By Farhan C
The millions of Americans who tuned in to watch the New England Patriots face off against the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl 51, were witnesses to history. Not only was this the first Super Bowl to ever go into overtime, but Patriots quarterback Tom Brady also broke two NFL records by winning his fifth super bowl (breaking Joe Montana’s previous record of four) and orchestrating the largest comeback in super bowl history. However, while the game ended in the Patriots favor, it sure didn’t start that way.
Atlanta won the coin toss and decided to defer to the second half, a decision which surprised a lot of people. Following a few three-and-outs by both teams, the Falcons got on the board first after running back Devonta Freeman ran in for the opening score to give them a 7-0 lead in the second quarter. A 19-yard touchdown pass from Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan to tight end Austin Hooper helped Atlanta increase their lead to 14-0.
If the 14-0 lead wasn’t already shocking enough for viewers, things got even more strange when the great Tom Brady threw a pick-six to put the Falcons up 21-0 with just over two minutes left to go in the second quarter. The Patriots kicked a field goal toward the end of the second quarter to put the score at 21-3 going into halftime.
The Falcons dominance continued into the third quarter as Matt Ryan marched his offense down the field and added to Atlanta’s lead with a touchdown pass to running back Tevin Coleman, making the score 28-3. Unfortunately for Atlanta, that would be their last score of the game. The Patriots responded by getting their first touchdown of the game, but since kicker Stephen Gostkowski missed the extra point, the score was 28-9.
Following a three-and-out by Atlanta, New England added a field goal to cut into the Falcons’ lead and the score was 28-12 at the start of the fourth quarter. Atlanta would go on to fumble on their next drive after Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower sacked Matt Ryan. Brady took advantage of the turnover and drove The Patriots down the field on a drive that concluded with a touchdown pass to Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola. The Patriots were successful on their two point conversion attempt to put the score at 28-20. The Falcons started to struggle on both sides of the ball which allowed New England to tie the game up at 28-all which push the game into overtime.
The first super bowl OT didn’t last long as Tom Brady and the Patriots took only four minutes to score the game-winning touchdown and conclude their historic 25-point comeback. The final score was 34-28.
Senior Jacob Downey said that he predicted this improbable comeback. “I actually called the comeback,” said Downey. “I told my dad that Brady will come back and win it in OT and I was right.” On the other hand, senior Camryn Eberly wants to make a comeback of her own. “I wish my GPA would make a comeback like that,” Eberly said.
With this win, Tom Brady can now be definitively called the best quarterback in the history of the NFL. The career that he has put together is nothing short of legendary and it will be remembered until the end of time.