The season is over. Only one team is still standing and there is no surprise that the New England Patriots are that team.
The Pats squared off against the Falcons down in Houston and what a game. The First quarter was spent with each team sort of feeling each other out. Neither offense was great for the majority of it, after a couple of three and outs each (maybe four and outs), the Pats started to move the ball, it even looked as if the Pats might just score in the first quarter of a Super Bowl for the first time in the Brady/ Belichick era. But alas, Mr. Blount did not hold the ball tight enough and Dion Jones made a hell of a play to strip it out. And the Falcons drove right down the field to take a 7-0 lead. The Pats offense then continued to muddle around. They looked crappy and a bit surprised by the speed of the Atlanta defense. The Falcons got the ball back and drove down to take a 14-0 lead. Uh oh. This is where Pats fans started to squirm a bit, especially when FOX repeatedly showed the graphic that no team had overcome anything larger than a 10 point deficit in the Super Bowl. But have no fear, the Pats started driving right back down the field and we started to feel better, it looked as if it was just a matter of time before that 14 point deficit was halved. Then Tom Brady missed an easy read where Edelman was wide open for a first down, instead he forced a pass into triple coverage, and the resulting interception was returned 82 yards for a touchdown. At this point things looked dark. Although, my friend turned to me and said, well at least they are getting cocky now; so there’s a chance. The Pats at least drove down before the half to kick a field goal (that at the time felt meaningless).
I admit, I was so depressed that I was barely able to enjoy Lady Gaga.
After the half, when the Pats stopped the Falcons first drive, I saw a glimmer of hope. That glimmer was quickly extinguished when the Pats went three and out and the Falcons drove right down the field to take a 28-3 lead.
Then a text came across my phone that read, “This will be the best win yet when they pull this off.” And hope returned.
I was still frustrated with the Pats’ play calling. They seemed to be taking too much time. But they did get into the endzone and we felt better. Then Shanks Gostkowski missed the extra point and I thought, “Well this isn’t our year. At least we’ll be back next season.”
And then the comeback began in earnest. Hightower crushed Matty Nice and forced a fumble. Touchdown Pats. Then it was great to see the Pats dust off the old Kevin Faulk direct snap play. Then the Falcons drove right down into field goal range, aided by an amazing catch by Julio Jones. But the Falcons are dumb and instead of running the ball, the decided it would be smart to throw. It wasn’t. Sack, penalty, punt. Pats get the ball on their 8 with 3:30 left and everyone involved pretty much knew what was about to happen. The Pats drove down the field fairly easily. Julian Edelman made a catch that was nothing short of amazing. After he made that catch, even the Falcons knew that they were screwed. Touchdown Pats. Now they needed another two point conversion to tie. Yeah, like there was any doubt- tie game.
At the coin toss, my friend said, “come on Slater, do that math and win this.” (there is a joke around the region that Matt Slater is the biggest nerd in the world). He did and the game was sealed. Pats drive, James White even broke tackles and the game was won.
5 time Super Bowl Champions.