Super Bowl Recap

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Super Bowl 51

Ben Clanin, Co-Sports Editor

     Super Bowl LI was one of the craziest games that the sport has ever seen, it was the first overtime game Super Bowl history and it was the biggest comeback in any Super Bowl ever played.  Before the game many experts were expecting a shootout between the two offensive powerhouses.  The Falcons, lead by the MVP of the league Matt Ryan, looked to take the Lombardi Trophy home to Atlanta for the first time in franchise history.  While Tom Brady and the New England Patriots looked to take home their fifth championship in the Brady-Belichick era.

     During the first half the Falcons were absolutely dominant.  Even though there was no scoring in the first quarter there was more than enough action to make up for it in the second.  The Patriots looked like they were on the verge of starting the scoring with a deep drive into Falcon territory, but a LeGarrette Blount fumble led to an Atlanta recovery and a very big shift in momentum. Matt Ryan worked fast with his favorite receiver, Julio Jones, only needing two passes to get into New England territory.  A few short plays later the Falcons scored the first touchdown of the game.  On the other side of the ball the Falcons defense, which was rated 26th in the league in the beginning of the year, was outperforming the Pat’s line.  They caused a quick three and out to get the ball back into Matt Ryan’s hands. After marching downfield and into the red-zone Ryan threw a touchdown pass to Austin Hooper.  The game was 14-0 and the Falcons offense looked nearly unstoppable, with Ryan being 7-8 in completions. On the next drive the Patriots were moving quickly down the field but were stopped by a rare Tom Brady interception, which was returned for a touchdown.

     The score of the first half would end up being 21-3 as the Pat’s were able to get a field goal before the end of the half.  Going into the Lady Gaga halftime show the game looked to be over and it looked as if the Falcons were actually going to beat the giants of the AFC.  But if there is anything that we have learned in the crazy year of sports that was 2016 it is that you should never count out a team until the game is over.  

     In the third quarter the Patriots scored their first touchdown of the game after another Atlanta touchdown, making the score going into the fourth and abysmal 28-9.  The Patriots lead the fourth quarter off with another march-down field and a touchdown, making it 28-12.  On the defensive side of the ball Dont’a Hightower made a great strip-sack and the Pats had the ball once again. Brady capitalized and scored again, and added on another two points with a successful two point conversion. It was suddenly a one possession game with the score being 28-20.  The drive after that the Falcons were held scoreless again by a suddenly awaken New England defense.  Brady then ran an amazing two-minute drill down field, going 91 yards in two minutes and 33 seconds.  The game was tied after yet another two-point conversion and it was all tied up at the end of regulation.

     This was the first overtime game in Super Bowl history, and New England won the coin toss.  Just like they had done the whole second half they marched down field and scored the game winning touchdown, overcoming a nearly insurmountable deficit and making Super Bowl history.