The New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons will face off on Feb. 5 at 4:30 p.m. ET at the NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas.
But who will win Super Bowl LI?
SB Nation predicts the Falcons will rise up. They cite Atlanta's great post-season record where the Falcons overcame two of the league's most popular teams — Seattle and Green Bay — and quarterback Matt Ryan's impressive performance during that time throwing 730 yards with seven touchdowns and no interceptions.
The New York Times also echoes that sentiment, writing that the Falcons have an edge because of their offensive skill against the Patriots solid defense. While the Patriots may be good at preventing touchdowns, the Times writes, the Falcons are just as good, if not better at getting around it.
"[Patriots coach] Belichick is famed for taking away a team’s best offensive weapon and forcing an opponent to beat him with Plan B. The problem comes when there are too many high-quality Plan Bs to stop," The Times wrote.
But Sports Illustrated is pulling hard for the Patriots, with 8 of their 12 featured predictions by SI writers and editors choosing the Pats. Reasons they give include the Pat's great defense, Belichick's ability to "find ways to pick apart Atlanta’s young defense," especially with Brady's arm, and the irony of Commissioner Roger Goodell handing Brady the gold after his suspension late last year.
Nate Silver also has it posted for the Pats, with New England having a 69 percent chance of winning over the Falcons' 39 percent (though we saw how his prediction went last year with the previous presidential election). His data comes from "100,000 simulations of the season and updates after every game."
I also happen to agree with Silver this time. (I suppose if Silver can get it wrong every once in a while, I can too.) Astrologically, the Pats have quite a few things going for them, although they do look set for a big shake up in the way they are seen by the public in the next few years.
Here's why I'm all in for New England:
I used a birth day and time of September 9, 1960 at 8 p.m. Astro.com gave it an A Rodden Rating for accuracy.
1. The team is currently undergoing a time of focused expansion.
The team currently has transit Saturn conjunct Jupiter. This is typically a time of positive expansion and success, as long as it is done in a very controlled, methodical and dedicated manner. This means, the team can achieve greatness, but only if they put in the hard work, do things the traditional way, and don't pull any crazy antics. There could be obstacles during this time, but as long the team pushes through in a measured way, they can be overcome.
This aspect is in the Patriot's 9th house too, which rules adventure, expansion, and anything that is new, mind-expanding or positive. They tend to have good luck. Jupiter is also at home in the 9th house and in Sagittarius, allowing them to give and receive gifts and blessings more freely. Because Capricorn rules the Pats' 10th house of career and social standing, it also looks to me like something very positive will happen in their career, and the way other people see them.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
It is worth noting, however, that Hillary Clinton did have this same aspect in Sept. 2015 (though in different houses and signs) — and it didn't help her win the presidential election. However, this aspect in her chart was a few degrees off by the time Nov. 8 rolled around. The Pats will have this aspect exact on Sunday, making this connection even more potent for them than it was for Clinton.
2. The team is currently in a time of asserting their identity and establishing their independence.
Transit Uranus is currently trine the Patriots' natal Uranus AND their Saturn/Jupiter conjunction. Uranus trine Uranus usually occurs right before a person's Saturn Return, which happens every 29.5 years.
This is typically a time when a person wants to break free from any restricting influence holding them back and assert their identity and their independence. It seem as though the Pats are in a time of expressing their true self as a force to be reckoned with in the world, and of doing whatever they can to have the freedom and respect they truly desire. This is happening in their 1st and 5th house, signifying a time of being themselves and doing what makes them happy. Leo on the 5th, however, suggests that being loved, admired and respected by others does make them happy.
This same spot is also trining the Saturn/Jupiter conjunction I mentioned earlier. Trines are typically positive aspects (though not always). They signify things happening very fast, and working very well together. Whatever is going on here, in their big push to be more free, will quickly propel them forward into some blessing or success — a way of expanding their identity and what makes them happy. However, Saturn could temper that success if not used properly.
3. The team is about to undergo a major reckoning of who they are and how the world sees them.
Their Saturn Return starts in January 2018 in their 10th house of career and social standing. This is a major event in anyone's life and only happens once every 29.5 years. Whatever happens during the time will set the stage for the Patriots' Saturn Return which will begin next year.
