Well, that’s the NFL season in the book and what an end to the season. The first ever Super Bowl overtime game and the largest comeback in history.
The Patriots trailed, 21-0, in the first half, were behind 28-3 in the third quarter and became the first team to win a Super Bowl when trailing by more than 10 points. They were also the first to win a postseason game when behind by more than 16 points in the fourth quarter.
It was the largest comeback in Patriots’ history and they scored the games’ final 31 points and won despite never having lead in the regular 60 minutes.
Tom Brady’s passing attempts, completions and 466 passing yards were Super Bowl records. The 14 catches by Patriots running back James White were also a Super Bowl record.
Brady took his fourth Super Bowl MVP and became the first quarterback with five Super Bowl victories and Bill Belichick became the first coach with five Lombardi trophies.
I wrote before the game about the officials making the all-star crew and it has to be noted that they did very well and the game ran without them being noticed. By noticed, I mean that they called the game well and important big calls were all correct. Video replays proved they were making crucial calls with authority as well as managing the early scuffles and questionable contact to make the game run smoothly. Examples include the Julio Jones sideline toe tap (pictured below), and the amazing Julian Edelman juggle.
There was one chop block (high-low combination) that they probably missed on the Patriots final drive, however, to be fair to them, their mechanics (what they watch, when, to ensure best possible coverage) would have likely had them looking elsewhere at the crucial time.
The blocks in question happened at the Falcons 26 yard line where the defender goes to ward off the low block by Patriots #69 and whilst engaged low is pushed from high by #60. This is a safety foul and would have incurred a 15-yard penalty. This play is normally seen in the ‘trenches’ at the line of scrimmage and its location out ahead of the catch would have made it difficult to spot.
So other than that one questionable miss and one flag that perhaps shouldn’t have been thrown (Patriots blocked extra point), they ruled correctly on some excellent plays that left little for either team to complain about. They certainly earned their Super Bowl rings.
So, You’ve got to hand it to New England, this was one hell of a win. With many UK viewers turning off after Lady Gaga’s half time show and thinking “it’s all over now”. Well in America, not until the fat lady sings. You’ll probably hear the folks in Boston the whole offseason after that emotional roller-coaster.