It was historic on many levels. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick won their 5th Super Bowl together. It was the first Super Bowl that was decided in overtime. It was the largest come from behind victory in Super Bowl history. You get the idea.
Now I’m going to stop short from saying this was the greatest Super Bowl I’ve ever seen. It certainly was one of the greatest finishes I’ve ever seen, but overall it was a one-sided affair. It didn’t end up being a blowout, which was my fear, but one team certainly played a different game in the second half.
I don’t know how Julian Edelman was able to make that catch in the fourth quarter with three defenders around him. How was Tom Brady able to make precision passes on three key drives to end up tying the game? The answer is simple in that the Patriots just never gave up and eventually started to wear down the Falcons defense.
Atlanta’s defense was exposed and they couldn’t get off the field fast enough in the second half. In the first half, Atlanta got plenty of pressure on Brady and it resulted in a 21-3 halftime lead. With a bigger emphasis on getting rid of the ball quicker, the Patriots offense was clicking in the second half.
All that was needed were simple adjustments for New England to make this improbable comeback come true. Atlanta had a great gameplan and executed it, but it wasn’t adjusted when it mattered in the end.
The Buffalo Bills were down 35-3 in the third quarter of their Wild Card game against the Houston Oilers in 1993. Buffalo ended up winning 41-38 in overtime. Watch the highlights of that game and you’ll see the same look on the faces of the Houston Oilers’ players as you saw with the Atlanta Falcons’ players.
History was made on February 5, 2017. You will probably never see another ending like that for another 20+ years.