Super Bowl LI: Falcons Let It Slip Away, Patriots Win Thriller

Feb 5, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; New England Patriots middle linebacker Dont'a Hightower (54) forces a fumble by Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) during the fourth quarter during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Super Bowl LI: The Atlanta Falcons were up 21-0 at one point in this game. They lost in overtime, 34-28. This may be a great comeback by the Patriots, but let’s face it. The Falcons let it slip away.

The Atlanta Falcons dominated the first half of Super Bowl LI. They got up to a 21 point lead, and it looked like they were cruising towards a Super Bowl championship. The Patriots comeback is the most dramatic one in Super Bowl history, but that just makes this worse for the Falcons. They had it within reach and they came away with nothing but heartbreak.

The Falcons had some huge plays in this game. Matt Ryan only had six incomplete passes in the game. Devonta Freeman had a monster game. The Falcons sacked Tom Brady five times and even returned an interception for a touchdown. The Patriots had no business winning this game, but the Falcons failed to put them away.

Tom Brady gets his fifth Super Bowl ring. It’s a frustrating truth for the Baltimore Ravens and every other AFC Team. Brady threw for 466 yards and completed 43 passes. He deserves a ton of credit, and so do the Patriots. The problem is the Falcons completely succumbed to the pressure. They crumbled down the stretch and gave the Patriots hope through their mistakes.

The Falcons defense essentially evaporated in the fourth quarter of the game. The Patriots offense ran 93 plays on offense. They found a way to grind long possessions out that gassed the defense. It ran time off the clock, but Falcons miscues made the comeback a possibility.

The more time went off the clock, the more pressure the Falcons had on them. When the game went to overtime, it just felt like the Patriots were going to win the game. Everything was going their way, even the coin toss.

The story of this game is the Falcons giving up a huge lead. If they took care of their business the Patriots wouldn’t have had a chance to win. That’s the bottom line here, the Falcons let it slip away.

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