By Syed Rahim
After making a historic comeback in the second half, the New England Patriots rose from the ashes to defeat the Atlanta Falcons with a final score of 34-28.
The Falcons dominated the Patriots in the first half, ending the second quarter with a score of 21-3. It looked to be any easy win for Atlanta, and fans started to get ready to celebrate.
But as the clock ran down in the fourth quarter, the Patriots slowly began its comeback. Outscoring the Falcons by 19 points, a tremendously difficult catch by New England Wide Receiver Julian Edelman allowed the Patriots to tie the score with 28-28.
Edelman’s catch will likely go down in history as one of the greatest Super Bowl catches of all time. As he collided with three other players just as the ball bounced off the leg of Falcons Cornerback Robert Alford, Edelman grabbed it in the fraction of a second when it was in the air.
It was probably like 70% luck, 30% skill,” commented Edelman later in an interview on the Tonight Show.
The final result of the Super Bowl 51 left Falcons fans distraught and disappointed. Had they clinched the win, this would have been their first Super Bowl title in franchise history.
“Because of my dislike for Tom Brady, I was really happy that the Falcons were ahead by 21 points at the end of the third quarter,” said senior Matthew Hoang. “Although I dislike Tom Brady, I could not deny his clutch ability.”
Patriots fans were thrilled by the outcome of the match. This Super Bowl became the fifth title for the Patriots franchise, officially tying them with the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys for most Super Bowls won.
“I was very sad when I saw the score, and they only had three points. When they came back, I was super happy,” exclaimed junior Matthew Martinez. “When they finally won, it was just a dream come true for me.”
The game was a battle between the league’s greatest offense and the league’s greatest defense. While The Falcons’ offense tied the Los Angeles Rams for 7th most points scored in a season in league history, the Patriots’ defense allowed fewer point than any other team.
This game is considered the biggest comeback in NFL history during a Super Bowl trailing at 25 points, while the previous record holder was at 10 points. What makes this game particularly unique is the fact that it went overtime.
With the win last Sunday, Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick only added to his own already impressive résumé. Already the coach with the most wins in NFL history, Belichick became the first ever head coach to win five championships.
New England Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady cemented his legendary status with his fifth Super Bowl victory. Tom Brady was the center of 2015’s “DeflateGate” controversy in which the Patriots were accused of deliberately underinflating footballs to gain an advantage over its opponents. Brady’s punishment, a four-game suspension, barred him from playing the first four games of the season.
Though the Falcons were not able to secure the win Sunday, the 2016 marked a turning point for the franchise. For the first time in four years, the Falcons achieved a winning record.With Quarterback Matt Ryan Wide Receiver Julio Jones setting new franchise records, the future for the Falcons franchise is bright.
The Patriots’ Super Bowl win secured its place in history as one of the greatest franchises. For Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, it means being considered by some as the greatest coach-player duo of all time. For the Atlanta Falcons players, it means hanging up their helmets, going home Sunday and waiting for redemption next year.