STARTING FIVE: Patriots complete comeback to win Super Bowl 51
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The New England Patriots defeated the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl 51, 34-28, in the first ever Super Bowl that went to overtime. The Patriots overcame a historic 25-point deficit in the to win, scoring 19 unanswered points in the 4th quarter and getting the game winner on a James White rushing touchdown in overtime. It’s the Patriots’ 5th Super Bowl championship in franchise history. Tom Brady had a spectacular performance, throwing for 466 yards and two touchdowns. Brady earned his 4th Super Bowl MVP award in his career and is the first QB to win 5 Super Bowl games. His coach, Bill Belichick, is also the only coach in the NFL to ever win 5 Super Bowl games.
The game started out all Falcons, albeit in the second quarter, jumping out to a 21-0 lead. The Falcons’ first score came on a 5 yard run from Devonta Freeman, as he bounced to the outside, found space, and hit paydirt. NFL MVP Matt Ryan made it 14-0 on a 19 yard pass to rookie tight end Austin Hooper. Most fans thought the game was over when Tom Brady and the Patriots were threatening, and Brady throws a pick six to Robert Alford 82 yards out. The Falcons took a 21-3 lead into halftime.
After halftime (and a wonderful performance by Lady GaGa), The Falcons received the ball first and scored on a 6 yard pass to Tevin Coleman to make the score 28-3 and seemingly insurmountable. The world was ready to crown Atlanta Super Bowl champions. The Patriots had other ideas. Brady drove down the field and threw a touchdown pass to James White to make the score 28-9. Falcons fail to score, and Brady gets the ball back. The fourth quarter begins, and after a Stephen Gostkowski field goal, it was 28-12. Falcons fail to score again, and Brady makes it a one score game on a six yard pass to Danny Amendola. 28-20. Falcons could not move the ball yet again, setting up Brady and the Patriots to promptly drive 91 yards and score on a James White 1 yard touchdown. 28-28. With only 57 seconds, the Falcons couldn’t do anything but run the time out and go to overtime.
The Patriots received the ball in overtime, using just 8 plays to go 75 yards and using almost 4 minutes of game clock. James White runs it in from two yards out, and the Patriots win Super Bowl 51. An incredible comeback by Tom Brady and the Patriots, a horrifying choke job by the Atlanta Falcons, this Super Bowl was one for the history books. Brady solidified himself as the greatest quarterback in NFL history with his masterful game, and there’s no doubting the Patriots dynasty.