Super Bowl LI Recap: Patriots Mount Greatest Comeback in NFL History

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Kyle Hoeppner and Alex Nannetti

On Sunday, February 5th, the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons faced off in Super Bowl LI in what could arguably be the best Super Bowl, if not, greatest game ever played in sports.

The Super Bowl was held at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, and is home to the Houston Texans. NRG Stadium has also hosted a previous Super Bowl, as well as WrestleMania XXV. Super Bowl XXXVIII was held at the stadium and ironically was won by New England, 32-29 against the Carolina Panthers.

In 2017, the Patriots came away with another Super Bowl victory in the same stadium they won in back in 2004, this time by a score of 34-28.

At the start of Super Bowl LI, the first quarter was scoreless, with overall great defensive performances from both teams. Once the second quarter came around, New England looked as if they did not want to be there. Atlanta dominated with stellar run game by running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman, awesome passing from league MVP QB Matt Ryan, as well as great receptions by Julio Jones and the rest of the Falcons wide receivers.

The Falcons were up at one point in the first half against the Patriots 21-0. The Patriots were still running the ball by the time Atlanta was up by three touchdowns. The half would end after New England was able to get some points on the board with a field goal to make the score 21-3, reducing the Atlanta lead down to 18 points.

After an electrifying halftime performance by pop singer Lady Gaga, the game picked back up how it left off, with Atlanta extending their lead with another touchdown. Now 28-3, the Patriots scrapped their running game and the tides began to turn. Atlanta began to wear down after having a 25 point lead.

New England, with QB Tom Brady, scored on the next drive to cut it to 28-9, but their kicker Stephen Gostkowski missed the extra-point as it hit of the goal post. The Patriots got a stop on defense and Brady and company drove down the field, but had to settle for a field goal. The lead was cut to 28-12, still in favor of the Falcons.

The Patriots forced a fumble on defense and got the ball back with great field position at around midfield. They then scored on a touchdown to Wide Receiver Danny Amendola. The Patriots decided to go for two to make it a one score game. It was a great fake snap back to Brady and instead was a direct snap to James white who got the 2 point conversion. The score was now 28-20 Falcons. The Patriots defense came up with another stop. The Falcons had the ball at the 20 yard line after two huge plays, but somehow the Patriots forced them to punt after a sack and holding penalty.

The Patriots and Brady then drove down the field, where James White scored the game tying touchdown. They were still down by two, so they went for the 2 point conversion and got it with a reception from Amendola. The game went to overtime, the first time in Super Bowl history. New England won the coin toss and drove down the field where running back James white scored the game winning touchdown.

Arrowhead senior Matt Brockish said, “This was the greatest comeback of all time and Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback of all time.”

Not only did the New England Patriots comeback by 25 points to win Super Bowl LI, they had the biggest comeback in Super Bowl History.

Arrowhead Senior Nick Noll said, “I was rooting for the Falcons, but it was a great game and the Patriots put together the greatest comeback in sports history.”