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Super Bowl LI

Super Bowl 51 became an instant classic in the final quarter and overtime. Most observers and even fans of both teams believed the game was over when the third quarter clock hit zero with the Atlanta Falcons leading the New England Patriots by a score of 28-9.

But no one should ever count out a depleted Patriots offense led by a now five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback by the name of Tom Brady.

Brady willed his team to victory by completing 43 of his 62 passes for a Super Bowl record 446 yards. But that wasn’t the only record Brady broke. The pass attempts and completions were both new records as well as Brady winning his 4th Super Bowl MVP award and tying for the most career Super Bowl wins by a player with five.

The game got interesting in the fourth quarter. The Falcons took the field with just under 10 minutes to play and leading 28-12 when on third down Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was sacked and fumbled the ball. It was recovered by the Patriots.

The Patriots drove the ball 25 yards on five plays and capped it off with a Brady touchdown pass to Danny Amendola. To pull the game to within a touchdown and two-point conversion, the Patriots ran a direct snap to running back James White to make the score 28-20.

On the Falcons next possession, Ryan found running back DeVonta Freeman open in the flat for a 39-yard catch and run. On the next play standout receiver Julio Jones made one of his three unbelievable catches on the night. The offense then stumbled and was forced out of field goal range when Ryan took a sack and a holding penalty on the following play. Once again, the Patriots were going to get the ball with about three and half minutes to go trailing by eight.

In most Super Bowls there is one play that becomes the defining moment of that team or the game as a whole. Some recent plays that come to mind is the Giants’ David Tyree catching a pass on his helmet against the Pats that set up the game winning touchdown. Or, Peyton Manning’s pick six against the Saints that sealed the victory for New Orleans.

In Super Bowl 51 that defining moment came at the fingertips of Tom Brady’s favorite receiver: Julian Edelman. With the Pats trailing by eight with under two and half minutes to play, Brady zoomed a pass that hit the Falcons defensive back in the hands and then bounced off up in the air. The ball pin balled off another Falcon player and then off an ankle before a diving Edelman somehow got his hands underneath the ball before it hit the ground.

The play that will be remembered for years to come by fans across the globe. The defining moment of a Patriots teams that didn’t quit when Brady served his four game suspension to start the season. A team that didn’t quit when trailing 28-3 with four minutes remaining in the third quarter and 28-9 heading into the fourth.

This is the first team to comeback in a Super Bowl after trailing by 10 points or more. This was also the first Super Bowl to go into overtime. And, once it did, football fans everywhere had that feeling that Tom, the GOAT, was going to drive down and score a touchdown so the Falcons wouldn’t even see the ball.

Congratulations to the 2017 Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots and to their fans who support them.