HOUSTON – When all hope was lost, somehow the New England Patriots and Tom Brady found a way to win. Down 28-3, the Atlanta Falcons had a 99% chance to win, and the Pats hopes seemed dim, yet that’s when the comeback would start for New England.
After a 75 yard drive on 13 plays, Tom Brady would find James White for a 5 yard touchdown. A missed extra point by Stephen Gostkowski would lead to the score being 28-9, with a little under 2 minutes left in the 3rd quarter.
After a stop by the Patriots defense on the Falcons next possession, the Patriots would draw closer as Gostkowski made up for his miss, making a 33 yard field goal. Time was ticking though for the Pats, with the score now 28-12, the Patriots had only 9:44 to either tie or win the game.
The Falcons had the ball now, with just a little under 10 minutes remaining in the game. A score on the drive would for sure put the game out of reach for the Patriots, but the Falcons could not score. Instead Atlanta coughed up the ball, on a sack by Dont’a Hightower. New England would recover in great field position on the Atlanta 25 yard line.
Five plays later, the Patriots found pay dirt. Tom Brady struck Danny Amendola from 6 yards out, putting the Pats within 10 now. Now New England had to go for the two point conversion and cover it. That is what they would do, as James White pounded it up the gut from two yards out. The score now stood at 28-20. New England needed another stop against Atlanta, a touchdown, and another two point conversion. The odds still stood ever in the way of the Patriots with now around 6 minutes left in the game.
After a horrible kickoff return by Atlanta, it set them up with 1st and 10 from their own 10 yard line. The very next play Matt Ryan would connect with Devonta Freeman for 39 yards and a first down. The Falcons would keep on driving, as they would get the ball up all the way to the New England 23. Now with only under 4 minutes remaining, the momentum seemed to be shifting back to Atlanta. On now 2nd and 11 for the Falcons, Matt Ryan was sacked for a loss of 12 yards, back to the Pats 35. The very next play Ryan was sacked again for a loss of 5, but there was a 10 yard penalty on the Falcons for holding. The Patriots would accept the holding call and replay the down. An incomplete pass would lead to it being 4th and 33 from the Patriots 45.
Now out of field goal range with under 4 minutes to play, the Falcons would punt it, and give Tom Brady and the New England the ball on their own 9 yard line. On 10 plays, Brady would march the Patriots 91 yards down the field for the Patriots touchdown. With only one yard to go, Brady handed it off to James White who punched it up the gut for the score. Now needing two points from the conversion, Brady would find Amendola through the air for those two points.
With score sitting at 28 apiece, and 1 minute remaining in the game, Atlanta had one more shot. The Falcons couldn’t covert and would end up punting and sending the first ever Super Bowl out of 51 Super Bowls ever played, into Overtime.
The Patriots would win the toss to start the overtime, which meant if they score a field goal that the Falcons would still have a chance, but if they scored a touchdown the game was over. Atlanta would never get to hold the ball once, as the Patriots would end up driving the ball up field 75 yards, for a touchdown. James White was the hero again, as he ran it in from 2 yards out.
The win marked the 5th Super Bowl win ever for Brady, Owner Robert Kraft and Head Coach Bill Belichick. Also marking one of the greatest comebacks ever in sports that night.
– Andrew McClung