Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

The Hilltop


Super Bowl LI: What Happened?

By Brittany Webb, Sports Editor
Posted 3:25 PM EST, Fri., Feb. 10, 2017

On Sunday, Feb. 5, football fans commenced around the world to watch Super Bowl LI. Competing were the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots. The game was far from your traditional Super Bowl game.

Both teams failed to put points on the scoreboard during the first quarter, going into the second quarter 0-0. However, come the second quarter, the Falcons began to dominate the scoreboard, finishing the half 21-3 lead.

In the second half, the dominating Falcons began to unravel, losing control of the field and the board. Both team scored a touchdown in the third quarter. At the start of the fourth, the score was 9-28 and the touchdown the Falcons scored in the third quarter would be their last.

Despite having momentum and Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones catching the ball within the 30-yard line, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan struggled to find a man to pass the ball to, ultimately getting sacked behind the 30-yard mark. From there, the Falcons went on to get a flag thrown against them, and they never recovered.

Upon getting possession of the ball, Brady struggled to make successful passes to his teammates. Struggling to make a touchdown, Patriots kicker Stephen Gostowski put points on the board with a field goal, bringing the score 12-28. After this, the Patriots picked up a head of steam, scoring two touchdowns and two-point conversions, tying the game at 28-28. Having the final possession, the Falcons were unable to respond, forcing the game into overtime (this was the first Super Bowl game in history that went into overtime).

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

The Patriots had the first and only possession in overtime, running first down after first down. Patriots quarterback, Tom Brady, put his trust in Patriots running back James White, who ran the ball to the Falcons’ 15-yard line. Brady then tried to pass the ball to Martellus Bennett for a touchdown, but a pass-interference by the Falcons cause the pass to be unsuccessful. However, the penalty moved the Patriots to the 2-yard line.

Brady tried to throw another pass to Bennett, but the pass was blocked by Atlanta Falcon linebacker Vic Beasley Jr. The next play, White ran in the game-winning touchdown, managing to get the ball over the end zone line, despite the Falcons’ defense trying to push him away from the end zone. Some may say his knee was down before the ball was in the end zone, but officials counted the touchdown.

“We knew we were in the game the whole time. We knew we weren’t playing as well as we wanted to that first half,” White said. “We went into halftime and just tried to get guys fire up. It’s going to be a long second half. Defense gets stops, offense just keeps putting points up and the lead will keep narrowing, and like I said we’ll be in the position to take that shot and win the game.”

White was the breakout player of the game, breaking three personal and Super Bowl records. White scored 20 out of 34 of the Patriots’ points, no single player has ever scored that many points in the Super Bowl. He caught 14 passes for a total of 110 yards, and he scored the only touchdown in Super Bowl history. Despite White being the player of the game, Brady still walked away with the MVP title.

“James White should have never been Super Bowl MVP,” former Philadelphia Eagle quarterback Donovan McNabb said.

And Brady agreed with him.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

“I think James White deserves it,” Brady said. “It would be nice for him, but it took a real team effort.”

Brady says he will gift White with his MVP car.

As for the Falcons, who have now been defeated in both Super Bowl appearances, in an Instagram post, Ryan said, “We came up short last night and my heart hurts for you Atlanta. Hats off to New England they played a heck of a game. We will adapt, we will overcome, we will #RiseUp again.”

Have a reaction, thought, or response to this article? Submit a letter to the editor.


You May Also Like


Mohamed Samura, an 18-year-old freshman, died Monday morning after being struck by a car last week in front of Cook Hall.


The acceptance rate for the incoming class was about 30 to 32 percent, and the average SAT and ACT scores were about 1125 and...


All-American high school basketball stars from the DMV played together and against one another at the 51st annual Capital Classic basketball game.


A Howard women’s basketball guard announces her comeback after recovering from an injury.