Super Bowl LI: Greatest Comeback in Football History

By: Kylan Watson

                Last night it seemed like everything was going the way of the Atlanta Falcons during  Super Bowl 51. They had the Patriots on the ropes, and if the game had ended in the 2nd quarter, the Falcons would  be the 2017 NFL Champions. However, Tom Brady engineered what might be the greatest comeback in  football history.  Brady may have cemented his legacy as the greatest quarterback to ever play the game.

The first half of the game was dominated by the Falcons. Brady and the Patriots were being dominated in all three phases of the game. Brady was sacked four times, and was intercepted by Falcons corner back Robert Alford for an 82 yard touchdown return. After Alford scored, it was a 21-0 game with about 52 seconds left in the 2nd quarter. Brady was able to salvage a drive which ended in a Stephen Gostkowski Field Goal kick, which finally ended the Patriots scoring drought. The Patriots went in to the locker room down by eighteen points; the score was 21-3.

Who knows what kind of speech Bill Belichick gave to his troops, but whatever it was he lit a fire under them, the Patriots would go on to score 25 unanswered points. It took a one yard touchdown run by James White and a 2 yard pass to wide receiver Danny Amendola for the 2 point conversion to tie the game. Fans were able to witness the first overtime game in the history of the Super Bowl. The Patriots won the coin toss during overtime and Brady led his team right down the field and handed the ball to James White for a one yard touchdown run, and that run by White gave Brady his fifth Super Bowl championship.  Cementing his legacy and making an argument that he may in fact be the greatest football player to ever play the game.

The Atlanta Falcons suffered what maybe the greatest collapse in super bowl history. The Falcons were not able to score again after a 6 yard touchdown run by running back Tevin Coleman with eight minutes and 31 seconds left in the third quarter.  All of that high octane offense that the Falcons had must have been used up by then, because after that score by Coleman, the offensive and defensive units did not put up much of a fight in the 2nd half. After being punched in the mouth by the offensive fire power of the Patriots, it seemed like the Falcons could not stop the Patriots.

Penalties were the biggest killers for the Falcons as defensive holding penalties kept giving the Patriots, a chance to get back in the game. The Falcons just could not recover.  Ultimately, it would be an offensive holding penalty, that doomed the Falcons.  An offensive holding penalty was called on an offensive lineman for the Falcons.  Matt Ryan would get sacked on a crucial 2nd down and take the Falcons out of field goal range.

Tom Brady was able to engineer the greatest comeback in the history of the postseason, Brady was already one of the top three quarterbacks to ever play the game, but with his fifth championship, he maybe the Michael Jordan of football. No one can question his championship acumen and he is doing all of this at 39-years old. Brady has had a 16 year career, and this may be his toughest and greatest championship run of his career.

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