The Falcons opened the game with the ball after a touchback on the opening kickoff, and scored on their first possession, with Matt Ryan connecting with Julio Jones for a 13 yard TD. Devonta Freeman had 3 carries for 31 yards on the 8-play, 75 yard drive, and fullback, Patrick DiMarco had a 24 yard catch and run. Atlanta 7 – New England 0.
On New England’s first possession, on a 3rd & 5, Tom Brady scrambles for 8 yards but, after a jarring tackle from Falcons linebacker, Vic Beasley, coughs up the ball and strong safety Keanu Neal recovers it for Atlanta at the Patriots 38 yard line!!
Ryan and company need only three plays to score another touchdown . . . . Freeman had an 18 yard run, Taylor Gabriel hauled in a 14 yard pass and Mohamed Sanu caught a 6 yard TD pass from Ryan. Atlanta 14 – New England 0.
The Falcons continue to frustrate Brady and forced New England to punt. Ryan hit Austin Hooper for a 17 yard completion and Hooper fumbled the ball, but teammate, Sanu, recovered it on his own 49 yard line. Atlanta then drove all the way to the Pats’ 15 yard line, helped by another big run (23 yards) by Freeman. And, this time, it was Tevin Coleman finding pay dirt on a 15 yard TD run. Matt Bryant, however, shanked the extra point try, but the Falcons increase their lead to 20-0!
More bad news for the Patriots. Early in the second quarter, Brady comes up limping and will have to play “hurt” for the remainder of the contest. He will be considered a “1” rated QB for matchup purposes, and all of his results will be read one column worse than normal. This will definitely hurt New England.
Still, he leads the Patriots to their first score, finding Julian Edelman open in the end zone from 3 yards out. On that drive, despite being hurt, Brady hit Martellus Bennett for 28 yards and Michael Floyd for 24. Atlanta 20 – New England 7.
The Patriots finally stop the Falcons . . . . sort of. Atlanta drove from their own 25 to New England’s 24, when the drive stalled out and Bryant nailed a 42 yard field goal with 8:00 left to play in the first half. Atlanta 23 – New England 7.
New England continues to hurt themselves, uncharacteristically, with penalties! They had two first downs called back because of infractions and ended up punting to Atlanta. Eric Weems had a nice 18 yard punt return to put the Falcons in business at their own 49.
From there, Ryan went to work . . . hitting Taylor Gabriel for 15 yards, handing it to Freeman (13 yards) an Coleman (12 yards) and finally hitting Sanu for his second TD pass from 3 yards out. The Patriots look shell-shocked as the Falcons increase their lead with 3:15 left to play in the half. Atlanta 30 – New England 7.
Brady shakes off a couple more holding penalties from his offensive line and marches the Patriots all the way down the field, hitting Floyd with a big 29 yard pass, and then finding Malcolm Mitchell all alone for a 30 yard score with only 1:30 left to play, to pull within two touchdowns. Atlanta 30 – New England 14
Amazingly, Atlanta marches 75 yards in one minute, helped by two HUGE penalties on New England – a Roughing the Passer and a Defensive Hold – both coming on third down plays where the Falcon failed to convert. Coleman runs it in from the six yard line with only 30 seconds left in the half to give Atlanta a remarkable half-time lead!! Atlanta 37 – New England 14 (Half).
The Pats come out in the second half firing!! After holding Atlanta to a three and out, they force Matt Bosher to make his first punt of the game! Edelman returns it 22 yards into Falcons territory, and Brady and company march down to the Atlanta 7 where LeGarrette Blount carries it in. Pats once again within two scores . . . 10:15 left in the third quarter. Atlanta 37 – New England 21
Ryan and the Falcons answer! “Matty Ice” hits Aldrick Robinson for 14, Levine Toilolo for 16 and Freeman for 17 yards before stalling out and watching teammate, Bryant, calmly nail a 43 yard field goal with 6:00 to play in the quarter. Atlanta 40 – New England 21
Brady is not done yet . . . . . . he leads New England on a furious drive, hitting Bennett for 27 yards, Gronkowski for 28 an Edelman for nine down to the Falcons’ two yard line . . . where Blount runs it in for his second touchdown of the quarter. There are now 30 seconds left in the third period and the Patriots are only down by twelve points. Is Brady’s 4th quarter magic about to make yet another appearance????? Atlanta 40 – New England 28
Ryan is having none of this “Brady Mystique!!” He leads the Falcons on another drive, this time finding Austin Hooper for 26 yards and Jones for 29 before Coleman roared into the end-zone from 29 yards out!! Still a lot of time left . . . but the Pats need to get going . . . 13:15 remaining in the game. Atlanta 47 – New England 28
The sun is starting to set on New England . . . . . after a short Bosher punt, they took over at the Falcon’s 49 yard line, but could not complete a fourth and four from Atlanta’s 34 yard line. The pass to Edelman was incomplete. Atlanta took over and put what just might be the final nail in the Patriot’s coffin – when Coleman scored his fourth rushing TD of the game (and Atlanta’s SEVENTH touchdown of the game!!), this one from 33 yards out, and that’s how the game ended . . . Atlanta 54 – New England 28
This game started out just like last year’s real Super Bowl, with the Falcons dominating the Patriots in the first two quarters . . . but, unlike their real-life experience, this time they kept it up in the second half, rushing for an amazing 261 yards and rolling up 558 yards of total offense in their very convincing and well-deserved Super Bowl victory!
Ryan 26-37-314-3 tds-0 ints Brady 22-38-297-2 tds-0 ints
Freeman 16-140-0 Blount 19-68-2
Coleman 10-110-4 White 3-23-0
Gabriel 1- 13-0 Brady 2- 6-0
Ryan 1-(-1)-0 Slater 1-(-2)-0
Jones 5-90-1 Gronkowski 4-69-0
Freeman 5-43-0 Bennett 4-66-0
Sanu 4-41-2 Floyd 3-65-0
Hooper 3-35-0 Edelman 4-35-1
Gabriel 2-29-0 Mitchell 1-30-1
DiMarco 1-24-0 White 4-25-0
Toilolo 1-16-0 Blount 1- 5-0
Robinson 1-14-0 Develin 1- 2-0
Hardy 2- 9-0
Coleman 1- 9-0
Perkins 1- 4-0
MVP: Tevin Coleman