From Deflategate to Super Bowl

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The 2016 National Football League season had a strange start to it for the New England Patriots. Their star quarterback, Tom Brady, did not play in the first four games of the season. He was serving a suspension that dated back to the American Football Conference (AFC) Championship Game from January 18, 2015. The Patriots were playing the Indianapolis Colts and allegations came from the Colts that stated the Patriots had deliberately underinflated the footballs used in the AFC Championship game. The controversy became known as Deflategate. Brady’s suspension was to take place during the 2015 regular season but a move to settle the scandal in federal court saw the suspension vacated then later reinstated.

With Brady out of the line up at the start of the 2016 season saw backup quarterbacks fill in. The Pats won their first game 23-21 on September 11 against St. Louis Cardinals. In Week 2 the Pats went 2-0 defeating Miami Dolphins 31-24 and 3-0 on September 22 with a Week 3 27-0 victory of the Houston Texans. The Buffalo Bills deflated New England’s perfect start in Week 4 beating them 16-0. Brady returned to the line up in Week 5 and lead the Pats to a 33-13 win over the Cleveland Browns and it was pretty much back to business as usual. In fact, with Brady back in the driver’s seat, New England won their next three games, 35-17 in Week 6 against Cincinnati Bengals, 27-16 against Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 7 and 41-25 in a Week 8 rematch with Buffalo Bills. The Patriots went into their Week 9 bye with a 7-1 record.

The November 13 post bye week game was a 31-24 loss against the Seattle Seahawks and that was the last game the team loss for the rest of the regular season. New England beat San Francisco 30-17 in Week 11, New York Jets 22-17 in Week 12, 26-10 over the Rams in Week 13, 30-23 against the Ravens in Week 14, 16-3 in Week 15 against Denver, 41-3 over the Jets in Week 16 and finished the regular season on January 1, 2017 with a Week 17 35-14 victory over the Dolphins giving New England a 14-2 regular season record – the best finish of any team in the league for the season.

The post season saw the Pats beat Houston Texans 34-16 on January 14 in the Divisional Round to advance to their sixth consecutive AFC Championship Game – setting a new record. The 1977 Oakland Raiders had held the record with five consecutive AFC appearances. New England took the Conference Championship on January 22 beating the Pittsburgh Steelers 36-17 which made them the first National Football League franchise in league history to earn their ninth Super Bowl game appearance. The previous record of eight Super Bowl games was held by Denver Broncos, Pittsburgh and the Dallas Cowboys.

Super Bowl LI (Roman numerals for the number 51) was held February 5, 2017 at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas – the home field of the Houston Texans who were defeated by New England in the Divisional Round. The Pats met the Atlanta Falcons in the league championship game. The Patriots were 17-2 for the regular and post season where the Falcons had a 13-6 record. Super Bowl LI had an attendance of 70,807 which was far below the Super Bowl record of 103,985 set at Super Bowl XIV in the Rose Bowl.

New England Patriots Super Bowl 51 Jersey FrameThe First Quarter ended with a scoreless tie. Atlanta got onto the scoreboard first at 12:15 of the Second Quarter. That was when Devonta Freeman scored a touchdown on a 5 yard rush. Matt Bryant kicked the extra point giving the Falcons a 7-0 lead. Then at 8:48 Atlanta’s Austin Hooper added another touchdown from a 19 yard pass thrown by Matt Ryan. Matt Bryant added the point after to give the Falcons a 14-0 lead. The Falcons widened that lead to 21-0 at 2:21 when Robert Alford scored on an 82 yard interception return. The extra point was scored by kicker Matt Bryant. With just 2-seconds left in the first half of the game New England’s Stephen Gostkowski scored with a 41 yard field goal. The score was now 21-3 in favor of the Falcons at Halftime.

Atlanta continued to dominate in the Third Quarter added another touchdown at 8:31. Tevin Coleman scored it on a 6 yard pass from Matt Ryan. Matt Bryant added the extra point and the Falcons were leading 28-3. New England’s first touchdown of the game was at 2:06 when James White scored on a 5 yard pass from Tom Brady. The Falcons were ahead 28-9. In the Fourth Quarter, the Patriots continued to whittle away at the Atlanta lead scoring a 33 yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski at 9:44. It was now 28-12 for the Falcons. At 5:56 Tom Brady fed Danny Amendola a 6 yard pass for a touchdown and James White scored with the 2-point conversion to narrow the Atlanta lead to 28-20. With just 57-seconds left in the game, James White scored a touchdown on a 1 yard rush and Danny Amendola scored on a 2-point conversion off a pass from Brady to tie the game at 28-28.

