In what was easily the most explosive Super Bowl matchup since 1985’s Buccaneers over the Broncos, the Patriots defeated the Falcons, 34-28, in overtime to claim their sixth title in the last nine years.
Roger Goodell: “Congratulations, Atlanta, and first and foremost, to the New England Patriots. They won the most recent Super Bowl. We congratulate them. It’s hard to win six Super Bowls. It’s an incredible accomplishment.” https://t.co/gIJtVYNnSE — New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) August 20, 2017
I’m not a sports fan, but based on the New England Patriots getting the MVP of the game, Tom Brady, and, furthermore, the fact that Atlanta found themselves down 17-0 after the first quarter, it was clear who the best team was.
And yet the Patriots (however, infamously) squandered a 17-point lead to lose to the Atlanta Falcons with two touchdowns in the final two minutes of overtime Sunday in Super Bowl LI.
New England’s 34-28 win moves them up to 6-0 in the Tom Brady-Bill Belichick era — which is now tied with the Buffalo Bills’ 1954-59 era for the best mark among active NFL teams. A Buffalo teams that went to six straight conference championship games with Jim Kelly, Bruce Smith, Thurman Thomas, Andre Reed, and Frank Reich (and who won three Super Bowls, one as head coach of the Bills and three as a player with the team) as their primary star players.
Tied with the Bills’ winning streak. Though they’ve won the biggest game in the sport six times.
The Falcons, meanwhile, finish up their postseason run with one win. A home loss to the New Orleans Saints in the season-opener before their Super Bowl matchup had the Falcons looking as flimsy as any of the Patriots’ opponents in the regular season, yet when they got to this year’s Super Bowl, they never seemed out of the game — taking the lead, or even briefly losing it, in regulation and again in overtime.
Unfortunately, for the Falcons, Atlanta doesn’t have a team in a position to challenge for a championship for a while. Sunday’s loss dampened a recent sizzling run for the city of Atlanta. The last time that the Falcons won a playoff game was back in 2000, and the last time they reached the Super Bowl was back in 1999, where they came away with a loss. In between those three trips, the Falcons fell off in a big way, losing Super Bowl XXIX to the San Francisco 49ers, and losing the NFC championship game in 1995 to the Green Bay Packers.
There isn’t another franchise in football that can boast of a winning streak like the Patriots have in the Belichick-Brady era — let alone one that has a streak like that and wins it the season after their most recent loss.
Tom Brady just extended his record for the most Super Bowl victories by a starting quarterback to 6️⃣️
More → https://t.co/0sfkMbwaEd pic.twitter.com/1w9DcmG8sj — NFL (@NFL) August 20, 2017
The Falcons could have set themselves up for more success in the future by making more of a run to win a Super Bowl to tie the Patriots’ win streak — even if it would have been surprising. After all, Atlanta hasn’t even been to a Super Bowl since they beat the Bills in Super Bowl XXXIII.
But it’s not going to happen anytime soon. The winning streak is one that is out of reach — Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is the greatest coach of all time, and that’s something that will remain for the foreseeable future.
No matter who wins the Super Bowl next season — the Eagles, Packers, Cowboys, or Steelers — the Patriots will be taking all the glory. And no one will be able to top the last time they were here — everything went right for them, from the plan that Tom Brady put in place to the play-calling of the offense. The last time the Patriots won Super Bowl LI, Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and Brian Hoyer were the names that all came to mind, and little did anybody know that they would soon go down as the greatest coaching trio in NFL history.
Thanks, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.
Read the full story at The New York Times.
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