Looking Back at Super Bowl LI

by Matthew Hong

The Super Bowl that cemented Brady’s legacy as the GOAT

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Tom Brady calls for a two-point conversion when the score is 26-28 Patriots

Tom Brady stunned New England Patriots fans and Atlanta Falcons fans alike as he and the Patriots completed the most improbable and largest Super Bowl comeback in NFL history during Super Bowl LI. In the NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, the Falcons dominated the Patriots by the end of the third quarter with a now-infamous score of 28-3. Due to their 25-point lead, ESPN gave the Falcons a 99.7% chance of winning the game. However, the Patriots crept back into the game throughout the last few minutes of the third quarter and brought the score to 28-9 off a James White touchdown and a missed Stephen Gostkowski field goal.

In the beginning of the fourth quarter, a series of penalties and strong defensive efforts against the Falcons forced a punt, which in turn led to a field goal, bringing the score to 28-12. By then, only 10 minutes remained in the game. A strip-sack on Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan led to another touchdown for the Patriots, this time a pass from Brady to Amendola. The two-point conversion was successful, and the game was within one score. However, the Falcons charged down the field on a 39-yard-rush by running back Devonta Freeman and a 27-yard-pass to wide receiver Julio Jones. Despite this spark in the Falcons’ offense, the Patriots’ defense stood strong and the Falcons punted again. Tom Brady’s desire to complete the comeback was so strong that it appeared as if nothing could stop him from leading the offense down the field once again. Despite a tipped pass, wide receiver Julian Edelman made an acrobatic juggling catch on third down and kept the Patriots on track to send the game into the first Super Bowl overtime in NFL history. White scored a touchdown and Brady threw the two-point conversion to wide receiver Danny Amendola to tie the game: 28-28. The Patriots won the overtime coin toss and elected to receive the ball, knowing that a touchdown would end the game. Fewer than four minutes into overtime, Brady handed off to White, who ran for his third touchdown of the night and ended the game.

Super Bowl LI demonstrated that Tom Brady was indeed the greatest and most clutch quarterback. Brady’s win in Super Bowl LI moved him from a group of three quarterbacks who have four Super Bowl rings to a brand-new group of quarterbacks with five rings. Critics previously debated whether Joe Montana or Tom Brady was the greater quarterback, but Tom Brady’s fifth Super Bowl win ended this debate.

In addition to having the most Super Bowl wins for a quarterback, Brady set numerous other records during the game. For example, Brady threw for the most attempts, completions, and yards of any quarterback during a Super Bowl. He also won his fourth Super Bowl MVP award, which is the most for any player.

This Super Bowl will always spark joy in New England Patriots fans, as anyone who watched the game went through waves of emotions from excitement to hopelessness to joy. Despite Brady’s departure to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, fans should be grateful for the many years of consistent winning and unbelievable games like Super Bowl LI that Brady entertained them with.