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Super Bowl LI Bad Guys: 34 Good Guys: 28
Smigoversen
February 06, 2017

Well, it finally happened, the last valid argument that Tom Brady isn't the GOAT QB no longer applies. Brady now has more Super Bowl rings than Joe Montana. Whether this is due to Bill Belicheck developping the Super Soldier Serum, selling some combination of Robert Kraft's, Brady's, and his own souls to the Devil or another evil deity, or being gifted 6 freebie wins a year from the perennially pitiful AFC East - I don't know.

 

If that wasn't bad enough, the Patriots had to win their 5th franchise championship with the largest (and most exciting) comeback in Super Bowl history. The Patriots rallied from a 28-3 deficit and the Falcons failed to score any points in the final 23 minutes of the game after Tevin Coleman's 6 yard touchdown reception. This chokefest will headline the already extensive failure resume the Atlanta Falcons have put together in their 51 year history summarized nicely here by Bomani Jones.

 

I'm not going to sugarcoat this, America NEEDED the Falcons to come through for us and win this game. A deep abiding hatred of the Patriots is the only common thread between Red States and non-New England Blue States. An Atlanta victory would have allowed a fractured nation to come together and revel in the destruction of the real-life evil empire. Alas, just like Hillary Clinton won the popular vote but lost the election, so did the Falcons.

 

After jumping out to a 21-0 lead, it looked like the Falcons had the whole game tied up by the 2nd Quarter. It got so bad, Mark Wahlberg left the game. MARK WAHLBERG, the man who is already trying to get himself cast as Tom Brady in the movie version of this game, thought it was hopeless and went home (presumably to masturbate to footage of the game winning interception in Super Bowl XLIX). But the Falcons made a fatal mistake, they left Tom Brady too much time to work his magic.

 

A common observation among sports writers was that the Atlanta running backs were going to be the key to victory. And early in the game that proved to be the case, Devontae Freeman and Tevin Coleman averaged 9.5 yards per carry in the first half. In spite of the ground game's success, Atlanta's Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan committed to the passing game by calling more pass plays in every quarter except the first.

 

Matt Ryan got going in the second quarter and consistently produced through the air for the rest of the game, averaging 93.6 passing yards per quarter with a 70% completion rate. This production was at the expense of the run game which tallied a meager 17 yards in the second half. Overall, rushing plays only accounted for 40% of the 47 run by the Falcons. In a game where a team has a multi-score lead from 12:20 in the 2nd until only a minute remained in the 4th Quarter, that is mindboggling. A quick aside, 49ers fans must be feeling great about their new head coach right now right?

 

The Atlanta receivers consistently picked up big chunks of yardage (16 yards per completion), but they failed to take big chunks of time off the clock with their drives. Belicheck made some key adjustments to the defense in the second half (don't even think about giving Matt Patricia credit for this one) that forced Matt Ryan to put the ball along the sidelines which frequently stopped the clock. Because Shanahan abandoned the run after a few discouraging attempts, Brady was able to work his way down the field with his trademark surgical precision and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. If instead of passing on 4 of 6 plays which resulted in losing 23 yards and being pushed out of field goal range on Atlanta's second to last possession, they had run the ball it is very likely they would have scored a field goal and made it a two score game again.

 

This would be significantly less frustrating if the Patriots hadn't just finished winning a Super Bowl because some dipshit decided to pass instead of running... I wonder if Tom Brady will wear his Make America Great Again hat when he visits the White House?

Smigoversen isn't bitter or being petty in any way right now

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