Super Bowl 51 Nicolas Johnson

photo by: Toronto Star

In the world of professional sports here in America, the Super Bowl has been hailed as the greatest event ever. For centuries fans would tune in to the game as a result of the hype, the number of advertisements displayed, and of course the teams they root for are playing in it. In the eyes of football fans around the world, they believe it's something worth watching, while those who don't watch the sport can just tune into the halftime show performed by famous musicians throughout the world. For a century, there have been many past Super Bowls that have been in the discussion among fans, players, and writers on which stand out on the greatest ever. As of now, we want to reflect on this past Super Bowl: Super Bowl 51, between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons. The hype around this past Super Bowl was the center of two star quarterbacks; Matt Ryan of the Falcons, and Tom Brady of the Patriots.

The hype of this past Super Bowl was synonymous. Ryan came off a year in which he threw 36 TD's and 7 INT's, and won league MVP honors, and Brady came off a year in which he was suspended for the first four games of the season, but posted what was the best Quarterback-Interception ratio in NFL history with 28 TD's and only 2 INT's. It had one team who has been hailed as the greatest team of the 21st century, as they have won five Super Bowl titles, and other team who made their second Super Bowl appearance in franchise history, seeking for their first.

photo by: myAJC

For the Patriots, things did not go exactly as planned for them, as the Falcons jumped out to a 21-3 halftime lead. Near the end of the half, Falcons cornerback, Robert Alford, intercepted a pass from Tom Brady (shown above) justifies that. Patriots kicker, Stephen Gostkowski, got his team on the board to end the half.

Things look completely bleak for the Patriots when the Falcons scored another touchdown to extend their lead by 25 points to make it 28-3 Atlanta. The Falcons defense had kept the New England offense in check to just a field goal throughout the first two in a half quarters of the game. It wasn't until Patriots running-back, James White, scored a touchdown to end the third quarter, what would start any hopes of a comeback.

As the fourth quarter began, Atlanta had numerous opportunities to put the game out of reach, but with no success as the Patriots defense held them to numerous three-and-outs. The Patriots for the majority of the game have been held in check until this particular quarter started. Gostkowski kicked another field goal to make the score 28-13.

The turning point of the game, as many people who had watched the game had stated, was midway through the fourth quarter, is when Patriots linebacker, Dont'a Hightower, stripped sacked Matt Ryan, enabling his teammates to recover the ball. They were able to recover it, and gave Brady another chance to continue a possible comeback. The offense was able to capitalize when Brady threw a touchdown pass to Danny Amendola, followed by a two-point conversion by James White, to make it 28-20 Atlanta.

Fearing of blowing a 25-point lead, and having the Lombardi trophy slip away, Falcons were driving the length of the field and into field goal position to put the game out of reach, but failed to capitalize once more, giving Brady one more opportunity to tie the game. Feeling a comeback was within reach, Brady led his offense through the length of the field, and followed by a spectacular juggling catch by wide receiver, Julian Edelman, James White ran in for a touchdown, followed by another 2-point conversion, to tie the game at 28-28 with under a minute to go in regulation, and forced the game into overtime.

The Patriots won the coin toss to begin the first ever overtime in the history of the Super Bowl, and once again Brady drove down the length of the field, and because of a defensive penalty against Atlanta, put the team at the one-yard line. After an incomplete pass from Brady to tight end, Martellus Bennett, on first down, James White, who had New England's key player to this point, ran into the to the left corner of the endzone to cap off arguably the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history.

photo by: MMQB

The effect of this past Super Bowl had many fans buzzing about the it turned out at the end. I spoke with a couple of football fans in particular about their personal thoughts about the Super Bowl.

An inside view of Santa Monica College, whom has many divisive fans in regards to professional football.

At Santa Monica College, the students were very divisive and active when it comes to sports in general, mostly football in particular. I had the opportunity to ask a couple of students on campus about how they felt about this past Super Bowl.

Within the last two years, there were an increasing number of fan within the Santa Monica area. Evidence by this particular photo below here:

When asked about how long he had been a fan of the Patriots, he responded, "since 2007. I'm not like one of the band-wagoners you see now". What he means by this is that for the last two years, a number Patriots fans are growing by number within the Santa Monica area. This is a common factor as before the Rams moved back here in Los Angeles, the city was known for being diverse when it comes to NFL football. The majority of the fanbases would root for the Raiders, 49ers, Seahawks, Patriots, Saints, Broncos, Packers, Steelers, and Cowboys fans.

There has been debate on whether Super Bowl 51 will go down as the greatest of all time. All the fans know in their minds for sure that it will be hailed as the greatest comeback ever. The Patriots will raise their fifth championship banner for the 2017 season opener at Gillette Stadium in Boston. All of the fans will be excited to see how this plays out.

The Patriots first two championship banners at Gillette Stadium. (2015)
The previous two banners. (2015)

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