If you witnessed Super Bowl 51 then congratulations, you witnessed the greatest football game in NFL history.
After a quiet and uneventful first quarter, out of nowhere, Atlanta explodes in the second quarter. Atlanta was able to put up 21 points, 14 of those points coming off of Patriot turnovers, including one interception for a touchdown by Robert Alford. At halftime, New England was trailing, 21-3 and Super Bowl 51 seemed destined to go to Atlanta
Then, things became a little weird. The third quarter was another quiet quarter, and both teams scored a combined 13 points (seven for Atlanta and six for New England). Atlanta's win probability was at 96% at the end of the third quarter according to Fox and ESPN. But, New England seemed to have found their answer on defense, they seemed to be understanding how to contain the Falcons offense.
And, then, boom. The fourth quarter, the greatest football quarter in history. Tom Brady was Tom Terrific once again; he was able to pick apart methodically the Falcons defense and put up 19 points in the fourth quarter. Brady would find Danny Amendola for a touchdown with around five minutes left to go in the game, and a direct snap to James White would help them convert the two-point play, making the score 28-20 for Atlanta. Then, after poor time management by the MVP Matt Ryan, Tom Brady would have three minutes and two timeouts to score eight points. Guess what? He did it, no problem. Brady would march down the field and get the Patriots to the Falcons one yard line with a little under a minute to play, a great run up the middle by James White for a touchdown and a beautiful wide receiver screen to Dany Amendola for the two-point conversion would tie the game up at 28.
At 28-28, we would see the very first overtime in Super Bowl history, and let the legend of Tom Brady continue to grow. The New England Patriots won the toss and never looked back. Tom Brady went 6-7 on the drive (one incompletion was ruled a pass interference) and marched down the field to set up at the Falcons goal line looking a fifth Super Bowl victory dead in the eye. And then, the pitch. A pitch to James White on the outside sealed the deal, White broke the plain and scored. Game over, delegate over, greatest of all time discussion over.
Tom Brady would win his fourth Super Bowl MVP as he went 43/62 for 466 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. The 43 pass completions, 62 pass attempts, and 466 yards were all Super Bowl records, not to mention that the Patriots overcame the biggest deficit in Super Bowl history.
They say history repeats itself, and tonight it showed. Matt Ryan may have won MVP the night before the Super Bowl, but now MVP winners since 2000 are now 0-8 in Super Bowls. And when the number one defense (New England) squares up against the number one offense (Atlanta) the defense holds an edge of 5-1.
Congratulations to the New England Patriots on their fifth Super Bowl victory. Then victory parade will be held Tuesday, February 7th at 11:00 am.
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