A person's Saturn Return is typically a time that can either be very positive, reaching higher levels of success and prosperity than ever before. Or disastrous. There is no in between. But this year leading into the next has been far from horrible for the Patriots — indicating to me that they would be more on the positive end of such a harrowing transit, than the negative one.
I see their return also an opportunity for higher levels of success. However, this success — at least in my opinion — will only last them another year or two, at most.
With transit Pluto that close to their natal Saturn, big, big change is on the way for the team in the next two to five years, when they will then be forced to either end or begin something that has been good for them.
A THOUGHT EXPERIMENT
This is where I do a little thought experiment (and where data fails, and intuition takes over) to explore what may happen next in the life cycle of the Patriots. What would change their reputation more? Losing the Super Bowl — or winning it? If the Patriot's lose, would they still be known as one of the most successful or prosperous sports franchises of all time? Or would that change?
One writer for Fansided believes a win — or even a loss — would not change much for the team.
A win would then solidify their spot as a leader in the sport. And a loss, however disappointing, would still make them great for getting to the Super Bowl this many times and holding their own.
The Saturn Return struggle if they lose, would be to get as far as they have this year — again. The Saturn Return struggle if they win — would then be to figure out what exactly is next for them after they seemed to have reached the pinnacle. To me, the latter seems like much more of an identity crisis. What seems like the bigger identity crisis to you?
4. The Patriots are coming off of some of their most successful years in a 28-year life cycle.
The Patriot's progressed moon is now waning. It was full at the exact degree in 2015, the last time the Patriots won the Super Bowl.
A full moon usually indicates a success or completion of some sort — a time when you have gone the furthest you have gone in one area and must now reap the rewards before having to readjust your focus. The Patriots reaped that reward in 2015. They are now coming off it. To be honest, their success is on the way out. They need to begin to rethink where they are headed.
But before they begin to re-think it — they maybe have one or two more good years left in them to make progress. This year and the next, in my opinion, would be it, before their success starts to drop off, and they then have to do the hard work of inching their way once again back up to the top.
This year, though, isn't looking too bad. Their natal moon just so happens to complete a full moon with their progressed sun, indicating yet another year of success, rewards and completion of a cycle for them.
But the next few years will be interesting, especially with all those rumors about Bill Belichick retiring. With these kind of aspects, it seems to me like he will definitely do so. If not now, then in the next 5 years. His success and that of the Pats is, in fact, on the down swing, or headed there fast.
The Falcons, however, do have a few things going for them.
Mostly, they have a new moon coming for them in their progressed chart. This means an entirely new phase of life and a complete change of pace from the past. At the rate they are going, it looks like a very successful next 30 years for them. It would officially start in 2021. The peak of success would be in 2037. Then after that, they would be in a phase like the Pats, where their success would be on the way out as they being to re-organize.
But while the Falcons are gearing up now for a win, it seems a little premature to me. The new start for them doesn't come until about 5 more years. Though to be honest, a Pats win also seems a little overripe. 2015 was a good year for the Pats. Now, not as much.
Other aspects in the Falcons chart that make me think a loss is possible for them:
Keep in mind that I could only find a birth day for the Falcons, and used Atlanta as the place. Without the correct time, some information could be slightly off.
1. They have transit Saturn opposite Jupiter. This means that they may have to temper any good thing that comes to them with focus and determination, and there could be obstacles. Granted, however, this aspect is not exact and about 10 degrees off, making it weaker.
2. They have Saturn square Chiron. This indicates some kind of hurt feeling about their journey, about all the hard work they have put in, and about where their life is going.
3. The moon comes over their North Node and Jupiter at the time the Super Bowl ends. Typically, I would consider this an amazing aspect! And one that almost changed my opinion of who will win the game. This aspect indicates feeling like you've made it! Like you've succeeded towards reaching and expanding a goal of yours. However, this particular aspect (which will only last a few hours) is squaring the Falcons' natal Pluto/Uranus and natal Saturn, indicating that the team is definitely in their feelings about where the team is heading and the journey that they are on — but that these feelings may be unexpected or difficult, and cause them to have to re-adjust their emotional life to accommodate changing circumstances.