New England Patriots come back to win historic Super Bowl LI

Nathan Abramowitz, Staff Writer

Tom Brady, Mr. Perfect himself, again proved to the world that he is among the greatest quarterbacks of all time in Houston on Sunday.  With eight and a half minutes left in the third quarter, the Falcons had a 25-point lead over the Patriots.  The largest Super Bowl comeback before Sunday was ten points. However, the Patriots never gave up,  and won Super Bowl LI.

The stage was set for an intense matchup in Super Bowl LI.  It was the number one offense versus the number one defense.  The Falcons offense, led by quarterback Matt Ryan, scored a league high 540 points this season.  Their defense, however, was lackluster, being 25th in the league in yards allowed.

Still, The Falcons were equipped with weapons such as Julio Jones, Devonta Freeman, and Tevin Coleman.  The Falcons stormed to an 11-5 record.  In the playoffs, the Falcons beat the veteran Seahawks and the  Packers with ease.

The Patriots season had a rough start.  Tom Brady was suspended for the first four games by league commissioner Roger Goodell for his role in the so called “deflategate” scandal.  In the infamous Wells Report, Ted Wells claimed that Tom Brady had prior knowledge of an attendant deflating the Patriots’ balls so that they would be easier to grip before the 2015 AFC title game versus the Colts.

To this day, Brady still claims innocence, saying “I have no knowledge of anything. I have no knowledge of any wrongdoing,” according to ESPN.   Without Brady, the Patriots still started off 3-1 and finished the season with the league-best 14-2 record.  The key to the Patriots success was that they were strong on both sides of the ball. The Patriots finished as the third highest scoring offense and the number one defense.

In the playoffs, the Patriots dominated the Texans and the Steelers, with especially strong play from Tom Brady. Brady’s strong play prompted defensive end Chris Long to say “I would take Tom Brady above any living or nonliving quarterback” prior to the Super Bowl, according to ESPN.

On Sunday, February 5th, the highly anticipated Super Bowl began.  The first quarter was forgettable, as neither team scored.  However, in the second quarter, the Falcons high-powered offense exploded. Devonta Freeman’s quick cuts sliced through the Patriots defense, and provided the Falcons with the first score of the night.  Then, Matt Ryan found tight end Austin Hooper on a perfectly thrown ball to put the Falcons up 14-0.

During all this, Tom Brady did not look like his normal self. The Falcons’ pass rush of Dwight Freeney and Grady Jarrett started to hit home.  Rattled, Tom Brady started to miss throws.  Robert Alford then picked off Tom Brady on a short slant route and returned it 82 yards for a touchdown, putting the Falcons’ lead at 21 points.

At halftime, the score was 21-3 Falcons.  It looked like another boring, blowout Super Bowl.  The spead of the Falcons left the Patriots a step behind.

In the Patriots’ locker room at half, one would expect anger, but that is not the Patriots’ way.  Despite the 21-3 deficit, there were no tossed chairs or exclamations.  The mood was one of hope and optimism.  Head Coach Bill Belichick said that there was a good chance of a comeback, if everyone does their jobs.  “We all believed it” Patriots defensive end Chris Long stated.

Despite this optimism, the Falcons’ dominance bled into the second half with a Tevin Coleman touchdown.  The Falcons led 28-3 with only a quarter and a half left.

From this point on, the Patriots outgained the Falcons in yardage 351-44.  A James White touchdown commenced the Patriots comeback.  At the end of the third quarter, the Falcons led with a score of 28-9.

At the start of the fourth quarter, the Patriots were driving.  However, the Falcons defense stiffened and held the Patriots to a short field goal.  After wide receiver Danny Amendola forced his way into the end zone, the Patriots had a chance to tie the game with three minutes left.

During the game-tying drive, Edelman caught a near-impossible catch. After the ball bounced off an arm and a leg, Edelman caught the ball but lost it, and caught it again only centimeters above the ground.  This iconic catch will be remember forever, parallel to the David Tyree catch in 2008 that cost the Patriots the Super Bowl.  “It was one of the greatest catches I’ve ever seen,” Brady stated.  Another James White touchdown tied the game up, and sent the game into the first ever Super Bowl overtime.

In overtime, the Patriots won the toss and chose to receive.  Malcolm Butler was so confident that Tom Brady would score and win the game, that he untied his cleats and “watched the game like the rest of you,” per ESPN.

Tom Brady drove down the field; the frustrated Falcons defense was a step behind. James White, outstretching his arms reached into the end zone, and gave Tom Brady his fifth Super Bowl victory.

Brady, said this was the sweetest of all of the Super Bowl victories.  “We’re all going to remember this for the rest of our lives” Brady said.  Players on both sides were stunned into silence. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan said “There’s nothing you can really say.”

Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett said “I’m numb and I can barely talk.  In the game, Brady set a Super Bowl record for passing yards and completions.  There is no doubt Tom Brady solidified his legacy as an NFL great, and many people believe that this statement win has given Brady the title of greatest of all time.”