Dear kind hearted, generous, charitable, and loving Football Gods,
You came through. Last I wrote to you I was begging—no, praying for anything good to happen. A few hours ago, I asked you all to “let the barrage of passing begin,” and you delivered. Endowing Tom Brady with the magical ability to throw for more than 300 yards in the rest of the game, just enough to seal the Patriots 34-28 victory in what will go down as one of the greatest games in Super Bowl history. If this game didn’t solidify Brady being the G.O.A.T., I honestly don’t know what could.
Brady’s performance makes it interesting for backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, however, as no signs of Brady’s decline have left the Patriots with the viable option of trading Garoppolo. His main competitor in the trading block is Dallas quarterback Tony Romo, whose prolonged injuries and accumulating age are to be well noted by prospective teams. I suspect offers from teams will be plentiful, though, as a solid quarterback, ever scarce in the league, could do wonders for NFL teams. The Patriots could expect to get a mid-high first round pick for Garoppolo, a rarity for a team as successful as New England to possess, as only poor performance is rewarded by elite draft positions.
LeGarrette Blount finished the game with a mere 31 yards on 11 carries, forcing the team to look towards other options in James White and Dion Lewis, who combined for 63 yards on 12 additional attempts, a minimal amount compared to Brady’s 43 completions.
You football gods didn’t make it easy, either; the Falcons’ defense put constant pressure on the pocket, resulting in some monster performances for members of Atlanta’s defense such as defensive tackle Grady Jarett, who finished the game with three sacks. On paper, the Falcons defense was extremely efficient, collecting 86 tackles to New England’s 51, however, constant Atlanta blitzes left Patriot receivers open down the field.
In my first letter, I highlighted the opportunity to “stick it in the face of Roger Goodell,” and boy did those Pats fans in Houston respond. Through the entirety of Goodell’s (monotonous and meaningless to Patriots die-hards) speech were overwhelming jeers, a reminder as to what goes around comes around. After the game, Patriots owner Robert Kraft said it best; “Two years ago we won our fourth super bowl down in Arizona. I told our fans that was the sweetest one of all, but a lot has transpired during the last two years, and I don’t think that needs any explanation.”
I get it now.
You guys had to put Pats fans in agony, just to see how we would react; for many of us Patriots fans (who’ve been accused of being bandwagon fans seemingly millions of times now), this seemed all too familiar. A Super Bowl opponent coming into the season as an underdog, a miracle catch by an underrated wide-receiver, and a series of goal line passes. There’s no doubt that had Falcons linebacker Vic Beasley gone up to catch the Brady to Bennett pass on the Atlanta two-yard line in overtime, he would have caught it and caused a Patriots turnover. I had flashbacks to Malcolm Butler’s interception on the goal line against Seattle, and screamed, “Please don’t throw it!” in my living room. Perhaps Odell Beckham and the lore of one-handed catches had gotten to him, but hey, I’m not complaining.
Honestly, coming back from such a large margin made me not only incredibly appreciative of every moment that ensued in the marvel of a football game in Super Bowl LI, but immeasurably more satisfied with the result. The irony is that the Patriots were the ones who “rose up” and delivered one of the greatest performances in sports history.
On behalf of all New England Patriots fans,
I thank you again, Football Gods.
P.S. I might be pressing my luck here, but as you’ve come through with this improbable win, a college scholarship would be nice, too.