Sports
Patriots top Falcons in an instant classic
By
Staff Writer
Friday, February 10, 2017

With the largest comeback in Super Bowl history, the Patriots beat the Falcons in an overtime epic.

In what was arguably one of the best Super Bowls of all time, the Atlanta Falcons, who were not trailing at any point during the game, saw their commanding lead fall apart as Tom Brady and the New England Patriots claimed their fifth franchise Super Bowl title. For a New England team that was down by 25 points early in the third quarter, the comeback did not seem possible. However, following a long halftime performance and a new game plan in the Patriots locker room, Brady was determined to win his fifth ring.

It all started with a dominant half by the Falcons. Quarterback Matt Ryan was connecting with every receiver, Freeman was running the ball well and the Patriots simply could not answer. Freeman had the game’s first touchdown and the Atlanta defense and offense continued to add on. Following a pick-six, a forced fumble and a number of sacks, the Falcons had a commanding 21-3 lead at the half. Coming out of the locker room, Atlanta did not stop. They scored on their second possession and increased their lead to 25 points. At this point, the Patriots, who had one of the best offenses in the league, had a 0.1 percent chance of winning. However, that was just enough for Brady and the Patriots to pull off the best comeback in Super Bowl history.

Following the Atlanta Score, Brady and the New England offense got to work. They needed 25 points in 23 minutes. Brady connected with running back James White on the next possession for a touchdown, but Gostkowski missed the extra point which made the score 28-9. The Patriot’s kicker made up for it on the next New England possession in which he nailed a 33-yard field goal to make it a two possession game.

With nine minutes to go in Super Bowl 51, Atlanta had the ball and New England was still down by 16. As hope was dwindling for the Patriots, linebacker Hightower, gave them the play they desperately needed, a strip sack fumble. The Patriots would end up scoring on this possession and converting on the two point conversion to make it a one possession game.

The 25 point deficit was now just eight. Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense put together an impressive drive on the next possession but ended up being pushed out of field goal range with a holding call and a Patriots sack.

Tom Brady took over with 3:30 left in the game and ran the team down the field for the touchdown and converted on the two point conversion. The comeback to tie, on its own, was one of the most impressive Super Bowl accomplishments in history, but Brady wasn’t done.

For the first time in its history, the Super Bowl had to be decided in overtime (OT). In line with the momentum, the Patriots won the coin toss and Brady looked to cap off the comeback of a lifetime. Just four minutes into OT, James White ran the ball in from two yards out for the score and the win. Tom Brady, who threw for 466 yards and would later be named Super Bowl MVP, led an unbelievable comeback to give the Patriots their fifth franchise Super Bowl title.