3 Keys: How the New England Patriots WON Super Bowl LI

The New England Patriots beat the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 on Sunday in the first overtime game in Super Bowl history. Despite being three-point favorites going into the game, the Patriots’ victory was anything but assured when they were down 25 points midway through the third quarter. The previous record for the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history was a measly 10 points, but the Patriots lapped that and then some by ripping off 31 unanswered points. In about 25 minutes of play, the score moved from a gloomy 28-3 Falcons to a victorious 34-28 Pats. New England’s strong finish was powered by 3 keys. Key # 1: James White and the quick passing game Before the game, many looked at the battle in the trenches between NFL sack leader Vic Beasley and Patriots’ right tackle Marcus Cannon as a deciding factor in the game. While Cannon was the clear winner, his teammates along the offensive line could contain neither ageless wonder Dwight Freeney, nor the young Grady Jarrett who tied a Super Bowl record with 3 sacks. Tom Brady was hit over a dozen times by a frequently stunting Falcons team which, along with turnovers, was the reason the Pats went to half with just three points. After halftime, the offense adapted. Brady started passing exclusively out of the shotgun and throwing shorter passes. The pressure on the QB dwindled and...

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