I had to wait a day to write this.
The Atlanta Falcons, blew a 28-3 lead to the New England Patriots, Tom Brady now has five rings.
The Patriots pulled off one of the greatest comebacks ever seen. The Falcons blew one of the biggest lead in Super Bowl history.
How can a team that was essentially guaranteed to win the Super Bowl lose? What went wrong with the team that had a 99% chance of winning the game at the beginning of the 3rd quarter?
The Patriots won Super Bowl 51 in breathtaking style. The Patriots were able to come back and tie the game 28-28 at the end of regulation, and then go on to win the game on the first drive of overtime sealing their fate, and leaving the Falcons and Matt Ryan in infamy.
The Patriots scored 31 straight points including overtime. All the Falcons had to do was score once, just once, even a field goal would have won them the game. It did not happen.
The closest chance that the Falcons had to put away the game was when MVP Matt Ryan got sacked and lost 10 plus yards. Atlanta was still in field goal position despite the sack.
Then the team got a holding penalty that completely took them out of field goal range, and were forced to punt.
They did not score for the rest of the game, nor did they get better field position.
There were some amazing catches throughout by Julio Jones for the Falcons, and Julian Edelman of the Pats’ respectively. There were some hard fought stops to make the Falcons idle in the second half. Their defense began to show signs of fatigue and wear.
The defense slowly allowed New England back in the game. The NFC Champs would not score in the second half, or the eventual overtime.
This monumental meltdown can be compared to the Golden State Warriors, blowing a 3-1 lead to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals last year. The Cavaliers went on to win 3 straight games and claim their first NBA Finals championship.
The other collapse involved another Cleveland team. This time it was their MLB team that let the series slip away from them.
The Cleveland Indians, up 3-1 against the Chicago Cubs in the World Series, lost the series in 7 games. They even had a chance to seal the deal in game 7 only to lose the lead again after being down by 3 in the 6th, to tie it, send it to extra innings, and ultimately lose the series again. It did drag out Chicago from the greatest sports droughts.
I digress. The above examples are used for reference to other recent major sports catastrophes.
Let’s get back to this Super Bowl game. It was quite a sight to see. On one end was Tom Brady pulling off the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history, and shutting down any doubts about his legacy in the NFL.
Or was it Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons, a team that would go down in history as a team that could not seal the deal.
They looked unstoppable at halftime. It looked like they just had to cruise, and maybe just score one more time to make sure they sealed the deal.
It just never happened. Instead, what happened was the impossible. The events and circumstances that needed to happen for the Falcons to lose, and the Patriots to win happened.
It was hard to watch, yet your eyes could not look away.
Your mind attempted to comprehend what was happening in-front of your eyes, you just couldn’t. The reason for that was that it has not been done. You have never seen it because it has never happened before.
You wanted to be happy for the Patriots for pulling off the comeback, but then you are upset with the Falcons for being unable to seal the deal against New England.
Congratulations to the Patriots. It was well deserved. To the Falcons, this must be a learning lesson; you never let your foot off the gas. Especially with the greatness that is Tom Brady is knocking on the door.
The game and outcome showed the experience of the Patriots, but it also showed the lack of experience with the Falcons.
The Falcons had the win in their hands, instead they watched it slowly slip away, and there was nothing that the team could have done about it.
Matt Ryan joins a list that no other regular season MVP wants to be on. They win the MVP during the season, make it to the Super Bowl, and lose. The list is now 8.
The curse continues.