By: Pernell Beals
WHAT A GAME!!! Super Bowl LI had everything any fan would want it to have; a true underdog, a future hall of fame quarterback, a superstar wide out, a rising team, a giant lead, a giant comeback, and to top it all off an overtime finale, the first in Super Bowl history. This game might go down as the greatest super bowl ever played.
So what did we learn?
Well for starters we learned that the New England Patriots are the truth! The Patriots, who were down 28-3 going into the 3rd quarter, overcame a 25-point deficit to mount the largest comeback in Super Bowl history. It was unbelievable, it was unimaginable, it was legendary, but it wasn’t perfect.
For the most part of the game nothing was going New England’s way. The Falcons put intense pressure on Brady, which was somewhat surprising. The Patriots receivers dropped nearly every pass, which rarely happens. Their kicker, Stephen Gostkowski, he missed an extra point. The Patriots couldn’t even run the ball for Christ’s sake. The Patriots do have on thing that the Falcons didn’t have and that one thing was Tom Brady, future Hall of Fame quarterback.
Brady came alive in the 4th quarter and it also helped that his receivers started catching the ball. He was 43/62 on passing; he threw for 466 yards, 2 Touchdowns, and 1 interception. Throwing passes into tight spaces with ease, Brady precisely carved up Atlanta’s defense in the 4th quarter and he looked fearless doing it.
It all started with the Patriots inside their own 10-yard line, and ended with them marching all the way down the field and scoring the game tying touchdown, to send it into overtime. By the end of it all New England had put together one of the greatest two minute drives in NFL history and Julian Edelman made it a little sweeter with one of the greatest all-time catches in a Super Bowl.
Tom Brady wasn’t the only member of the Patriots who was revived in the last quarter though. New England’s defense woke up as well and they made some critical stops when they were needed. The Falcons may have given the Patriots defense hell for a majority of the game, but in the second half of the game it seemed as if the Atlanta’s offense couldn’t get back into the end zone.
Matt Ryan connected on a few passes to wide receiver Julio Jones a couple times (4 receptions, 87 yards); but other than a few flashes of great plays by the Falcons, their offense became stagnant.
The Falcons went into halftime up 21-3, at the start the 3rd quarter off the Patriots gave up another touchdown making the score 28-3 in favor of Atlanta, but somehow through it all the New England Patriots prevailed.
The New England Patriots showed composure and confidence. They were never rattled and made the necessary adjustments to start and finish the largest comeback in super bowl history.
Final Score: Patriots 34, Falcons 28 OT
(Photo credits: Handelszeitung.com)