Patriots, Falcons make history in Super Bowl LI

Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady’s Patriots won a fifth Super Bowl after a furious rally against NFL MVP Matt Ryan’s Falcons


Courtesy of WEBN-TV

The New England Patriots (helmet pictured right) won the Vince Lombardi Trophy (middle) against the Atlanta Falcons (helmet pictured left) after a 25-point comeback and first-ever Super Bowl overtime session.

Zach Stilgenbauer, Sports Editor, Scottsdale Chronicle

On Feb. 5, the New England Patriots defeated the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in overtime to win Super Bowl LI, the franchise’s fifth Super Bowl win.

The Patriots found themselves looking defeat straight in the eyes, trailing 28-3 with 8:31 left in the third quarter, as they struggled to match the ferocity and speed of the Falcons on both sides of the ball.

On offense, the Patriots’ offensive line struggled to deal with the speed of the Falcon pass rush as Tom Brady was sacked five times during the game. The heavy pressure from the Falcons made it possible to net two uncharacteristic turnovers from the Patriots, one being a costly fumble in Atlanta territory and the other being a pick-six late in the second quarter.

“They weren’t in the game. They didn’t have their head together,” SCC student Afsaneh Karami said in reference to the Patriots’ first half offensive performance.

The turning point of the game occurred when the Falcons received fantastic field position after a botched onside kick attempt by the Patriots and were unable to score even a field goal. Instead, Brady and the Patriots got the ball back on a punt and never looked back.

The Patriots took the ball down the field for a field goal to cut the deficit to 28-12. When NFL MVP Matt Ryan and his offense got the ball after that, they failed to take any significant amount of time off the clock and Ryan coughed up a costly fumble on a third down sack. The Falcons’ defense soon tired and Super Bowl MVP Brady took complete advantage, as he sped up the offense and went no-huddle.

The Patriots then drove down the field at will and cut the lead to 28-20 after Brady delivered a six-yard touchdown pass to Danny Amendolda.

The Falcons then got the ball back and immediately hit on two huge plays to get the ball into field goal range. However, the NFL’s best offense only moved backwards once in New England territory. After their run was stuffed on first down, the Falcons then elected to throw on second and third down which resulted in a sack and a critical holding penalty, which resulted in another punt.

The Patriots immediately drove down the field, and James White scored a touchdown. The ensuing two-point conversion was good and the game was tied at 28.

“I didn’t expect the Pats to make a comeback, but they did,” SCC student Byron Monteiroso said.

The Super Bowl then went into overtime for the first time ever. The Patriots won the coin toss and drove down the field. White capped off the rally with a two-yard touchdown run, and the Patriots had overcome successfully a 25-point deficit, the largest comeback in Super Bowl history.