Tom Brady, Patriots earn stunning win in greatest Super Bowl yet

By | February 2, 2018

The deal gives new life to Dorsett, once viewed as an explosive, do-everything wideout coming out of college. He was a first-round pick in 2015, coming to Indianapolis with impossibly high expectations to be Luck’s next great target. What followed was 51 receptions in two years. Dorsett scored a career-high two touchdowns and upped his career catch percentage over 50 in 2016.

While the Patriots were still more than fine at wide receiver after Julian Edelman went down with a torn ACL two weeks ago, Dorsett fills a vacancy for now. Belichick’s hasty removal of former Panthers defensive end Kony Ealy earlier this summer shows his lack of patience for even the most high-upside players. It remains to be seen exactly how Dorsett will fit into New England’s offense behind Brandin Cooks, Danny Amendola, Chris Hogan and Malcolm Mitchell.

After hoisting their second Lombardi Trophy in three years, the Patriots are seemingly determined to enter win-now mode. After splurging on wide receiver Brandin Cooks, tight end , cornerback and a revamped backfield, New England will enter the 2017 season as the consensus favorites for another Super Bowl appearance.

For all of the certainty over the Pats’ prospects, the Falcons have been surrounded by skepticism since blowing a 25-point lead in the biggest game of the franchise’s half-century history. Forget the “Super Bowl hangover” narrative. Losing unmatched offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan is a more tangible concern for Atlanta’s chances of repeating in the NFC South.

We were told this week that Giants coach Ben McAdoo — a constant target of derision during a 1-8 nightmare season — had a “brutally honest” meeting with his players ahead of Week 11. To the coach’s credit, the Giants responded with a spirited effort on defense, swarming to the ball and forcing three turnovers on a day. Both defense were aided by swirling winds at the Meadowlands that made a chore out of both kicking and throwing, but New York definitely showed up to play. If McAdoo has any hope of keeping his job beyond this seson, he’ll need to have several more of these types of efforts before New Year’s Day.

Andy Reid teams almost always win coming out of a bye — Reid entered Sunday 16-2 in such situations. It makes the team’s general malaise on Sunday doubly confounding. Also confounding: The Chiefs’ decision to have tight end Travis Kelce attempt a downfield pass with the game tied at 6 midway through the fourth quarter. Kelce may have played quarterback in high school, but asking for him to complete a deep strike in windy conditions was a recipe for disaster. Or, in this case, a drive-killing interception by Landon Collins. Just way too cute at that point of the game.

With the Falcons converting an extra point to take a 28-3 lead, and the 39-year-old Brady having thrown a horrific pick-six and looking besieged and scattered, it was time to start pondering an outcome that could well have signified the end of an era. To that point, Atlanta had outplayed and outcoached the Pats, and the Falcons looked to be faster, more potent and heading for an ’80s-style Super Sunday blowout victory.

If you were one of those people who gave up on the most savage football player the sport has ever known and the remarkable organization for whom he is the standard-bearer, well, don’t feel badly. At least one of the proud men on Brady’s own sideline was right there with you, and he likely had a whole lot of company.

Falcons cornerback Robert Alford coasted for the final 25 yards of his pick-six, giving Atlanta a seemingly insurmountable 21-0 lead with just over two minutes left in the first half of Super Bowl LI. He pointed to the sky and held up an ‘A’ with his fingers, honoring the title-depraved city that hasn’t won a championship in any sport in 22 years.

Patriots fans, clearly the more vocal supporters before kickoff, were stunned silent as quarterback Tom Brady picked himself up off the turf and walked to the sideline. Prior to last night, no team had overcome a Super Bowl deficit of more than 10 points.

Cornerback Logan Ryan dismissed the unit’s slow start, focusing only on the finished product: His second Super Bowl title with the Patriots in three seasons.

“The thing is that makes a champion: It’s not about shutting everybody out, making everything easy,” Ryan said. “It’s about getting knocked down and getting back up and how you respond. That’s what this team did all year. We kept getting knocked down, we kept responding, we kept coming to work and no one in that locker room — not one person — lost faith in the play-calling and how we were playing. We all knew we were going to win … we never lost faith. We kept it going.”