“They [the Falcons] are the underdogs.”
“The Patriots have more experience.”
“Ryan is good, but you can never count out Brady.”
“It will be a close game, but the Patriots will win.”
Turns out…they were right.
In the greatest Super Bowl comeback in history, the New England Patriots defeated the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in overtime to win Super Bowl LI.
The Falcons came out of the gate strong Sunday night, leading 21-3 at halftime. Their defense sacked Brady twice in the same drive in the first quarter, against an offense who has only allowed fifteen sacks on Brady all season. The Falcons scored a pick-six off Brady to put them ahead 21-0.
The Patriots went into the locker room at the half having only managed to score a field-goal.
Troy Aikman repeatedly reminded America that no team has ever come back from more than a ten-point deficit in the Super Bowl.
And let’s not forget, the Falcons also had two important groups in their corner. The puppies and the pigs.
I am of course referring to Live with Kelly’s and The Tonight Show’s Super Bowl predicting pigs and puppies, respectively.
Kelly Ripa and guest co-host Carrie Ann Inaba raced pigs this week to predict who would win the Super Bowl. The Notorious P.I.G., representing the Falcons, immediately ran down the field to the end-zone. Meanwhile, Piggy Smalls, repping the Patriots, took his time moseying down the field, while periodically stopping and grazing. By all accounts of the first half of the actual game, it seemed like these pigs were on to something.
Jimmy Fallon’s puppies were equally tuned in to the Falcons’ bandwagon. The majority of the hungry puppies went straight to the Falcons bowl, ignoring the less popular Patriots bowl.
Yet, while the Falcons seemingly had everything going for them as they took the field in the second half, there was one important factor that may explain why they lost the largest lead in Super Bowl history and gave away 31 unanswered points- Bill Plaschke.
Readers of the Los Angeles Times may be familiar with writer Bill Plaschke who has, by self-admission, correctly predicted three out of seventeen Super Bowls. That’s fifteen miscalled Super Bowls. Bill recognizes his own short-comings and even apologized to the Falcons for predicting that this was their year. He regretfully wrote this morning, “The Falcons seem like like such a nice bunch of folks, it’s a shame to jinx them like this, but all the human signs point to a huge upset of arguably the greatest dynasty in NFL history.”
Well Bill, you predicted an upset alright, just not quite what you were hoping for. There are many unpredictable things that have happened over the past several months, but it’s comforting to know that taking the opposite view of Bill Plaschke is still the closest one can get to a sure bet.
Matt Ryan can take comfort in the fact that it wasn’t his fault. This epic comeback was destined to happen. All he had to do was read the Los Angeles Times this morning.