Super Bowl LI: New England rises up again
Every year, the Super Bowl is consistently one of the most-watched television programs across the world, and this one surely did not disappoint. This year’s matchup was between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons.
The New England Patriots are a fixture when it comes to making a run into February. Even though Tom Brady was suspended the first four games of the regular season, the Patriots were not going to be denied.
The Falcons found themselves in a completely different situation. Atlanta had always been on the fringe of contending but could never break through.
The Patriots were an incredible 14-2 this season, while the Falcons were 11-5. Everybody had already penciled in the Patriots into the Super Bowl, while the Atlanta Falcons were being overlooked.
Calling the Patriots being in the Super Bowl seemed like a pretty easy conclusion, but to see Atlanta make it through the Seattle Seahawks and a red hot Aaron Rodgers was nothing short of astonishing.
This game got off to a fast start for the Falcons, with Atlanta getting out to a 21-3 lead at halftime. Most people watching this game were surprised to see this young and athletic Falcons team get off to such a hot start against one of the best teams of all time, and to not only keep Tom Brady out of the end zone, but to also get him to throw a pick six.
New England fans were frozen in the seats they were sitting in, and some even conceded to victory for the Falcons, as early as halftime.
However, senior Dylan Brockmeyer was not to be deterred and her confidence never wavered. Despite the big halftime deficit, Brockmeyer believed that New England’s proven leader could will his team to victory.
“Well, I was obviously super bummed, but I also know that Tom Brady gets his team super hyped after halftime, and they come out with a lot more energy and command as a team,” Brockmeyer said. “We may have been way behind, but I know my Patriots, and we have historically been a second half team. [They] came out with a ton of fire in the second half, and, as a Patriots fan, I knew that there would be an epic comeback.”
Patriots fans may have thought that they were going to come back and win this game, but after the third quarter, a big hole still remained. Atlanta had widened the lead to 28-9 at the start of the fourth quarter. The Patriots were down 19 points with one quarter left. The biggest comeback ever in Super Bowl history was 10 points and the Patriots had to double that with one quarter remaining.
As the fourth quarter started, Brady led his team drive after drive and seemed to know that his team could not be stopped. That is not to say that there not moments of nervousness for fans like Brockmeyer.
“I guess I was really nervous for both of our two-point conversions,” Brockmeyer said. “I knew that we would always score a touchdown, but you never know what is going to happen on the two-point conversion. Then, I knew if all these things happened, then I would be phenomenally more stressed because [the game] would be going into overtime.”
The Patriots finished the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history thanks to some brilliant defense and some incredible catches. We finally had two firsts in Super Bowl history: the largest comeback and the first overtime game.
When overtime started, both teams knew that they had to hold the opposing team to at most a field goal, so they could give their own offense a chance. New England won the coin toss, and they knew that they did not want to give the ball back to the fiery Falcons offense. As soon as Brady got on the field, he seemed to know that this game was over. Surely enough, he led his offense right down the field and capped off a historic night with a two-yard pitch play to running back James White. Not only was it his and coach Bill Belichick’s fifth Super Bowl victory, but he also threw for the most pass yards in a Super Bowl with 466. Brady capped off the largest comeback in Super Bowl history of 25 points, a hole they faced at one point in the third quarter. Brady also won his fourth NFL Super Bowl MVP, beating Joe Montana’s previous record of three.
The path to the victory in the Super Bowl was not what they thought. Tom Brady had been suspiciously suspended for four games to start the season for his involvement in the “Deflategate” scandal. Through all of this adversity, the Patriots remain on top. They fought through being targeted by their own league commissioner. They had a winning record without arguably the best quarterback in the history of the National Football League.
Even without their best player and captain for those first four games, they still had the best record in the entire league. They cruised all the way through the playoffs, blowing out both the Houston Texans and Pittsburgh Steelers. Nothing could stop these guys, not even a 25-point deficit in the Super Bowl.
Brockmeyer had one simple thing to say about this incredible season.
“We are the New England Patriots,” Brockmeyer said. “This season has shown that the entire team and organization is full of really dedicated and talented players.”
Brady may be 39 years old, but it is looking like these Patriots will continue to dominate this league and will continue to be tough to stop.
Written by Jake Ellis, Contributor