I’ll be the first to admit it…I knew the game was over when Matt Ryan found Tevin Coleman for a 6-yard touchdown making it 28-3 in the 3rd quarter. I just knew it and so did you.
So did everybody.
This was the day that “Freezing Cold Takes” has dreamed of on Twitter.
Not one person, Patriots fan or not, had any idea of what was going to unfold in the final 21 minutes of this football game. Heck, even the “probability meter” gave the Patriots just a 0.02% chance of winning when down 25-points.
Then, greatness happened.
Oddly enough, the greatest part of this greatness had nothing to do with Tom Brady and everything to do with Patriots’ defense and coordinator Matt Patricia.
Patricia didn’t have an answer for the Falcons offense all night. Even after halftime, when the biggest adjustments were expected, the Falcons continued to move the ball down the field with ease and pushed their lead to 25-points. That is when Patricia seemed to figure something out.
After that touchdown drive for the Falcons, it was all New England.
Folks are going to line up and place all the blame for the loss on Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and his play calling with the lead, but to me there is far less reason to bash Shanahan than there is reason to laud Patricia.
The Falcons played with their foot on the gas all season long…and it worked. In the NFC Championship game, Atlanta didn’t let up and ended up blowing the Packers out of the Georgia Dome. If Matt Ryan finds Julio Jones in the back of the end zone on one of those 4th quarter drives, then Shanahan would be praised as “gutsy” and we’d talk about how he was wise to not let up on the Patriots.
Instead, Patricia’s defense got the job done, made the necessary plays and gave the greatest quarterback in the history of the game the opportunity to create even more history.
I don’t think anything should be taken away from the Atlanta Falcons and their amazingly talented team after this loss either. Grady Jarrett became a Super Bowl legend, even in the loss, and Matt Ryan was well on his way to backing up his NFL MVP with a Super Bowl MVP. This team is young, fast, skilled and not going anywhere.
It’s always so easy to place blame rather than give credit, but today I think it’s the credit that deserves the spotlight. Maybe this is a good first step to seeing things in a more positive light, rather than being negative all the time.
Let’s focus on the fact that the Patriots completed the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history. Let’s focus on the fact that Tom Brady set, tied and extended nearly every single Super Bowl record further cementing his place as the G.O.A.T. Let’s focus on the fact that gritty performances by guys like Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Martellus Bennett and James White led to the craziest sporting event we witnessed in quite possibly the craziest sports year ever.
Before this Super Bowl, I ranted on the podcast about lazy radio hosts and their need to fill air time with silly topics like asking if the championship game of the most popular league in the most popular sport is “buzz-worthy.” Well, was that buzz-worthy enough for you?
I may have lost hope (and admittedly congratulated Falcons fans on social media) when it was 28-3…but I knew better than to turn the game off or go to bed because as the great Yogi Berra told us, “it ain’t over till it’s over.”
Well Yogi…now it’s over…and so is the debate about Tom Brady’s place in history.
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