The Brady Factor

Now I know not everyone is into American football. We all have our druthers. But even if you cannot stand the game, Super Bowl Some Chinese Guy (Li) may have been the best performance I have ever seen from a team that was pretty much statistically out of it, that made an incredible comeback for the ages. I urge anyone who had better things to do, to watch the replay bound to air soon. Or stream it.

I have been under the weather with some sort of bug, by the time halftime rolled around I was nauseous, stomach rumbling, and a case of the trots. I was lying in bed ill, but still listening to the game. I could care less how spectacular Lady Gaga must have been. Hell at that point I could care less about the game. Brady and the Pats were down 21-3 and looked completely ineffective against a great Atlanta defense. If I wasn’t already sick to my stomach literally, Id have been sick to my stomach figuratively. This wasn’t a game, it was a blowout. Not what a true fan of the game wants to see no matter who is playing.

Not trusting my body I had one of the boys pick up the wife from work. They rolled in right around the time Brady and co. scored a touchdown in the 3rd quarter. The point after bounced off the right upright and we had a score of 28-9. Nobody comes back from 28-9 deficit in the 3rd quarter. This game was over, done, stick a fork in it. Atlanta had its first Super Bowl victory.

But then it happened. The Patriots defense bucked up, and began making plays against a seemingly unstoppable Atlanta offense. Brady started making great throws, his receivers making great catches. They were all of a sudden moving the ball and scoring TD’s. Still it had to be too little too late. They had an insurmountable hill to climb. They needed at least 2 Td’s AND two 2 point conversions, AND a field goal to even tie the game. Absolutely unheard of. That just doesn’t happen.

Atlanta made an impressive drive late, that if it resulted in a field goal, (3 points) would have likely iced it. But a series of mishaps, a sack, a penalty, they were driven back beyond field goal range. They had to give up the ball to the Pats.

By now I was feeling a bit better and managed to park my ass on the couch in front of the TV…

And then the Pats made a drive that resulted in a field goal. Not good. The score 28-12. Which means that the unheard of neccessity of making 2 touchdowns and two 2 point conversions to tie (16 points), was an unlikely pipe dream even for the most die hard Patriot fans. But the Pats made a drive that resulted in a touchdown and a successful two point conversion with nine minutes left.

Surely the Falcons would drive and score, or at least run some time off the clock to guarantee a win? Nope, they were stopped by a resurging Patriot defense. The Patriots got the ball  and had one last ditch chance to score. They needed the touchdown and the 2 point conversion to force the game into an overtime situation. They proceeded to drive the ball and with 57 seconds left in the 4th quarter scored the touchdown. With the success rate of 2 point conversions in the NFL around 50% I figured the luck of the Pats would run out right here. But damn if they didn’t beat the odds.

Tie game. Atlanta had less than a minute on the clock and could not score. Game tied in regulation.

A coin toss decides who gets the ball in overtime. Surely the luck of the Patriots had run out by now? Not to be, they win the toss and get the ball to start overtime. In overtime the game ends with the score of a touchdown, and the opposing team gets a chance to score if the other team gets a field goal. So a field goal no longer wins as sudden death. It takes the TD.

In an already incredible comeback game, did the Patriots have enough to get the job done? Yes, yes they did. They made an impressive drive and scored the sudden death touchdown in three minutes and fifty eight seconds. Marking what I have to believe the most impressive Super Bowl win I have ever seen. Likely in the history of the game itself.

Football fan or no, this was a moment in history. Cementing the superstar status of Tom Brady and the Patriots. I have to hand it the Falcons, they looked unstoppable on offense and very stingy on defense for the first two and a half quarters of this game. They are a great team worthy of a Super Bowl win, but destiny had other things in mind.

The Brady Factor is for real.

EDIT: So much for statistics!