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Super Bowl LI

Cameron Chin, Reporter

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Super Bowl LI between the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots was one of the most exciting games in recent memory. Prior to the game, the Patriots had won four Super Bowls in the last 15 years, all with superstar quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick. The Falcons, on the other hand, were only going to their second Super Bowl in their 50-year franchise history. Before the game began, country singer Luke Bryan sang the national anthem and former president George H.W. Bush performed the coin toss, which the Falcons won.

The first quarter of the Super Bowl would be a scoreless, defensive match with each team punting twice. In the second quarter, however, the Falcons broke the game open. Following a fumble by Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount, the dynamic Falcons offense led by quarterback Matt Ryan drove down the field, with star running back Devonta Freeman scoring the first touchdown of the game, putting the Falcons up 7-0. Soon after, a touchdown pass from Matt Ryan to tight end Austin Hooper put the Falcons up 14-0. The Patriots managed to get their offense going, driving deep into Falcons territory. However, Tom Brady threw an interception to defensive back Robert Alford, who returned it 81 yards for a touchdown, making the score 21-0. A late Stephen Gostkowski field goal finally put the Patriots on the board, and the first half ended with a score of 21-3. Lady Gaga performed in the halftime show.

The second half began with a Patriots three-and-out. The Falcons, who had a lot of momentum from a stunning first half, drove the field again, with Matt Ryan throwing a touchdown pass to running back Tevin Coleman to make the score 28-3 with 8:31 left in the third quarter. The Patriots offense finally came to life, and Tom Brady threw a quick touchdown to running back James White. However, Gostkowski missed the extra point, making the score 28-9. A failed onside kick by the Patriots gave the Falcons excellent field position, but the Patriots defense was able to keep them out of field goal range. In the fourth quarter, another Gostkowski field goal made it a two possession game, with the Patriots being down 28-12 with less than ten minutes left in the game. The Patriots’ chances of winning were looking bleak, but everything changed when linebacker Dont’a Hightower sacked Matt Ryan as he wound up for a pass, resulting in a fumble that gave the ball back to the Patriots. Tom Brady cashed in on that opportunity, throwing another touchdown pass and making a two-point conversion, making the score 28-20 with six minutes left. The Falcons drove down the field and again had a chance to kick a field goal to secure the victory, but a holding penalty pushed them out of field goal range and they were forced to punt. The Patriots then completed their comeback, with White scoring a rushing touchdown. A successful two-point conversion tied the game at 28-28.

The game was sent to overtime for the first time in Super Bowl history. The Patriots won the coin toss and elected to receive the kickoff. The dynamic Patriots offense dominated a spent Falcons defense, who had been on the field for twice as long as the Patriots defense. Another rush by White secured the Patriots victory, winning 34-28. The Patriots’ 25 point comeback was historic, as no team had ever come back from a deficit of more than ten points in prior Super Bowls. The win gave Tom Brady his fifth Super Bowl ring, tying Charles Haley for the most ever won by a single player.

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The student news site of Head-Royce School
Super Bowl LI