Behind The Scoreboard

The greatest comeback

It almost didn’t happen – a few weeks ago, the New England Patriots were picked as the favorites to win.

It was an emotional night for Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. What had appeared to be a possible upset (down 28-3 in the third quarter) had ended victoriously.

The greatest comeback – Brady and the Patriots came back from a 25-point deficit to beat the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in overtime to win Super Bowl LI. This was a first ever in history that a Super Bowl went into overtime. And entering Sunday, no team had won the Super Bowl after trailing by more than 10 points.

The New England team won its fifth NFL championship title. Bill Belichick became the first coach with five Super Bowl crowns.

Brady shook off a second quarter interception that was returned for a touchdown by Robert Alford. Brady threw for an NFL record 466 yards. He also set NFL records with 43 completions and 62 pass attempts. Brady was named the game’s MVP. It was the fourth time, an NFL record, that he had earned MVP honors. Brady won the award in 2001, 2003, and 2014.

Julian Edelman’s catch was one of the highlights for the Patriots, a 23-yard reception that was almost beyond belief. Later on that same drive, the team scored a touchdown and completed a two-point conversion that tied the game near the end of regulation. Another thriller was James White’s 2-yard touchdown run in overtime that shattered the Falcons’ Super Bowl dream. White had 14 receptions for 110 yards.

It wasn’t supposed to end this way for the Falcons. The Falcons looked poised to take their first NFL championship title in 51 seasons. The Falcons soon collapsed from being dominant to somewhat dysfunctional in a span of roughly nine minutes. They were beating the league’s top franchise for more than three quarters and making it look easy in the process. Atlanta led this game 28-3 with 8:36 left in the third quarter.

Some of the Falcons’ critical turning points were a missed block by running back Devonta Freeman on a fourth quarter pass play, Patriots’ linebacker Dont’a Hightower sacked Falcons’ quarterback Matt Ryan, forcing a fumble that Patriot defensive tackle Alan Branch recovered.

The Falcons watched the Patriots score 31 unanswered points that included two fourth-quarter touchdowns and a pair of two-point conversions before the end of regulation.

Holly Springs South Reporter

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