They were down by 25 points, they were counted out by many, but the New England Patriots pulled out the impossible to achieve their fifth Super Bowl championship 34-28 over the Atlanta Falcons. New England was not their dominant selves for the first three quarters of the game, but an improbable comeback led by Tom Brady and the stifling Patriots defense help them capture one for the thumb.
Atlanta’s start to the super bowl was electrifying. After a forced fumble by Deion Jones, Devonta Freeman scored from five yards out to make the score 7-0. Atlanta fired right back on their next possession, flying down the field to create a 14-0 deficit after a 19 yard pass to Austin Hooper from Matt Ryan. What many thought would be the turning point of the game, proved to be one of the more “Un-Brady” type of plays that we have ever seen. The Patriots were driving down the field, hoping to cut the deficit when Tom Brady was intercepted by Robert Alford. Alford returned the interception 82 yards to create a bewildering 21-0 lead. Many thought that the game was over, but in the Super Bowl, having Tom Brady on the other side of the ball, it is never over.
The second half was the fairy tale plot twist that the Patriots were hoping for. The Tom Brady to James White connection was electrifying. White tallied a Super Bowl record 14 receptions for 110 yards and a receiving touchdown. White Also added a rushing touchdown to break the gap to 28-9. Brady also connected with Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola for a combined 13 receptions for 165 yards and a touchdown by Amendola.The Patriots defense also came alive in the second half. Matt Ryan was under immense pressure as Matt Patriciah’s defense turned up the heat in crunch time. Dont’a Hightower forced a Matt Ryan fumble on a crucial third down leading to the Patriots forcing the first overtime in Super Bowl history.
With New England having all momentum possible, they received the ball first in overtime and did not look back. Tom Brady matriculated the ball down the field, striking passes to Edelman, Hogan and Amendola with precision. After a questionable pass interference call, the patriots were at the four yard line where James White punched in the game winning touchdown, concluding the game at 34-28. During the comeback run, the New England scored 31 unanswered points, cementing the legacy of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick as two of the greatest of all time.
The story within the game was between the New England Patriots and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. At the beginning of the season, Brady was suspended four games for deflating footballs against the Indianapolis Colts. For Brady to come back and win, many viewed this as a game of vindication. Tom Brady shook off the claims for vengeance and claimed it was not personal, but the awkward congratulatory handshake would deem otherwise.
Closing Stat Line:
New England Patriots
Tom Brady: 43/62 466 yd 2tds 1 interception
James White: 6 carries 29yds 2 TD 14 rec 110 yards 1td
Julian Edelman: 5 rec 87yards
Danny Amendola: 8 rec 78 yards 1 TD
Matt Ryan: 17/23 284 2 TDs, lost fumble
Devonta Freeman: 11 carries 75 yards 1 TD
Julio Jones: 4 rec 87 yards