Super Bowl LI

Adam Xiao, Contributor

UNBELIEVABLE! INCREDIBLE! UNREAL! All three words accurately describe Super Bowl LI. Attendance was high at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas with a total of 70,807 fans in the stands. More than 30 team and individual Super Bowl records were either broken or matched in Super Bowl LI. Super Bowl LI was the Patriots’ ninth Super Bowl appearance (NFL record), and seventh under the leadership of head coach Bill Belichik and quarterback Tom Brady. The Falcons entered the game looking to win their first Super Bowl title, having lost their only previous appearance in Super Bowl XXXIII. The national anthem was sung by Luke Bryan and former president George H.W. Bush flipped the coin in the coin toss.

Both teams were scoreless after the first quarter. The game really began in the second quarter, which the Falcons completely dominated. The Falcons made 3 touchdowns in the second quarter including a pick six thrown by Tom Brady which was caught by Falcons defensive back, Robert Alford. Alford’s 82-yard return was the second longest interception return in Super Bowl history. Falcons running back Devonta Freeman scored the first Falcons touchdown, while tight end Austin Hooper scored the second. Patriot kicker Stephen Gostkowski drilled a field goal at the end of the first half to put up 3 points for the Pats.

Lady Gaga performed at Super Bowl LI’s halftime show. She put up an electrifying performance and sang some of her biggest hits such as “Poker Face”, “Born This Way”, and “Bad Romance”.

Falcons running back Tevin Coleman went on to score the fourth and final Falcons touchdown in the third quarter. After this, the Pats started to make their move. Patriot running back James White scored shortly after, but Gostkowski’s extra attempt hit the right goalpost making the score 28-9, Falcons. Gostkowski successfully made a 33-yard field goal attempt later in the quarter to make the score 28-12. Matt Ryan was be sacked later by Patriot linebacker Dont’a Hightower resulting in a fumble in which the Pats recovered. Tom Brady then threw a 6-yard touchdown to wide receiver Danny Amendola. James White ran in the 2-point conversion and all of the sudden the score was at 28-20 and a Patriot comeback was beginning to look very real. Later in the 4th quarter, Brady threw a pass that was deflected up into the air by Robert Alford, but fell into the arms of Julian Edelman, who made a diving catch and just barely managed to get his hands under the ball before it hit the ground. This catch was arguably the most amazing catch in the game, although Falcons Julio Jones made two acrobatic catches earlier that were also very impressive. Patriot James White later scored a touchdown and the Pats once again, converted the 2 point play and the score, just like that, was tied at 28. On the last play in regulation, New England attempted a fake quarterback kneel running play, but only gained several yards. And for the first time ever in the game’s history, the Super Bowl was going into overtime.

The Patriots won the coin toss to start overtime, and they elected to receive the ball. The Patriots drove the ball all the way to the Falcons’ 2-yard line. On first down, Brady threw another incomplete pass to Bennett that was deflected by Vic Beasley. The play had risked a repeat of the Malcolm Butler interception in Super Bowl XLIX. However, on the second drive, James White ran the ball right and scored, ending the game with the Patriots on top.

Personally, this was one of the most intense Super Bowls I have ever watched. Although the outcome was not what I wanted (I ended up losing $100), the game itself was not a let-down.

Tom Brady once again proved himself to be the GOAT.