The first ever overtime Super Bowl was decided at 11:02 of the extra period with a touchdown scored on a 2 yard rush by James White. The final score was 34-28 for New England in a game that ran 3 hours and 47 minutes and set several records. Stop by and browse our selection of Super Bowl LI Championship football display cases.

Here are some of the individual records set during Super Bowl LI:

The most passing yards in a game (466) Tom Brady, New England
The most passing attempts in a game (62) Tom Brady
The most passes completed in a game (43) Tom Brady
The most receptions in a game (14) James White, New England
The most points scored in a Super Bowl (20) James White
The most touchdowns in a Super Bowl (3) James White
The most sacks in a Super Bowl (3) Grady Jarrett, Atlanta
The most yards passing in a Super Bowl career (2,071) Tom Brady
The most passes completed in a Super Bowl career (207) Tom Brady
The most passing touchdowns in a Super Bowl career (15) Tom Brady
The most Super Bowl games in a career (7) Tom Brady
The most Super Bowl games won in a career (5) Tom Brady
The most Super Bowl MVP Awards (4) Tom Brady
The most Super Bowl game appearances as a Coach (7) Bill Belichick, New England
The most Super Bowl games won as a Coach (5) Bill Belichick

Here are some of the team records set during Super Bowl LI:

The most yards passing in a Super Bowl – team (442) New England
The most passing yards in a Super Bowl – both teams (682) New England vs. Atlanta
The most first downs in a Super Bowl – team (37) New England
The most first downs in a Super Bowl – both teams (54) New England vs. Atlanta
The most first downs passing in a Super Bowl (26) New England vs. Atlanta
The most first downs passing in a Super Bowl – both teams (39) New England vs. Atlanta
The most first downs by penalty in a Super Bowl (4) New England
The largest deficit overcome in a Super Bowl (25) New England vs. Atlanta
The most Super Bowl appearances (9) New England
The most points scored in overtime in a Super Bowl (6) New England
The most offensive plays in a Super Bowl by a team (93) New England

Here are some of the records tied during Super Bowl LI:

The most Super Bowls won in a career (5) Tom Brady
The most two-point conversions in a Super Bowl (2) New England vs. Atlanta

Here are some more records related to Super Bowl LI:

A total of 172 million people watched the game on television making it the most watched televised program in US TV history and was the second most watched Super Bowl of all time recording an average audience of 113.7 million viewers. The average audience on television increased by 29 percent between the opening kickoff to the end of overtime which meant Super Bowl LI had the largest recorded in-game audience growth in history. The game also ranked as the highest rated telecast this broadcast season recording a 45.3/70 household rating/share. In addition, the Spanish telecast of Super Bowl LI set a record for the most-watched non-soccer event in Spanish cable TV history with over 650,000 viewers.

Here is a number of NFL Playoff records held by Tom Brady:

The most career playoff games played (34)
The most career playoff games started by a quarterback (34)
The most career playoff games won by a starting quarterback (25)
The most career playoff consecutive wins by a starting quarterback (10)
The most career playoff consecutive wins to start as quarterback (10)
The most career playoff home wins by a starting quarterback (15)
The most career playoff consecutive home wins by a starting quarterback (8)
The most career playoff touchdown passes (63)
The most career playoff passing yards (9,094)
The most career playoff passes completed (831)
The most career playoff pass attempts (1,325)
The most division titles won by a starting quarterback (14)
The most NFL conference championship appearances by a starting quarterback (11)
The most NFL conference championship wins by a starting quarterback (7)
The most career playoff 300+ passing yards games (11)

Here are additional records held by Tom Brady:

He is the only quarterback to win a total of five Super Bowls
He is the only NFL player to win five Super Bowls playing for the same team
He has the most MVP awards (4) and the most ever by a single player
He has led his team to the most divisional titles (14) as quarterback in NFL history
He has won more playoff games (25-9) than any other quarterback
He has appeared in more playoff games (34) than any other player in the NFL
He has more regular season and post season wins (208) of any NFL quarterback in history

Brady was originally drafted in 2000 in the 6th Round (199th Pick overall).

Author: Michael Azif

President of Sports Display Cases. Sports enthusiast of sports memorabilia and display cases.

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