By Kyle Beery
Shame on us.
Shame on us for being surprised by this.
Shame on us for not expecting Tom Brady to at least turn a snoozer into a close game, let alone complete the biggest comeback in Super Bowl History.
Shame on us for counting out the greatest quarterback of all time. Shame on us for not believing in the greatest coach of all time.
Well, I can’t throw out too much shame. Brady and the Patriots looked completely flat and out of sorts for the better part of Super Bowl LI.
By the end of the first half, much of the week-long hype had been sucked out of the big game and Lady Gaga’s halftime show — complete with a stadium rooftop drop and a drone light show — had taken center stage with the Falcons leading 21-3.
When Matt Ryan quickly extended Atlanta’s lead to 25 points early in the third quarter, game was all but over. The entire country was gearing up to crown him as the newest superstar — in his defense, he did quite a bit this season to elevate his status as one of the best in the league, but a Super Bowl ring would have sent him over the edge into superstardom.
By that point, hardly anybody was even contemplating the possibility of what would become the greatest comeback in the history of the sport.
Lady Gaga has successfully made Patriots fans forget about this first half. 👏🏻 #bravo
— Molly McGrath (@MollyAMcGrath) February 6, 2017
Again, shame on us.
The Patriots’ 34-28 overtime win in Houston topped the Giants’ win over New England in “The Helmet Catch Game.” It was better than the Steelers and Cardinals’ thriller in Super Bowl XLIII. Better than Kevin Dyson falling a yard short of beating the Rams. Better than all of them.
Sure, there have been bigger comebacks in the NFL, but never in the Super Bowl. Never one like this. This game had all the makings for an instant classic.
For the first time ever, there was overtime. 50 games. Not one of them went to an extra period. We were in uncharted territory on Sunday.
There were plenty of gaudy stat lines, including Brady’s 466 passing yards and two touchdowns. James White had two rushing touchdowns and racked up 110 receiving yards on 14 catches and two more scores.
There was a missed extra point that had doom written all over it.
There was an unbelievable catch on an important late-game drive. This one looked like destiny for the team that took the league by storm this year and was certainly the nation’s favorite going into the night.
The Falcons had a complete and utter offensive breakdown with the game on the line fueled by a sack and a pair of holding penalties that knocked them out of field goal range.
And then there was even more unbelievable catch on an even more important late-game drive. That one was the one that will be remembered forever.
And of course, there was Joe Buck, who has now called two of the greatest sporting events ever over the last three months.
Tom Brady’s latest amazing feat is amplified by his age. The 39-year-old is nearing the end of his career, and it seems he is getting better with age. He did manage to set eight Super Bowl records on Sunday.
Some have been left wondering if he will go out on top and walk away.
The answer is no.
Well, probably. Even though he was quite emotional throughout the week — especially after the game with his mother, who is battling cancer — Brady will likely finish out the last three years on his contract.
While that is still technically up in the air, one thing is for sure. Tom Brady just cemented his legacy as the greatest quarterback, and engineered the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history.