By Wade Haugen
Lots had been made of the New England Patriots organization over the past two years ever since the initiation of the Deflategate scandal. Everything from how the organization was ran, to the integrity of their quarterback, Tom Brady.
The Patriots managed to silence those critics Sunday night, as they defeated the Atlanta Falcons 34-28. It was a game that will be remembered for having history intertwined throughout it, including the fact that it was the biggest Super Bowl comeback ever, along with it being the first ever Super Bowl to go to Overtime.
While afterwards the Patriots tried to play it off cool like there never was a doubt, those who watched this game know how lopsided it was through the first two and a half quarters. At halftime, the Falcons lead 21-3, aided by mistakes from New England that we aren’t used to seeing.
LaGarrette Blount fumbled in the first half, and Tom Brady threw a pick six that the Falcons’ Robert Alford read like the back of his hand. Needless to say, Atlanta had all the momentum.
After the half, Atlanta came out and scored again, and lead 28-3. What happened from this point forward will be remembered for as long as the NFL is around. Tom Brady and his Patriot teammates went on to score 31 unanswered points and win the game in overtime.
“We all brought each other back,” Brady said when asked about the historic comeback.
While it took a team effort, the Patriots Hall of Fame quarterback played nearly flawless down the stretch, while also taking some major hits from the Falcons rush defense. In the fourth quarter and overtime, Brady went 21-for-27 and threw for 246 yards.
“He’s the leader, the general, the best ever and that is the end of the story,” Danny Amendola said when asked about his quarterback.
Brady didn’t do it by himself, however. James White, the Patriots pass catching-specialist out of the backfield had a huge night, finishing with 14 receptions, 110 yards, and one touchdown. Julian Edelman finished with five receptions and 87 yards, while Danny Amendola inked eight receptions to go along with 78 yards and a touchdown.
Essentially, the Patriots lead a historic comeback behind the efforts of their All-Time great quarterback, and then James White, Julian Edelman, and Danny Amendola. Just let that sink in a little bit.
What has been two years of turmoil and loud noise for the entire Patriots organization was somehow silenced in the middle of a chaotic scene after the game Sunday night in Houston. While confetti flowed from the rafters, a swarm of headline-happy reporters surrounded Tom Brady as he kneeled on the field in a moment of personal reflection.
In that moment, all the question marks surrounding his legacy had been put to rest. Because in that moment, the nation was looking at the greatest quarterback to ever play the game of football.