NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Falcons will ride one of the most prolific offenses in NFL history into Super Bowl LI.
Atlanta put up 540 points during the regular season, ninth most all-time and the fourth most of any team to reach the Super Bowl.
We decided to take a look at how some of the other historically high-powered offenses fared in the Super Bowl throughout the years. What we found isn’t exactly encouraging for the Falcons: Teams with offenses that scored 500 or more points are 4-7 in the Super Bowl — and just 1-5 since 2001.
1994 SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
Steve Young won the MVP and Jerry Rice amassed 1,499 yards and 13 touchdowns on 112 receptions as the 49ers (13-3) scored 505 points in the regular season. They delivered in Super Bowl XXIX, too, beating up on the San Diego Chargers, 49-26. Between the regular season and playoffs, the Niners scored at least 30 points in 13 of their 19 games.
1998 DENVER BRONCOS
It was John Elway’s final season, Terrell Davis rushed for 2,000 yards, and Rod Smith and Ed McCaffrey each surpassed 1,000 yards. While the Broncos scored an impressive 501 points, their accomplishments were overshadowed by the Vikings’ record-setting offense that year (556 points). But Minnesota fell just short of reaching the Super Bowl. Meanwhile, the Broncos went on to beat the “Dirty Bird” Falcons in Super Bowl XXXIII, 34-19.
1999 ST. LOUIS RAMS
The “Greatest Show on Turf” went 13-3 and scored at least 30 points in 12 of 16 regular season games. That year’s NFL MVP, Kurt Warner, came out of nowhere to pass for 4,353 yards and 41 touchdowns, while Marshall Faulk had 1,000 yards both rushing and receiving, and wideouts Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt made life miserable for defensive backs. Despite all the hype, accolades and points (526 in the regular season), the Rams needed a clutch Mike Jones tackle of Kevin Dyson just before the goal line to beat the Titans, 23-16, in Super Bowl XXXIV.
2009 NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
With Drew Brees at the controls, the Saints scored 510 points en route to a 13-3 regular season. Their high-octane offense sputtered early against Indianapolis in Super Bowl XLIV, scoring just six points in the first half. But New Orleans recovered in the second half to beat Peyton Manning and the Colts, 31-17.
1983 WASHINGTON REDSKINS
Led by quarterback Joe Theismann, running back John Riggins and wide receiver Charlie Brown, the 14-2 Redskins scored a then-record 541 points. Despite scoring at least 27 points in all but one regular season game, that offense went AWOL in Super Bowl XVIII, as the Skins were crushed by the Los Angeles Raiders, 38-9.
1984 MIAMI DOLPHINS
In just his second season in the NFL, quarterback Dan Marino passed for 5,084 yards and 48 touchdowns — records that stood for a couple of decades. The Dolphins went 14-2, and no team was able to hold them under 21 points — until they met San Francisco in Super Bowl XIX. Final score: 49ers 38, Dolphins 16.
2001 ST. LOUIS RAMS
Despite being heavy favorites against the Patriots, Warner & Co. didn’t fare as well in their second Super Bowl. The Rams’ offense was still dominant that 14-2 season, averaging 418 yards per game and scoring 503 points, but they produced their second-lowest point total of the season in Super Bowl XXXVI, falling 20-17 in the game that launched New England’s dynasty.
2007 NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
Speaking of the Pats, their dynasty hasn’t been without its potholes. New England went 16-0 in the regular season and scored a whopping 589 points. Tom Brady passed for 4,806 yards and a then-record 50 touchdowns — 23 of them to Randy Moss. But the Giants shocked the Patriots, 17-14, in Super Bowl XLII, depriving New England of history.
2011 NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
The Patriots’ offense in 2011 wasn’t quite as dominant as the unit from four years earlier, but it was still very good. Throwing to Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski and Aaaon Hernandez (yes, him), Brady passed for a career-high 5,235 yards, and New England (13-3 in the regular season) scored 513 points. But in what seemed like a rerun in the Super Bowl, New England’s offense didn’t show up when it counted most and lost again to the underdog Giants, 21-17.
2013 DENVER BRONCOS
The Broncos (13-3 in the regular season) set an NFL record by scoring 606 points — which included eclipsing 50 three different times. Peyton Manning, who was 37 at the time, set NFL records with 5,477 passing yards and 55 touchdowns. Statistically, it was the greatest offense in NFL history. But in Super Bowl XLVIII against the Seahawks, the mighty Denver offense mustered just one touchdown in a 43-8 shellacking at MetLife Stadium.
2015 CAROLINA PANTHERS
Led by league MVP Cam Newton, the Panthers not only scored 500 points, but they entered the Super Bowl particularly hot offensively, having put up 33 or more points in eight of their previous nine games. But up against a great Broncos defense in Super Bowl 50, Newton completed just 44 percent of his passes and Carolina scored its fewest points of the season in a 24-10 loss.