Tom Brady and the Patriots put together the greatest comeback victory in Super Bowl history
In what will be called the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history, quarterback Tom Brady led the New England Patriots to an unforgettable victory over quarterback Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons. As Brady hoisted the Lombardi trophy in his right hand for an NFL-record fifth time, he lifted his fourth Super Bowl MVP trophy in his left. Brady’s unprecedented comeback, powered by wide receiver Julian Edelman’s miraculous catch, was capped by a sudden-death overtime touchdown by James White.
The Patriots looked abysmal in the first half, their faces plastered with looks of despair. After a strip fumble in the first quarter, the Falcons capitalized with a touchdown to go ahead 7-0. Ryan was cold as ice, tacking on another touchdown after a passing frenzy to go up 14-0.
The Falcons defense was relentless, pressuring Brady on every play. Their aggressive game plan unhinged Brady’s usual calm composure within the pocket, forcing unwarranted passes all over the field. Despite a brief respite from the defensive onslaught, Brady threw only his fifth interception of the season and first pick-six of his postseason career.
With the Falcons up by 21 and the Patriots needing a score, kicker Steven Gostkowski salvaged a subpar drive at the end of the half with a field goal to cut the lead by three.
Midway through the third quarter the Falcons added the apparent decisive touchdown. Down by 25, the Patriots were finally able to break through for a touchdown at the end of the quarter, but shanked their extra-point attempt. The woes kept coming for the Patriots, who badly mishandled their onside kick and turned the ball over the the Falcons near the 50-yard mark.
Yet, as everybody knows, the only place to go from rock-bottom is up. The Patriots did just that, mounting a comeback bit by bit, starting with a short field goal to cut the lead to 28-12.
Desperately needing a touchdown and a two-point conversion, the Patriots were able to string together the two after the first turnover in three games for the Falcons.
After a bevy of Falcons penalties and a sack for loss, the Patriots took the field for their final attempt at a comeback. Brady saved the day with a third down completion to set up at their own 36.
Brady’s next throw led to what may be deemed the greatest catch in Super Bowl history, though it has its competitors in David Tyree and Santonio Holmes. Brady’s pass was tipped high in the air, as Edelman miraculously fumbled the ball above the tailored grass and came up with the catch that defined the game. Despite triple coverage, Edelman was able to haul in the catch and propel the Patriots to victory.
The rest was history, as they call it, with the Patriots scoring on the same drive, forcing overtime and winning the game on a single drive down the field.
Brady ended the game with nearly 500 yards, tacking on two touchdowns to merit an MVP trophy. After this, Brady will go down in the annals of NFL history as arguably the greatest quarterback of all time. Much to the chagrin of the New York Jets, New York Giants and, as of today, the Atlanta Falcons, Brady’s reign as king will continue. Brady’s Super Bowl comeback is but a small part of the larger frame — that of Brady’s four-game suspension and eventual comeback to Super Bowl MVP. After the Brady suspension and the loss of tight end Rob Gronkowski, the Patriots looked down and out, but if one thing can be learned from this game, it is to never count the greatest of all time out. Ever.