The goddamn Patriots won the goddamn Super Bowl in goddamn historic fashion, turning around a goddamn 25-point deficit to beat the goddamn Falcons 34-28 in the first goddamn overtime game in Super Bowl history.
What the goddamn happened?
Well, the Falcons had a really good first half. While Matt Ryan and Julio Jones connected for some big plays, it was Atlanta’s running game that gave them the early edge over a shook Pats defense. The only plays where the Falcons failed to capitalize were when they got a little too fancy and passed in clear running situations. The Falcons offensive line, which is good but not great, failed to hold up and led to a few early drives stalling out (note: this is foreshadowing for the horrors that would come.)
Meanwhile the Patriots failed to turn some decent offensive drives into points. Grady Jarrett dominated up front, getting to Brady without blitzing, while young guns Deion Jones and Keanu Neal made huge plays including a game-altering forced fumble. Brady got hit hard and looked inaccurate. Only a miraculous Martellus Bennett catch allowed the Patriots to get any points before the half.
The game was 21-3 at the half.
I thought Lady Gaga was pretty good at halftime?
The game was 28-3 with 8 minutes left in the third quarter.
There was a decent Justin Timberlake commercial in the third quarter.
The game was over.
The biggest Super Bowl comeback in history was 10 points, a few times, one of which was an incident I’d rather not recall. 25 points is a lot more than 10 points.
What the hell happened?
Well Tom Brady happened. Instead of being slightly inaccurate, he was cartoonishly accurate.
Donald Trump reportedly walked away from the game, so distraught his beloved Patriots (note: the guy is from New York, and should under no circumstances root for the Patriots, which is the fifteen thousandth worst thing about our president).
Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator (and soon-to-be San Francisco 49ers head coach) Kyle Shanahan happened… The Falcons stopped running the ball, and in so doing allowed themselves to get sacked out of field goal range, and give the Patriots a short field after getting strip-sacked on 3rd and 1. I’m now far less terrified that he’s coming to coach the 49ers.
The Pats converted two of the goddamn best two-point conversions I’ve ever seen after missing an extra point. Why even fucking kick extra points? God, fuck this game.
Basically the Falcons had every opportunity to ice the game, and the Patriots had less than zero margin for error, and yet here we are, with the Patriots having won the game, hell, having covered the point spread.
So let’s hunt for silver linings. One for me? I called this game almost exactly in my preview piece, proving once and for all The Stranger should be your first stop for sports analysis of all kinds.
Second, this game really did wipe the whole, “not handing the ball to Marshawn” thing out of the nation’s consciousness. Before the game, I was worried that a game that played out like this would trigger me as a Seahawks fan. Instead I feel like it diluted the trauma that I experienced at an indeterminate point in the past I choose to barely remember.
And, finally? This terrible football season that delivered terrible game after terrible game while robbing us of the structural integrity of Earl Thomas’ leg is finally, mercifully over. Now we can get back to living undistracted under the specter of the rise of fascism. Cool. Cool cool cool.