certainly my head. My memory isn't all that good now. I think you go back and look at other games. We critique each game.
He continued: "Tom Brady doesn't get knocked down that much so put pressure in his face and get him off his spot and get him kind of frustrated will definitely help us at least try to come out with the win."
On the defensive side of things, Vic Beasley spoke on the importance of getting pressure to Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, and said: "It's so important that we get to him, even if we get him off the spot.
The Falcons quarterback added: "Even when he gets double teamed he has made plays for us all year. So we've got a lot of guys who can do it and I know Julio is going to have a great game for us."
Matt Ryan spoke in his press conference to boston.com about how he thinks the Patriots defense might handle wide-receiver Julio Jones. He said: "We've got to move him around a little bit and try to make it difficult for them to tee off on where he's going to be.
He continued: "Their offense, and Tom in particular, for years, has just functioned at a really high level. They execute better than just about everybody on lots of their routes. They've had years and years of reps at that."
Atlanta head coach Dan Quinn spoke through the week about several factors, and labelled Patriots quarterback Tom Brady a "fantastic player" and a "fantastic competitor". Speaking in his press conference to boston.com, he said: "I think if we had to talk about all the superlatives that he does have, it would take a while
Both teams had the chance to visit NRG Stadium on Saturday afternoon, walking around the field and touring the facilities to get a feel for their surroundings ahead of the big game on Sunday night of Super Bowl, result commentary in VAVEL USA!
Vic Beasley Jr. was awarded the Deacon Jones Award for leading the regular season in sacks while Falcons Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan scooped up the Assistant Coach of the Year to seal a successful night for Atlanta before this Super Bowl.
Matt Ryan was awarded the AP NFL MVP and Offensive Player of the Year awards at the NFL Honors award show on Saturday night. Ryan's incredible season was capped off by the two individual awards, while Brady finished second in the MVP race.
The national anthem before the kick-off will be performed by two-time Academy of Country Music and Country Music Entertainer of the Year, Luke Bryan. The Country and Western star will take centre stage before Super Bowl LI to perform the "Star Spangled Banner" in front of thousands in attendance, and millions watching in all corner of the world.
Lady Gaga follows in the footsteps of the likes of Katy Perry, Coldplay, who headlined last years halftime show, Beyonce and Madonna. The pop revelation revealed in her press-conference that she would be singing for those people who have been disregarded in life, because she was once that kid who couldn't side at the "cool kids' table". She told the Los Angeles Times: "That kid that was kicked out of the house because his mom and dad didn't accept him for who he was? That kid is going to have the stage for 13 minutes."
The Pepsi Halftime Show for Super Bowl LI is set to be, arguably, the biggest halftime show in living memory, with Lady Gaga headlining the event just a year after making her Super Bowl debut singing the national anthem in Santa Clara last year. The six-time Grammy winner, Golden Globe winner and Oscar nominee burst onto the scene several years ago when 'Poker Face' hit the charts, and she has gone on to be one of the most extravagant and most influential pop stars on the planet.
Now we will take a look back at who leads the way in the all-time list of Super Bowl wins. So, the Pittsburgh Steelers have six titles in eight appearances, while the Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers have five Vince Lombardi Trophies in eight and six appearances respectively. The New England Patriots, Green Bay Packers and New York Giants all have four titles to their names and the Denver Broncos, Los Angeles/ Oakland Raiders and the Washington Redskins have two Super Bowl's. The Baltimore/ Indianapolis Colts and the Baltimore Ravens have two, while seven other teams have won the Super Bowl one time.
The match at Levi's Stadium showed the rest of the NFL that you can, in fact, win a Super Bowl with a strong defense. Denver took a 10-0 lead going into the second quarter before Carolina responded and went into the break down by six. However, they could only manage a field goal in the entire second half, thanks to some brilliant plays by the Broncos on defense and Manning secured another ring after a 24-10 win in Santa Clara.
Last season marked the 50th anniversary of the Super Bowl, and the match was played between the Denver Broncos, led by Peyton Manning, and the Carolina Panthers, led by Cam Newton, who had been named the leagues MVP on Super Bowl-eve. Carolina, just like Atlanta, had been firing on all cylinders throughout the season and a lot of people thought that Newton would pick up his first Super Bowl ring and blow out the Broncos, wrong.
Lets now take a look at the venue for this historic match-up, the NRG Stadium, home of the Houston Texans. The stadium was formally known at the Reliant Stadium for 12 years between 2002 and 2014 and has a capacity of 71,795 - and the Super Bowl has been a sell-out for months now. The USA national soccer team have played games in this colossal arena, but the stadium has also played host to a Super Bowl before. Super Bowl XXXVIII between the Carolina Panthers and the New England Patriots, who won the game 32-29. The multi-purpose stadium lived up to its name back in 2009 too when WrestleMania XXV graced Houston, the 25th anniversary of the world-wide spectacle.
Like the Falcons, New England had a bye week at the wildcard stage of the playoffs before welcoming the Houston Texans, whose home stadium hosts the Super Bowl this Sunday, to Gillette Stadium. At times it appeared as though the Texans had a slight chance to come back into the game, but in the end the Pats had too much for their opponents and cruised through to the AFC Championship match after a 34-16 win. The Pittsburgh Steelers were the side standing in their way of a record ninth appearance in a Super Bowl and again, Belichick's side had too much and eased to a 36-17 win to stamp their ticket to Super Bowl LI.
Belichick's side topped the AFC East with a 14-2 record, with the closest team to them, the Miami Dolphins four games behind after Week 17. And despite Brady being suspended for the first four games of the season, the Pats still managed to hold fort and have a 3-1 record for the QB coming back and boy did he let loose once he did. Against the Cleveland Browns, in Week 5, he threw for over 400-passing yards and then 358-yards the following week against the Cincinnati Bengals, so it felt a little bit like Brady thought he had a point to prove.
Looking at their opponents now, the New England Patriots. They really do not need any introduction, and neither does their quarterback, Tom Brady, who has four Super Bowl rings to his name. The four wins came under head coach Bill Belickick's reign, back in 2001, the Pats picked up their first Vince Lombardi Trophy, and also in 2003/ 2004 and in 2014. The latter of the four, two seasons ago, came after a thrilling match with the Seahawks, in which undrafted rookie Malcolm Butler intercepted Russell Wilson's throw on the goal line to seal the victory with seconds remaining.
Just one team stood in their way, Atlanta were one game away from reaching the Super Bowl, and the Green Bay Packers, led by Aaron Rodgers, came to town looking to spoil the party. However, it turned out that the Packers were no match for the Falcons, who blitzed them away in the first-half, leading 24-0 at the break before going on to win the game 44-21. It was another outstanding night for the offense, but also the defense. Ryan threw four touchdown passes and was only eight-yards shy of reaching 400-passing yards in the NFC Championship game.
The Falcons had a bye week for wildcard weekend, and they welcomed the Seattle Seahawks to the Georgia Dome in the divisional round. And the side certainly took care of business that weekend with a 36-20 win, with Ryan throwing for 338-yards and three touchdowns in the game, while star wide-receiver Julio Jones caught one of those touchdown passes.
Dan Quinn's side finished top of the NFC South in the regular season, pipping the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to top spot with an 11-5 record. Atlanta have been outstanding on the offensive side of the ball this season and are led by league MVP Matt Ryan, who picked up the accolade last night.
The best offense in football takes on the best defence as the Atlanta Falcons face off against the New England Patriots for the greatest prize in sports. The Vince Lombardi Trophy, something which the Pats have won four times previously, and are playing in their ninth Super Bowl.