Super Bowl LI Recap: And Then There Was One
Brian Barefield | 2/10/2017, 8:30 a.m.
As football fans gathered at Super Bowl parties all across America, they had no clue that they were about to witness a miracle and history all at the same time. The New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons met at NRG stadium in Houston, Texas for the last game of the 2016 season. Super Bowl LI, this matchup featured the newly crowned NFL MVP (Matt Ryan) vs. the ageless wonder (Tom Brady). Yet it would only be one who would walk away with the Lombardi trophy and legendary status.
The Falcons put the Patriots in unfamiliar territory very early by jumping out to a 21 point lead. Wait. What? There is no possible way we are watching a Belichick/Brady led team look so lethargic and outcoached at the same time is it? We have seen the Patriots come back from a 10 point deficit in the Super Bowl before (SB 49 – Seahawks), but this was 21 points. And no team has ever come back from that many points down to win. On the next offensive possession the Patriots were saved time after time on third down by defensive holding penalties committed by a Dan Quinn (Falcons Head Coach) led defense. Once inside the red zone, it looked as if Brady would finally get his team on the board. And then it happened. A Big Foot sighting. A UFO landing in Arizona. Well those things didn’t happen, but the equivalent did to every Patriots fan who was watching. Tom Brady threw an interception for a touchdown. Yes, you read that right (I even had to proofread that sentence 3 times). And just that quick all the Atlanta Falcons had taken the football heart of the 4 time Super Bowl champions. New England was able to muster up 3 points before the half which seemed as if the Falcons had given them those points as a gesture of good faith. The halftime score was 21-3, but in the eyes of the fans the score looked like 45 – impossible.
As the second half got under way, it was as if Bill Belichick let the whole Patriots team stay on the field to watch Lady Ga Ga in the halftime show. They forced the Falcons to punt on the opening possession of the half, but gave the ball right back to them on a punt themselves. Matt Ryan then drove Atlanta right down the field and connected with RB Tevin Coleman for a 6 yard score. 28 – 3. “Y’all thought it was a game. The Patriots are done. It’s over.” These were the words bellowed out by hip hop star and avid Atlanta Falcons fan, Bow Wow. It was also the mindset of every Falcons fan that was in the building. Even the President couldn’t watch anymore as he left his own Super Bowl party. I could see the headline of most articles being written during the game. “Ice in his veins. Matt Ryan and the Falcons wins Super Bowl 51.” Well in the midst of daydreaming and stuffing my face with nachos, Tom Brady slipped away from the bench and into a phone booth to go from Clark Kent to Superman. Well, that’s what it eventually would look like to Atlanta.