By Jalen Checo
Sunday, February 5th was the most watched sporting event in the country –– the Super Bowl. This year’s National Football League Championship featured the historically dominant New England Patriots and the newly successful Atlanta Falcons. The sporting event was the 51st of its kind, and some are claiming it may have been the best one so far. With a final score was 34-28, the New England Patriots surprised everyone, by coming back from a 25-point deficit to win the game in overtime.
This was the 5th Super Bowl victory for Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick. However, the game didn’t start off the way they wanted to, and few people thought the Patriots would be bringing home their 5th Lombardi Trophy. The Falcons seemed prime to win their first super bowl after quickly dominating, leading 21-0 midway through the second quarter and 28-3 midway through the third quarter. Tom Brady did not look anything like the Hall of Fame-bound quarterback he is known to be.
But then, with 2:06 left in the third quarter, the Patriots scored their first touchdown of the game, a five yard pass from Tom Brady to running back James White, and the lead was cut to 28-9. The touchdown was a sign of what was to come for the Patriots, who went on to score three more touchdowns along with two consecutive, 2-point conversions. In the end, the team scored a total of 25 unanswered points to tie the game up at 28-28 at the end of regulation.
After the fourth quarter ended with a score of 28-28, the game was headed to overtime. Fittingly enough, the Patriots won the overtime coin toss and took first possession. To no one’s surprise, Tom Brady was able to take the Patriots 75 yards down the field in 8 plays and seal the Super Bowl victory with a two-yard handoff to James White.
That capped the largest comeback in Super Bowl history by far, with a previous record of ten points) and marked what some claim to be the best Super Bowl of all time. After the game, New England’s offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels commented on the comeback and the determination of the team explaining, “when you fall behind by a lot in a game like this, you have to make a lot of great plays and have a lot of things go right.” When asked if this win was the most pleasing of his five Super Bowl wins, Belichick simply responded: “That’s for you guys to decide.” Whether or not it was the Belichick’s favorite Super Bowl win, there is little debate on whether or not it was the greatest Super Bowl of all-time.
The game featured tremendous offensive and defensive plays. In addition to Julio Jones’ amazing sideline catch (pictured above) Patriots wide-receiver Julian Edelman made what will likely go down as the best catch in Super Bowl history. Despite the disappointing loss, the Falcons were not exempt from their own great plays, chief among them Robert Alford’s interception returned for a touchdown on Tom Brady. Overall, Super Bowl 51 was a historic and exciting matchup between two teams likely to be very successful for years to come.