On Sunday, millions around the world witnessed the first Super Bowl ever to go into overtime. Atlanta was also still chasing their first Super Bowl victory in franchise history, but to win the coveted Vince Lombardi Trophy, the Falcons had to get through the menacing New England Patriots.
New England was the first team that originated from the American Football League to reach 500 franchise wins — both in the regular season and playoffs. The Patriots had to overcome two 4-game suspensions at the beginning of their season; both quarterback Tom Brady and outside linebacker Rob Ninkovich. Ninkovich was suspended for using a banned substance. Tom Brady’s suspension is more well known. Brady was suspended for his role in the deflategate scandal from 2015, where the Patriots were suspected of deflating the balls during the AFC Championship game to make them easier to throw.
Similar to the 2015 Super Bowl, which also featured the Patriots, the game was scoreless at the end of the first quarter. Once the second quarter started, the floodgates opened with 21 unanswered points scored by Atlanta followed by a single field goal scored by the Patriots.
At halftime, many people believed the game was over. At four different times during the game, prediction bots put Atlanta at a 99% chance to win. New England did not score a touchdown until the last two minutes in the 3rd quarter, and by then Atlanta was leading by 25 points. However, this lead did not last, with three touchdown drives in the 4th quarter to tie the game and one in overtime for the win, New England and Tom Brady secured the record of biggest deficit overcome in a Super Bowl. Brady won Super Bowl LI MVP honors with 43 completions for 466 yards with 2 TDs and 1 INT. Brady is now tied with Charles Haley as the only two players to win five Super Bowl rings. Haley won two rings with San Francisco and three rings with the Cowboys from 1989 to 1996. This fifth Super Bowl victory puts Tom Brady in the conversation for the greatest quarterback to ever play football.
Many people hosted Super Bowl watch parties on Sunday, where a lot of beer, chicken wings and potato chips are the go-to foods. The true number of wings eaten will surprise you. According to a report from the National Chicken Council, Super Bowl LI viewers were expected to consume 1.33 billion chicken wings — which is just over 166 million pounds of chicken.
Photo Courtesy of Sports Illustrated