Super Bowl is Super
Sometimes in the wacky world of the NFL, the Super Bowl does not live up to its hype. Frequently the games are boring for the typical football fan. By typical, I mean fans whose team is not in it!
Super Bowl LI was heading for the boring category when Atlanta went up 28-3 in the third quarter. Then the game turned around. Dramatically. In the end it turned out to be one of the best games ever, the first in 51 tries to go to overtime. When it was all said and done, the Patriots made the most remarkable comeback in history and walked off with a 34-28 win.
It is always fun for me to view or read the reactions of people to a game when one team “blows” a big lead. Invariably the “come from behind” team gets some credit, but the team that loses is usually said to have choked. It happens all the time and it disturbs me. Did Atlanta choke? I don’t think so. You can question play calling and people do. But a bad play call is one that doesn’t work. There certainly are “safe” calls on offense when having big lead, but they often lead to defeat. Then, of course, there is the prevent defense and we all know what that does!
I would rather give the Patriots credit than blame the Falcons. Let’s face it, they played with a grittiness that was incredible. They were also lucky. Julian Edelman’s catch was spectacular and a little lucky. That ball had to hang there for him to grab it. Julio Jones two first half catches were more outstanding if you ask me. Still, give Edelman credit.
Tom Brady’s pass on first and goal in overtime could very well have been picked off and then that play call would have been second guessed (see Seattle/New England from a couple of years ago) for months to come. Tom Brady was hailed as the best quarterback in NFL history after winning his fifth Super Bowl, but would that have been the case if the pick happened and Atlanta went on to win? Fame is indeed fleeting.
The view from my seat suggests that we stop looking for a scapegoat, stop using the C word and sit back and realize that we just had the pleasure of watching a great game. An inch or two here or there and everything could have been different. And it still would have been a great football game!