It’s hard to say otherwise about the first overtime game in the 51-year history of the AFL-NFL World Championship Game, as the first two games were called. The Patriots came back from a 25-point deficit to score 31 unanswered points and win the game 34-28. The greatest Super Bowl comeback had previously been 10 points.
There were a lot of wonderful plays in this game and some real bone-headed ones as well. Each team fumbled once and the Patriots’ Tom Brady threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown.
Here’s what would probably have been called the play of the game if the Falcons had held on to win: Julio Jones made a spectacular catch of a Matt Ryan throw in the 4th quarter. Unfortunately the NFL has blocked the embedding feature, so you’ll have to click here to see the catch. That got the Falcons a first-and-10 at the New England 22. From there they went backwards:
1st and 10 at NE 22
(4:40 – 4th) D.Freeman left end to NE 23 for -1 yards (D.McCourty).
2nd and 11 at NE 23
(3:56 – 4th) (Shotgun) M.Ryan sacked at NE 35 for -12 yards (T.Flowers).
(3:56 – 4th) Timeout #1 by NE at 03:50.
3rd and 23 at NE 35
(3:50 – 4th) (Shotgun) M.Ryan pass short left to M.Sanu pushed ob at NE 26 for 9 yards (L.Ryan). PENALTY on ATL-J.Matthews, Offensive Holding, 10 yards, enforced at NE 35 – No Play.
3rd and 33 at NE 45
(3:44 – 4th) (Shotgun) M.Ryan pass incomplete short left to T.Gabriel.
4th and 33 at NE 45
(3:38 – 4th) M.Bosher punts 36 yards to NE 9, Center-J.Harris, fair catch by J.Edelman. (The Punt Hangtime was 4.31 seconds.)
Talk about futility. The Patriots then went 91 yards in 2:33, culminating in a two-point conversion and a tie game.
During that drive with the score 28-20 Falcons and 2:27 left in the fourth quarter Julian Edelman made an unbelievable catch of a ball that was deflected up in the air by the defender. It came down on the defender’s arm and Edelman scooped it off and cradled it. That kept the drive alive and the Patriots went on to tie with 0:57 seconds left.
The average point differential between the winners and the losers in the Super Bowl is now slightly over two touchdowns: 14.16