Super Bowl LI needs no introduction. By any measure, it was one of the greatest Super Bowls of all-time, and solidified the legacy of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. We asked our staff: what was your favorite moment?
Mariana Dominguez, Campus Correspondent
As an avid Patriots fan, the best moment in Super Bowl 51 was definitely Julian Edelman’s incredible catch on the 40-yard line with 2:28 left in the game. Edelman caught the ball despite being surrounded by three Falcons and displayed incredible control. I would definitely say this was the “catch of the game.” The catch added a lot of momentum to a Patriots team that was down by eight and needed to move down the field quickly. When I look back at the game, I think this catch really swung momentum in the Patriots direction and gave hope to a fan base that felt let down in the first half.
Sophie Ross, Campus Correspondent
I’m from Oakland, California, so naturally I was rooting for anyone but the Patriots because of the infamous “tuck rule” game in the 2001 AFC Divisional Round. My favorite moment of Super Bowl 51 was the toe dragging catch made by Julio Jones with 4:40 left in the game. The Falcons were up by eight, so I thought that that catch sealed the win for them. But I was wrong. The Patriots’ final drive of regulation capped off the most epic comeback in recent history that made Super Bowl 51 one for the books. Even though it hurts me to say, this performance has solidified Tom Brady’s place as the greatest of all time.
Josh Buser, Staff Writer
The best moment was obviously James White’s two-yard scamper into the end-zone to win the game in overtime. Although everybody on the planet knew the Patriots would find a way to win in overtime after clawing all the way back, watching the conclusion of a comeback for the ages was admittedly pretty cool.
Watching all the Patriots players go crazy after the first overtime win in Super Bowl history while confetti drops and the referees are still making sure it was actually a touchdown was an amazing moment, even for somebody who isn’t a Patriots fan by any means. Throw in Vic Beasley’s near interception on the previous play that almost gave Patriots fans their own Malcolm Butler moment and you have a fitting ending for a legendary game.
Matt Barresi, Campus Correspondent
I’m a huge Patriots fan, so narrowing it down is pretty tough. Can I say the whole second half? Ultimately I will choose Dont’a Hightower’s strip sack of Matt Ryan midway through the fourth quarter. Normally I’m a very pessimistic sports fan, but for someone reason I never gave up hope in this game. It was depressing sure, and I wasn’t necessarily optimistic either, but I did have faith. And I’ll never forget that hit, because for me it was validation that they were going to actually pull it off. It was when I knew for sure something amazing was about to happen. A close second is when we won the coin toss for overtime, because I, as well as all other New England fans, knew right then and there it was over and the Super Bowl was ours.
Chris Hanna, Staff Writer
I’ve seen enough Pats games in my life. I knew deep down that it probably wasn’t over even when the Falcons went up 21-0 or 28-3. As a result of my bitterness, I’m going to say my favorite moment of the game was either the incredible Julio Jones catch that will go down as one of four unworldly catches against the Patriots in the Super Bowl or the Robert Alford interception returned for a touchdown. I’ll lean towards the latter given how distraught Tom Brady looked and how fired up the Atlanta sideline was. And to top it all off, Alford strode into the end zone in style in a fantastic Super Bowl moment, and a great memory for the defensive back who can now say he took one to the house off of Brady in the Super Bowl.
Daniela Marulanda, Campus Correspondent
I am with Mariana and agree Julian Edelman’s catch was the best and most important play in Super Bowl LI. Without the catch there was no way the Pats could have made the comeback and I still believe Edelman should have been chosen as the game’s MVP. The catch made the team believe they could do it. If Edelman could catch that ball, the Patriots could win the game.
Matthew Kren, Staff Writer
As a diehard Giants fan, am I allowed to say the Mr. Clean commercial or the super bowl halftime show? In terms of the game, the best moment for me was the first two point conversion by James White as it signaled this was going down to the last second. On a beautiful play design, the Patriots were able to fool the Falcons and start what became the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history. The Patriots offense was able to slow down the No.1 ranked offense in the second half and hold them to 43 total plays. Hats off to the Patriots for their play designs and for their ability to get both two point conversions.
Antonio Salazar, Staff Writer
I agree with my colleagues that Julian Edelman’s “David Tyree-esque” catch was the best moment of the game, but in order to be a little original I am going to go with another moment. As a Giants fan, I had no horse in this race, so my second favorite moment of Super Bowl 51 was the halftime show. Gaga gave the world a scare when she lept down from the top of NRG Stadium to the stage, before taking everyone on a stroll down memory lane singing some of her best hits. The drone show was unlike anything I had ever seen and will definitely set a standard for future Super Bowls.
Luke Swanson, Campus Correspondent
The Patriots are one of my least favorite teams on the planet, so seeing them come back inch by inch was like nails on a chalkboard to me. Deep down I knew it was going to happen, because they’re the Patriots, and it seems like they always find a way to win. Before the soul-sucking dread set in, my favorite part of the game was Julio Jones’ insane circus catch on the sideline in the fourth quarter, which would’ve iced the game if Kyle Shanahan actually made sane play calls. Jones is probably the best receiver in the league, and he’s been one of my favorite players to watch since his days at Alabama, so that catch was the best part of the game to me, and I’ll pretend like the rest of the game didn’t exist.