Just the Stats: Super Bowl 51 Recap

The following statistics are completely true pieces of information. Use them at your own risk. Results may vary. As always, follow @StatTardiff on Twitter for more insights.

New England Patriots – Super Bowl Champions
So here are the facts: New England won 34-28, in overtime; Tom Brady was named Super Bowl MVP after throwing 62 passes (43 completions) for 466 yards; the Patriots overcame a 25-point deficit, the largest in Super Bowl history (and the largest in Brady’s career); Bill Belichick won his fifth Super Bowl, the most all-time; Brady also won his fifth Super Bowl, also the most all-time. Those are the facts – how did we get there?

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We All Thought the Atlanta Falcons Were Going to Win
(8:36) Matt Ryan pass to the right to Tevin Coleman for 6 yards for a TOUCHDOWN. Matt Bryant extra point is good.

That was the play that pushed the score to 28-3 and the Falcons’ win probability at 99.5%, midway through the 3rd quarter. At one point, Atlanta had 28 points and had run 33 offensive plays. Looking at the final stats doesn’t do this justice. The final stats all favor the Patriots. We’ll talk about that. Watching the first 37 minutes of the game, there wasn’t much of a game going on. The Patriots had two costly turnovers; Brady had no time to move in the pocket; the Falcons’ offense was rolling. And yet…

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The Patriots Thought the New England Patriots Were Going to Win
“What everyone saw in the New England Patriots in the 4th quarter and overtime is what I’ve been seeing for seven months.”

Bill Belichick knew what he had in his team, and the numbers speak for it. Tom Brady posted his seventh 4th quarter postseason comeback, extending his record. The Patriots converted a pair of two-point attempts that were absolutely necessary. The final five drives for New England:

  • 13 plays, 75 yards, 6:25, touchdown
  • 12 plays, 72, yards, 5:07, field goal
  • 5 plays, 25 yards, 2:28, touchdown, 2-point conversion
  • 10 plays, 91 yards, 2:33, touchdown, 2-point conversion
  • 8 plays, 75 yards, 3:58, touchdown

Congratulations, New England. You remain atop the football world.

Matt Tardiff is the resident stathead at ChinMusicPod.com, and still, has as many Super Bowl rings as Matt Ryan. Check out @StatTardiff on Twitter as we transition to basketball and hockey, among other sports oddities. As always, check back next Tuesday for more stats.

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