Comeback time in New England

How the New England Patriots mounted one of the greatest comebacks in NFL history and broke over 30 records in the process


Photo courtesy of Creative Commons via Wikimedia

Ally Wooller & Madison Thorpe, Author

Accomplishing a major comeback is harder than it looks, but with the right attitude and stamina, one play can make all the difference. In one game, over 30 records were broken in all of super bowl history. Of those 30+ records, at least 28 of them were made by the New England Patriots. The most significant records and most stressful that were accomplished are, Largest Deficit Overcome by Winning Team – 25 points, and the first time a super bowl has gone into overtime.

Super Bowl LI was one for the ages and kept everyone on their toes. The Falcons were the underdogs compared to the Patriots. Although the Falcons have one of the best offensives in the NFL, the Patriots were ranked higher and favored to win. The first quarter ended in a score of 0-0, but it was apparent that the Falcons were here to play and ready for whatever the Patriots could throw their way. The second quarter, the Falcons dug their talons deep into the Patriots when they recovered a fumble and ran towards the Patriots’ territory. It took two passes that got Devonta Freeman the easy touchdown as he strut into the endzone. At this point fans were noticing the Falcon defense rated 26th overall was out-performing the Patriots’. The  Falcons’ tight end, Austin Hooper, caught the next touchdown bringing the score to 14-0, Falcons. A late pass from Brady was intercepted and lead to the next Falcons touchdown, which was ran back 82 yards. A mere three points was scored at the end of the third quarter by the Patriots, leaving the score at 21-3. NESN got a quote from Brady after scoring those three points that said, “Let’s go. We gotta go make them. We gotta play harder! We gotta play tougher! Harder, tougher, everything! Everything we got!”

No one has ever come back from such a big lead. The Patriots fans’ skepticism ran rampant. The third quarter is when the Patriots started to pick up some heat. They made their way down to the end zone in a little over 4 minutes for the fourth time. They managed to have a 75 yard touchdown by making a five-yard pass to their running back, but when Gostkowski missed the extra point they still were uncertain. In the fourth quarter  the Patriots finally managed to get their head in the game. They made it to the 33-yard line and succeeded to get a field goal. The Falcons ran into a major fallout, running back Tevin Coleman got injured, and Matt Ryan got injured by Patriot linebacker Dont’a Hightower. At the end of fourth quarter, the Patriots tied the game up to 28-28. They went into overtime for the first time in the super bowl history. They flipped the coin again and the Patriots gained the advantage. The Patriots ran down the field on the opening drive and punched it into the endzone, winning the super bowl for their 5th time!

With the fifth win under their belts, the Patriots are catching up to most Super Bowl wins, only one behind the Pittsburgh Steelers with six rings. Tom Brady has been to a record breaking seven super bowls in one career on the same team and won all five of his rings with the Patriots. Brady broke the record for most passing yards in a career, and in one game at the super bowl with 466 yards. As a team, the Patriots made the most passes in a single game at 63, and most offensive plays in a game at 93.

Patriots fans would definitely say this was one of the most stressful, yet amazing super bowls they’ve watched their team win. A few Battlefield students were asked about how they felt during the game and after the Patriots accomplished their fifth ring; Karyn Como, a BHS senior, says, “I felt like I was having a major heart attack. But I felt like it was their plan the whole time to make it a great game and prove they can always come back and win,” and when they won, she said, “I was so happy! Ring number five and fourth Super Bowl MVP win for Brady. It was relieving and amazing!” Anna Parsons, another BHS senior, answered those questions as well by saying, “Super bowl 51 was really a nail biting game. I was super angry and on edge that my team wasn’t doing as well, as I knew they could, and as I’ve seen them do before. I had actually turned off the game and lost hope when suddenly my sister called me yelling at me to turn on the TV. After they won the coin toss I knew it was all over and that we had won. I was beyond excited and loved that we had yet again brought it back at the very last minute!” Without their beloved fan base, who believed so hard in them they had the courage to go on, they couldn’t disappoint. The people who have been with them through the years were great so the Patriots pulled through and gave one heck of a show for everyone!