FMQB: Game of the Ages
In a season of comebacks, who could have asked any more with this game!!! A 25 point comeback in the 2nd half is un-HEARD of! This was the 3rd largest comeback in post-season history, and it happened in the Super Bowl! The old record for Super Bowl comebacks was 10 points, also held by the Patriots.
I did call it in saying that in Super Bowls, the 1st quarter is always a “feeling out” time for both teams. But I was a bit surprised that it ended at 0-0. It’s also crazy to think that in 6 of Brady’s 7 Super Bowls, he’s failed to score in the 1st quarter. Meaning he’s basically won those games in 3 quarters of play.
As much as Atlanta fell apart in the 2nd half, one could easily argue the Patriots did the same in the 2nd quarter. The first score is usually critical, and the Pats were headed towards that before Blount fumbled the ball. Atlanta turned around and got the first 7 points. New England then went 3 and out, and Atlanta turned around and got another TD with 5 huge plays. Then Brady drove them all the way down the field only to throw a pick 6, and all of a sudden, in 10 minutes of game time it was 21-0. The Patriots would tack on a late FG to avoid being shut out.
In 2 successive drives, I thought the game was over. First, the Falcons drove down and scored to make it 28-3 (remember that score!). I thought “game over.” And the following drive the Patriots actually answered back with a TD, but then missed the extra point! I think everybody here was thinking “jeez, nothing is going right for the Patriots at this point!” They’re still down by 19 but there’s 2 minutes left in the 3rd.
Believe it or not, my tune of the game flipped once they kicked the field goal (that neither announcer agreed with) to come within 16 points. You start doing the math, looking at the time, and realizing that the Patriots will still get the ball 2 or 3 times, and are down by 2 TD’s (and two 2pt conversions). Three plays later the Falcons fumble and soon it’s a 28-20 with 6 minutes left! After a punt, the Patriots get the ball at the 9 yard line with 3:30 left in the game. This is what Tom Brady is known for, game winning or tying drives at the end of the Super Bowl. The Patriots longest drive of the season was 91 yards, and they’d have to match it for a chance. At this point, I truly thought they would score and tie it up. Sure enough they marched down the field in 10 plays and set up the most anticipated 2 pt conversion in NFL history! And Amendola barely got in!
The first OT game in Super Bowl history!!! Woooo! Glad it came with the new-ish OT rules, it would have sucked to see a team win via Field Goal under the old format. Not a ton of drama to be honest here. Patriots marched down the field with the help of a couple flags. However having a walk-off Super Bowl winning play pretty much cemented the fact that this was one of the greatest games of all time!
The Case for White:
James White had 2 rushing TD’s, a receiving TD, a 2pt conversion, a Super Bowl record 14 receptions (Deion Branch won the MVP by breaking the previous record). I don’t think you can understate Brady’s 466 yards (Super Bowl record) and 2 TD’s, but White theoretically outperformed him. Either way, Brady got his record 4th Super Bowl MVP.
I find my tune on Brady and the Patriots changing. There’s still a part of hatred that runs deep in my veins, but at the same time I’m to the point that I really respect what Brady/Belichick are doing, and almost happy that I got to witness NFL history. I have no problem saying that with 5 Super Bowl titles in 7 appearances, that he blows past the “Best of All Time” status for me.
The Patriots played the eighth-highest-scoring team in NFL history, and started punt, punt, fumble, punt, pick-six, field goal, punt… then went touchdown-field goal-touchdown-touchdown-overtime touchdown. New England scored 31 unanswered points
For the Record:
- I re-watched the Super Bowl on Wednesday (a nerdy tradition I have). Even knowing what was going to happen, I still couldn’t put together how the Patriots were going to win in the 3rd
- Brady has trailed in the 4th quarter for all 7 Super Bowls he played in. He won 5 of those games. This is impressive enough as it is, but keep in mind that this happened against the 2nd best team in the league!
- Fitting that there was a missed extra point in this game.
- Dan Quinn has to be sick for losing to the Patriots twice in the last 3 years, both terrible ways to lose a game
- Edelman’s catch will go down with Tyree’s as one of the greatest/craziest of all time
- Wow, the Boos for Goodell were deafening! Wonder how he kept it together
- I did have the Patriots winning by a TD in my prediction
Why Atlanta Broke Down:
The Atlanta defense simply ran out of gas, and you can’t blame them. ATL had 41 plays with the ball for 23 minutes, vs the Patriots 88 plays in 40 minutes. It’s the 2nd half and Overtime of the 19th game of a long season, and your offense scores TOO quickly on every drive. 3 of their 4 TD’s took less than 2 minutes off the clock.
Stat of the Week:
Atlanta had a 99.5% chance of winning the game deep into the 3rd quarter. In fact, they had over a 90% chance to win for over half of the game.
Stat of the Week #2:
Patriots’ margins in their seven Super Bowls played under Bill Belichick: 3, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4, 6.
Stat of the Week #3:
There were 24 Super Bowl records set on Sunday, and another 7 records tied
Stat of the Week #4:
Atlanta scored 21 points on 19 plays in the first half. They then went 1 hour and 8 minutes of real time without seeing the ball again.
Stat of the Week #5:
The Patriots threw 64 passes in the game!
Stat of the Week #6:
In fact, a 25 point comeback is tied for 5th most of all time! Regular or post-season
Stat of the Week #7:
Only 34 players played every single snap this season (or about 1 per team). 26 of those were offensive lineman, 4 were QB’s.
Photo credit- CNN.com