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New England Patriots win the big game

Zach Lebovitz, Senior Sports Reporter

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As Super Bowl LI (51) took place this past Sunday February 5th, the Atlanta Falcons took on the New England Patriots, history was in the making, when the Patriots won their 5th Super Bowl beating the Atlanta Falcons 34-28.

In addition to having the most Super Bowl wins, this was the first ever Super Bowl to go into overtime and was the highest Super Bowl comeback of all time. For me growing up and still a die-hard Chicago Bears fan, it was hard to watch this entire season go by while the Falcons and Patriots were tearing it up and “Da Bears” weren’t doing much at all. But watching this game, even from the start, I was rooting for the Falcons to pull through and win it all.

Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. But sometimes rooting for the underdog and the overall better performers is the way to go especially when the Falcons have yet to win a Super Bowl. For those of you who were unable to watch the game, you missed a really great overall performance.

To start off the game, 3 singers from the top-selling musical Hamilton sang America the Beautiful, Luke Bryan sang the national anthem, and President George H.W. Bush did the coin flip, all of which transpired before the game even started. Coin flip was done and the Falcons won the toss.

Then the game finally began, the first quarter was off and the Falcons had control of the ball the majority of the time.

Lots of big plays were taking place, but none good enough to get on the score board. Going into the second quarter, the Falcons really seemed to amp up their game and even their fast paced playing style as they scored 3 touchdowns, one of which was an interception off of Tom Brady.

Once again huge plays were occurring mainly from Patriots Wide Receivers Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola and former Bears Tight-End, Martellus Bennet, but nothing was good enough for the Patriots to score during the first half, aside from the 41-yard field goal with got the Patriots 3 points.

Onto the halftime show, Lady Gaga, the singer songwriter who came into the music world with some ridiculous outfits but with one of the post strong and positive attitudes among her incredible entertaining skills.

Gaga dropped into the stadium and began her half-time show singing some of her best hits like Poker Face, Bad Romance, and Born This Way and put a very entertaining show on. Her flashy costumes, light shows, and overall show has been better than past years’ halftime shows.

The Patriots must have felt truly inspired from Lady Gaga’s performance, because they came out and looked like a totally different team.

The Falcons also came out strong scoring another touchdown half way into the quarter giving them a 25-point lead, 28-3. The quarter continued with Brady, Amendola, and Edelman really pushing to make something happen when they finally got a touchdown with 2 minutes left in the 3rd.

The score was then 28-9 after Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski missed the extra point. The fourth quarter was the real history maker. The Patriots penetrated the Falcons’ defense not allowing them to score a single time during the fourth.

But on the other hand, the Patriots managed to score 19 points in the fourth quarter tying up the scores 28-28, forcing the first ever over time quarter in Super Bowl history. The Patriots won the overtime coin toss and in overtime, the Patriots scored a touchdown 4 minutes into the overtime quarter, ending the game as victors.

As happy as I am to see the Patriots win for the fifth time, even though I was not rooting for them, the game could have gone either way. What would have happened if the Falcons won the overtime coin toss?

The Falcons could have won it. But I think the funniest thing about seeing the Patriots winning is the mix of posts I saw on Facebook from many of my friends. Most of which either said Congrats to the Patriots or Brady is a Quarterback Legend, but then there already some very funny memes of Tom Brady on the ground crying saying that the ball was too heavy cause of how much air was in it.

All in all it was a remarkable game. The Falcons came in to the 2016-2017 season, led by head coach Dan Quinn, winning 3 of their 4 preseason games and then kicked off their regular season going 11-5 losing against Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles, Sand Diego Chargers, Seattle Seahawks, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Losing so few games led them into the playoffs, which they won their division game against the Seattle Seahawks and then went onto winning the conference game against the Green Bay Packers which had led them to compete in Super Bowl LI.

This Super Bowl game was the Falcons’ second appearance in any Super Bowl.

On the other hand, the 4-time Super Bowl champions, the New England Patriots led by head coach Bill Belichick.

The Pats also won 3 of their 4 preseason games, then went 14-2 in their regular season only losing to the Buffalo Bills and the Seattle Seahawks. The then continued their season winning their division game against the Houston Texans and then beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the conference game.

The Pats have appeared in 8 Super Bowls, making this the 9th appearance. Out of those 8 appearance they won 4 of them, and now they have won their 5th.

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Award winning, student run, weekly campus newspaper of the University of Illinois, Springfield..
New England Patriots win the big game