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Super Bowl LI: Patriots vs Falcons

The most unpredictable game in football history

Joshua Geller, Staff Writer

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Super Bowl LI took place on Sunday, February 5 and featured the AFC Champions, the New England Patriots against the NFC Champions, the Atlanta Falcons. The game began in favor of the Falcons but had an unforeseen ending. Was Super Bowl LI the greatest game, or the most shocking ending in the history of the NFL? The Patriots miraculously put together the largest comeback in Super Bowl history in a game that will likely be remembered as legendary.

The New England patriots had a whopping 17-2 record, while the Atlanta Falcons had an 11-5 record. Most people had already claimed the Patriots as the front-runners in the Super Bowl, but the Falcons were definitely not ready to go down without a fight.

First Quarter

Both teams had slow starts in the first quarter, resulting in no scoring for the first fifteen minutes of the game. Once the second quarter started, the Falcons hit their stride. It only took Quarterback Matt Ryan two passes to Wide Receiver Julio Jones to get the Falcons into the red zone. There, Running-back Devonta Freeman scored on a toss the very next play. As the quarter continued, the Falcons managed to get the ball back and they marched down the field again. Matt Ryan completed seven of eight passes and sealed the drive off with a touchdown pass to Tight End Austin Hooper.

Second Quarter

As the quarter came to a close, the Patriots drove down the field and Tom Brady threw a Pick six to Robert Alford that ultimately put the dagger in the Pats’ hopes of coming back. Twitter erupted with plenty of memes that joked about the Patriots getting blown out. Sadly, the Patriots looked like they were about to be put to rest.

Third Quarter

As the second half started, the Falcons’ offense marched down the field to score another touchdown to stretch their 28-3 lead. If you left your Super Bowl party early or decided to hit the hay because the game felt over at this point, you made a monumental mistake. The Patriots went on to score on the very next drive. And the next one, and the next one, and the next one, until the game was suddenly tied up at 28-28. Tom Brady threw two touchdowns during that span. Running-back Wide receiver Danny Amendola caught one, while Running back James White caught the other and also ran one in. The Patriots were on fire, and the Falcons’ offense looked in disarray. Both teams failed to score as time expired and the game headed into overtime.

Tension spread across the field as the Patriots and Falcons both hoped to come out on top. The New England Patriots were not in the lead for even a second before this.

They were able to surprise the Falcons and almost everyone watching at home. Dan Quinn, coach of the Atlanta Falcons, stood in disbelief about the chain of events that had just occurred. It is hard to imagine the thoughts running through his head as he watched his teams’ enormous lead slip away.

Overtime

Super Bowl LI was the first Super Bowl to go into overtime, making this game even more historic. The Patriots received the ball first and never looked back. The Falcons’ defense was already gassed and the Pats quickly took advantage of that. They plowed seventy five yards down the field and capped off the win with a two yard touchdown run to James White. Brady threw for a whopping 466 yards—the most in any super bowl ever and it won him MVP.

The Aftermath

This game not only meant that the Patriots won another Super bowl (their 5th) but it also helped solidify Tom Brady and Bill Belichick as the greatest—if not one of the greatest—quarterback/ coaching duos in the NFL history. Super Bowl LI consisted of comebacks, nail-biting, and history in the making. Despite what the scoreboard said at the end, it was a great game for both the Patriots and the Falcons.

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Super Bowl LI: Patriots vs Falcons