Tom Brady led the New England Patriots to a stunning overtime win against NFL MVP Matt Ryans Atlanta Falcons. Many of us expected it to go that way. I always bet on experience in the big game. But what if I told you that in order for the Patriots to win their 5th championship they would have to overcome a dominant defensive performance by Atlanta, a Tom Brady pick-six and o yeah, a 25 point 3rd quarter deficit?
No way right?
The first quarter was slow as both teams attempted to feel each other out. All of that changed for Atlanta when rookie Deion Jones forced a fumble from RB LeGarrette Blount. Matt Ryan drove down the field and Devanta Freeman punched in a five-yard touchdown run.
The Falcons defense was aggressive all night. They had five sacks, three of them coming from 5th round draft pick Grady Jarrett. Tom Brady was obviously rattled, missing wide open receivers including Edelman late in the 2nd quarter.
The biggest play of the first half came when the Patriots were down 14-0. Tom Brady lost sight of Atlanta’s Robert Alford who returned an interception 82 yards to help the Falcons take a 21-3 lead into the half.
After each team settles for punts on the opening drives of the second half, Atlanta took the ball 85 yards down the field to make the game 28-3 and the whole world was ready to call the mercy rule.
Everyone except the Patriots.
Brady scored on the next two drives, but the tide really turned with eight and a half minutes left in the 4th quarter. That’s when Dont’a Hightower forced a Matt Ryan fumble and the Pat’s brought it to within one score.
After another Atlanta punt, Tom Brady orchestrated an 8 play 75-yard touchdown drive that included a spectacular grab by Edelman on a tipped pass that missed hitting the ground by inches before the veteran got his hands under it. With 57 seconds left, James White scored a rushing touchdown and Danny Amendola caught the 2 point conversion sending us into overtime at the Super Bowl.
The first OT in Super Bowl history only took four minutes. The
Pat’s seemed destined at this point, moving the ball 63 yards and Brady completing passes to four different receivers before the Falcons were called for pass interference putting the ball on the 2-yard line. White took the handoff and sealed the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history, and once again New England gets a parade.
Brady credited his teammates and coaches for the amazing win, but the Hightower led defense deserves to be remembered as well. The Falcons only had the ball 23 minutes, with 17 1st downs. The Patriots Defense was a brick wall on third down, completely shutting down the Falcons 7 of 8 times.
But I give credit when credit is due, and it was Bradys Super Bowl record passing yards and attempts, coupled with an unbreakable will to win that earned him his 4th Super Bowl MVP. He went 43-62, 466 yards and 2 TDs and 1 INT.