Patriots Win Superbowl 51 in Overtime Thriller

If there’s one thing to take away from the NFL in the past few years, it’s to never count elite quarterbacks out: for example, Matthew Stafford, Aaron Rodgers and especially Tom Brady.

Brady and his AFC team, the New England Patriots, put their skills on display in the second half of Super Bowl 51 on Feb. 6 against the Atlanta Falcons from the NFC at NRG Stadium in Houston, TX.

The Patriots were trailing midway through the third quarter, rallying to come back from a 25-point deficit and win the first overtime NFL championship in the Super Bowl era.

Patriots fan and Plymouth senior Brenden Lacorato said, “Watching it as not only a Patriots fan, but a football fan, was cool because it was a tale of two games. The first half was not a good game, it was too one sided. The second half drama is what made the game.”

This was not only the Patriots’ fifth championship in the Super Bowl era, but Brady’s fifth ring in seven appearances. This was opposing quarterback Matt Ryan’s first appearance in the game.

After the game, Ryan posted an encouraging message to Falcons supporters in his Instagram caption, “We came up short last night and my heart hurts for you Atlanta. Hats off to New England, they played a heck of a game. We will adapt, we will overcome, and we will #RiseUp again.”

Plymouth senior Logan Tennis, who is not a huge Tom Brady fan, rooted for Atlanta. He said, “I believe it was a good game, but it was definitely a choke fest. The Falcons fell flat and it was disappointing. I personally don’t like Brady and I especially don’t like New England, but I’m not a huge Atlanta fan so it wasn’t that devastating. Atlanta had some bright spots, but their offensive line fell apart.”

The Patriots won the overtime coin toss and opted to receive; in the NFL, if a team scores a touchdown on their first drive they win the game. If only a field goal is scored, the other team gets an attempt to score, and possibly win.

The overtime element increased the intensity of the game, said Plymouth senior Jake MacBrien, “It was the first time any Superbowl went to overtime, which added to all of the hype. Not only did the Patriots come back from a 28-3 deficit, which was the largest in Superbowl history, but Tom Brady won his fifth ring, most among any other quarterback in NFL history. I feel like it was the best Superbowl in my lifetime.”