The Runner Sports

Patriots Win SB LI In Comeback Fashion

Wow. What a game. There is really no other way to put it.

Everybody, even the most diehard of Patriots fans, had to have believed that they were done for after falling behind 28-3. I mean come on, no team had ever come back from more than 10 points before in any of the previous 50 Super Bowls, what makes the Patriots any different? Simple really.

They have what none of those other teams had: Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.

At this point, it has become pretty hard to argue that either Brady or Belichick is not the GOAT when it comes to their respective roles in NFL history. They have won an unprecedented five Super Bowls in an era featuring a salary cap and a system designed to create parity, yet for 16 long years, the pair have been thumbing their noses at it.
New England Patriots AFC Champions
Now then, how about we take a look at what went right and wrong, shall we?

What Went Right for the Patriots

Tom Brady came up BIG, for one. While he was not his sharpest for much of the night, he was more than good enough to lead a 25-point come from behind victory against one of the most prolific scoring teams in NFL history.

All throughout the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl people wondered what wizardry Bill Belichick and Matt Patricia would cook up to stop the Falcons. Well, the simple answer is, they didn’t really. They more so slowed them down just enough, particularly in the second half, but that was all that they needed to do.

Speaking of defense, though, let’s not forget about the pivotal strip sack by defensive leader (and soon to be free agent) Dont’a Hightower. It changed the entire complexion of the game for New England and breathed new life into a team that desperately needed it. After a half-hearted attempt by Falcons RB Devonta Freeman to block Hightower on a blitz, he hit an unaware Matt Ryan hard to force the game-altering fumble. In all likelihood, Hightower will be back with the Patriots on a new big-money deal, and he’ll have earned every penny of that new contract.

I would also be amiss to not talk about James White, who caught 14 passes for 110 yards and a TD, while also rushing for two more scores, including the game-winning score in the first ever overtime in Super Bowl history. If it weren’t for us living in an era where QBs have become more valuable than any other position in pro sports, White likely would have been the one to walk away with the Super Bowl MVP award instead of Brady.

What Went Wrong for the Patriots

While it is certainly nitpicking to point out flaws in a victory that won a team the Super Bowl, it’s what I’m here for. The Patriots had several miscues early and often in the game all the way through the halfway mark of the 3rd quarter. They include, but were not limited to…

-Multiple Brady misfires on deep passes.

-Multiple dropped passes by receivers.

-Far too many hits on Brady allowed by the O-Line.

-Multiple blown assignments by the Patriots’ defense that led to big gains for the Falcons’ offense.

-A huge momentum-shifting fumble by LeGarette Blount in the 1st quarter on what had looked like a promising offensive drive for the Patriots.

Luckily, though, none of those came back to haunt the Patriots, and they managed to find a way to win despite a very poor game by their standards.

Final Thoughts

Going into the Super Bowl we all knew what was on the line for Brady and Belichick. To show the world that Deflategate was some over hyped, over covered media load of malarkey. And they did just that.

16 seasons. 14 division crowns. 7 AFC Championships. 5 Super Bowl victories. And 1 comeback greater than any that came before it in NFL history. There will always be the naysayers, but at this point, it has become pretty hard to deny that the Patriots are the greatest dynasty in the history of the NFL.

Phong Ta

Phong Ta

Grew up in both Boston and Memphis

Love the NFL, mainly the Pats, but Titans are slowly coming up

Also part-time Fantasy Football Expert on the side
Phong Ta