ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Brilliant Brady turns things round for Patriots in Super Bowl LI
Last weekend was the long awaited Sunday (or Monday for foreign fans) in the football calendar. Last Sunday was Super Bowl Sunday.
The two teams competing for the Lombardi trophy were the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots. These two teams were almost complete opposites in terms of Super Bowl success. The Patriots have been a familiar face in the finals, having won four Super Bowls in the past fifteen years. On the other hand, the Falcons had only previously reached the Super Bowl in 1998, where they lost against the Denver Broncos.
Neither team scored in the first quarter, although Atlanta managed a huge 37 yard run on their first play. The Falcons broke the dead lock early in the second quarter with a 62 yard drive that ended up with Freeman running around the defence to score from 5 yards out. The Falcons had another successful drive, including a spectacular side line catch by star receiver Julio Jones that ended up with a touchdown for the tight end Hooper.
New England made much more of their possession after going down two touchdowns, driving up the field, almost into the Falcons’ red zone, but Alford intercepted a pass and ran it back 82 yards for a pick six. The final possession of the half ended in a field goal for New England, for a score of 21-3.
The Patriots woes continued after half time as their receivers dropped balls and Brady missed passes. The Falcons took advantage of the poor New England offence and increased their lead with a 85 yard drive ending in Coleman catching an easy pass, for a short 6 yard run in.
The game seemed all over for the Patriots with a 25 point deficit and less than 20 minutes to go. However, the Patriots did not give up and managed to score, although Gostkowski failed to convert the touchdown. The Patriots comeback continued with another drive down field and decided to go for the two point conversion, which succeeded with White powering over.
The Falcons over ambition resulted in them being knocked out of range for a field goal at 28-20, but Ryan being sacked lost them 13 yard and Atlanta being forced to punt the ball back to the Patriots. Brady terrifically orchestrated another drive down the length of the field, and a second successful two point conversion resulted in a tie, and the need for overtime.
This was the first time in Super Bowl history that overtime had been required, with the Patriots winning the coin toss and choosing to receive. Brady kept moving the chains with his receivers now catching everything as well. They marched down the field with ease, their confidence renewed. Despite Atlanta initially stopping New England in the red zone, the Patriots scored with White crossing the plain to end the game, and give Brady and Belichick a historic five Super Bowls.
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