Patriots Win Superbowl

By John Bernardo
Feb. 06, 2017

The New England Patriots won Superbowl LI 34-28 over The Atlanta Falcons.

Tom Brady was sensational leading The Patriots back from a deficit as large as 25 points. Brady broke all kinds of records; most notably 466 yards passing. But let's break the game down. 

The game opened with the pleasant voice of Joe Buck. The first quarter came and went quickly while each team felt each other out. Other than the Tide commercial, and the Bai commercial nothing happened. The quarter ended 0-0. 

Then Atlanta showed up. They gashed The Patriots with the stout running of Devonta Freeman. While Freeman rested, Tevin Coleman sprung loose through the backfield as well. Julio Jones was making catches. The Falcons were able to harass Tom Brady and continued to harass Tom Brady. Grady Jarrett, a rookie lineman on Atlanta was able to sack and pressure Brady, and with Atlanta scoring again, it was trouble for The Patriots. 

Just when it seemed like The Patriots had something going, Robert Alford, a corner-back for Atlanta picked off Tom Brady and ran it all the way back for 6 points. At this point The Patriots were down 21-0. The Patriots managed to put a drive together and salvage a field goal, their only points of the first half. It was an ugly drive, aided by 3 holding penalties on Atlanta. But points are points. Meanwhile, Atlanta was receiving the ball coming out of half. It was a bad game and was going even worse for The Patriots.

And then, Belichick did what he does best. He made some adjustments. The Patriots were able to get a bit of pressure on Matt Ryan. The Patriots put together 2 scoring drives, not just settling for touchdowns but getting 2 points conversions as well. The Patriots needed the 2 point conversions, but maybe their decision making was swayed by Gostkowski's upright doinking kick after The Patriots scored their first TD on a pass from Brady to James White.  

After Brady hit White with 2 minutes left in the 3rd quarter The Falcons' lead still felt insurmountable. A failed onside kick by The Patriots only made it worse.  The Falcons continued to move the chains but were unable to get into easy field goal range. At one point Matt Ryan took back to back sacks pushing The Falcons beyond field goal range forcing them to punt. From there Brady drove The Patriots downfield hitting just about every Patriot, including Julian Edelman, Martellus Bennett, Danny Amendola, and James White. The Patriots capped off their drive with a 33 yard Gostkowski field goal. Even still the clock had been ticking the whole time. At this point it was New England 12, Atlanta 28 with 9:45 left on the clock. New England's run game was totally shut down, Atlanta looked primed to get the ball back and continue carving up The Patriots' defense. Yet The Patriots came up big with Dont'a Hightower a strip sack on Matt Ryan and The Patriots recovered the loose ball. 

With the recovery of the loose ball, The Patriots drove down the field yet again, scoring this time to Danny Amendola and a 2 point conversion converted by James White. At 20 NE, 28 you could feel the momentum changing. The Patriots had stopped Atlanta repeatedly, and Atlanta could not stop The Patriots. The Patriots came down again finishing off a drive with a 1 yard run by James White. Another 2 point completion was completed with the help of Danny Amendola. At this point the game was tied. Atlanta had one final push for the end zone. Despite some late game heroics by Matt Ryan and Julio  Jones, Atlanta came up short sending the game into overtime.

Memories from past Superbowls came to haunt Patriot fans throughout the game. Mostly it was seeing Tom Brady get hit. But one demon was exorcised on the play seen below. Say goodbye to David Tyree and hello to Julian Edelman. 

Brady drove The Patriots downfield again and attempted a fade route to Martellus Bennett in the end zone from the 1 yard line. Almost every New England fan yelled at their TV telling Josh McDaniels to call a running play. It was reminiscent of Seattle deciding to throw it from the 1 on the Malcolm Butler play. After the botched fade they ran James White and he made a herculean effort breaking a tackle and dragging a Falcon defender into the end zone with him. It was over. 

There will be some forgotten plays in this game. Every time The Patriots needed a first down guys like Malcolm Mitchell were open. The 8 yard pickups by Amendola, Edelman and Chris Hogan were there when they needed them. What The Patriots lacked in the run game they gained through the air. The Patriots went to their "aerial running game". Their dink and dunk passes of 4 or 5 yards served as other teams' run games when their running backs pick up 4 or 5 yards. 

On Atlanta's side Freeman had some unbelievable runs. His cutbacks gashed The Patriots. Julio Jones looked as monstrous as ever. The Falcons' pass rush got home often. Plays were made by the defensive backs of both teams. It was a game. A comeback. It was intense. It was fun. It was everything a Superbowl should be.