Monday, February 6, 2017

The Patriots Coming Out Party

It was 28-3 with 2:05 to go in the Third Quarter.  Super Bowl LI seemed like it was over.  I was figuring out if I wanted to stay up to watch the new episode of 24; I was not figuring out if this game was going to get interesting at any point.  I already knew the answer.  The kids went to bed and Mom started to get comfortable on the couch.  I was wondering if I should avoid talk radio, and the sports blogs that I read in the mornings and the TV pundits who troll fans like me to no end.  Even diehard Pats fan friends of mine were joking that the Falcons would cover the over themselves.

And then The Comeback started. 

James White Had a Day
James White (the real Super Bowl MVP) caught a 5 yard pass from Brady halfway through the third quarter to make the score 28-9.  My relief that the Patriots finally got a touchdown was tempered by Stephen Gostkowski's doink off of the right upright on the extra point.  I said to no one in particular that that might be the difference in the game.  Yeah - I chuckled too at the absurdity of that thought.

After holding the Falcons to a 3 and out to end the Quarter, the Patriots were down by 19 points to start the 4th Quarter.  Another drive into the red zone stalled after a couple of Brady sacks in the red zone.  Gostkowski FG made the score 28-12.

Shortly after the FG was converted, the Falcons' coaching staff began hatching one of the largest turkeys in NFL play off history.  On a 3 and 1, when Devonta Freeman was seemingly running at will, Ryan dropped back to pass.  Freeman, trying to take on a edge rusher (Dont'a Hightower) whiffed and the strip sack was achieved.  Patriots had the ball on the Falcons 25!  C screaming from his bedroom made me think that he was watching the game.  I myself was wondering if Ryan's arm was moving forward.  Brady proceeds to throw a couple of short passes to White and Amendola, culminating in a 6 yard slant to Amendola to make it 28-18.  A direct snap to James White was converted and now we had a game.  28-20.

Atlanta's coaching staff, continuing to hatch up a really terrible game plan decided to pass after converting a Julius Jones 28 yard tippy-toe to New England's 23 yard line.  Three rushes and the game would be over.  Somewhere Marshawn Lynch is nodding his head in agreement.  A sack and an Atlanta holding call - similar to the previous drive - took them out of FG range.

Similar to the start of the Second Half, I knew this game was over.  Just not in the way I thought.  Edelman's miraculous catch, Amendola's finger tip catch and James White's run up the middle highlighted the final TD in regulation.  Danny Amendola's 2 point conversion tied the game.  I thought that Gostkowski's missed extra point would be the difference.  I was wrong about that too.  Shaking my head, I was confident that the Patriots would win the Super Bowl.

And after winning the coin toss, the Patriots went 75 yards in 9 plays.  James White, just like Dion Lewis before him scored his third TD to win the game.  LaGarrette Blount could be seen in the picture running toward White to tackle him in the end zone, when no one on the Falcons could do it.  Malcolm Mitchell started running in the opposite direction to God knows where.  Tom Brady still had the look of someone who thought the call might be over turned.  Come on Tom!  Patriots 34-28

Now bring on Roger.

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