The Only Downside to the Patriots Comeback Win...

...Is that Julio Jones's catch may be forgotten.  Best reception I have ever seen in a lot of years of watching football.  Video here at NFL site

PS-  Run the ball three times after that catch, kick a field goal, and the Falcons would be your Superbowl champions.



  1. scottrobinson:

    It was phenomenal, but so was Edelman's

  2. Mr. Generic:

    I don't think it will be forgotten for the "If they had just run it 3 times and kicked a field goal afterward" reason. The Atlanta defense was gassed by the middle of the 3rd quarter and it was up to the Atlanta offense to eat as much time off the clock as possible. They were set up for a good field goal, and two runs for distance and one run to put the ball on the hash mark the kicker prefers would have sealed the game. So, for at least the next 4 or 5 years, that catch will be remembered as the set up for a bad coaching decision.

  3. marco73:

    The Atlanta play caller, Shanahan, could not change who he is. He was going for the dagger of a touchdown and a 14 point lead with under 4 minutes remaining.
    Of course, if Atlanta HAD won the game, would people have been looking at the abysmal clock management of the Patriots at the end of the first half? Third down and short with 59 seconds remaining, 2 timeouts in hand, clearly in field goal range, and they took almost 20 seconds to wander to the line and run a stupid short pass that fell incomplete. Set up a dramatic 4th and short. They pick up the 4th and short, THEN call timeout with under 30 seconds on the clock. Brady could only move them a little closer, so they kicked a field goal with 5 seconds left. If they had used their second timeout at 59 seconds, they would have had time to try to get in the end zone, and a 21-7 halftime deficit, not 21-3.
    Thankfully for the Pats they were able to pick up those 4 points by successfully converting two 2-point conversions.

  4. TruthisaPeskyThing:

    I probably put Edelman's as a little bit more phenomenal. Julio's catch was fantastic, but he had only himself to contend with. Edelman was in pile, and it was amazing that he had a notion of where the ball was . . . plus the ball was bouncing off a guy's leg . . . plus he was being jostled . . . and then he had the presence of mind how to gain control without the ball hitting the ground.
    Also hats off to the official who saw it correctly. Absolutely amazing.

  5. Carl S:

    Agreed, Shanahan called it the same way against the Seahawks and Packers. Both times, even when we had the game well in hand in the 4th quarter, he was still throwing for the end-zone. My concern there was not that we would lose, but that Ryan or Jones would get hurt, and for seemingly no good reason except to run up the score and pad their stats.

  6. Carl S:

    Living in Atlanta, I've been rather spoiled by awesome receivers over the past 15 years. I got to watch Calvin Johnson and Demaryius Thomas playing at Georgia Tech and now Julio Jones for the Falcons.

  7. Mr. Generic:

    "Shanahan called it the same way against the Seahawks and Packers."

    And that's how you end up losing to the Patriots. :)

  8. sfudhiho:

    Anyone else upset about the overtime sudden death rules?

    The way the rules are laid out today for the NFL, they might as well simply toss the coin and declare the winner based on that.

  9. DaveK:

    Falcons blew it with stupid penalties at critical moments in the game. They would have had at least one more touchdown, and probably would not have lost their momentum if they'd had better field discipline.

  10. Sam P:

    In this respect, I think the current rules (instituted this year or last year, don't remember) are better than the old rules. Do you want college overtime rules instead?

  11. sfudhiho:

    Don't know - I'd want a full play of 15 minutes so that both teams have their chance at the ball.

  12. David in Michigan:

    "The Atlanta defense was gassed by the middle of the 3rd quarter". Yes, and by the end of the third quarter they had NO more left. It's almost as if it were a strategy by the Patriots....... wear the defense out, run them ragged, and come back with the kill. It actually looked that way to me. Clearly the defense had nothing left in the OT judging by the quick march down the field and quick score. Smart play.

    Oh, yes the catch was great but not better than Edleman's catch in the 4th which was truly spectacular.

    And to all the second guessers who say that "if only" this, that, or the other happened, I say you're ridiculous. I can make the same type of assertion about (for example) Brady's interception. If only it had been caught by the intended target the Patriots probably would have scored and the game would have gone differently.

  13. morganovich:

    yeah, but they also would have gotten scored on several times. they held and pass interfered on every play early in the game. that IS their strategy. the seahawks were the same way under the same staff. they just figure, they'll get called every once is while, but get hold every play.

    it was not until the refs called them 3 times in a row and made it clear that they both recognized the strategy and were not going to put up with it that they stopped.

    if you can get away with it, it's a very effective strategy. utterly unsportsmanlike, but effective.

    it's why i hated the seahawks.

  14. Mr. Generic:

    Watching the game as a Pats fan I'm stymied by that last series by Atlanta, because a field goal would have been such a killer. This moment is different from most of the other "if only" moments in the game because this one is such an obviously bad coaching decision instead of bad play (Brady's interception) or sheer luck (Edelman's catch).

    What happened: With 4:40 remaining, they had a run for -1 yards that ate 40 seconds off the clock, then the sack and the Pats called timeout, then a holding penalty which stopped the clock, then a incomplete pass. 60 seconds of game clock eaten, only one forced timeout, Pats get the ball back with 3:30 remaining, with 2 timeouts down by 8.

    What could have happened: Run, Run, Run, FG. Most likely, 3:30 remaining on the clock, Pats have no timeouts, down by 11 or maybe 2:30 left on the clock, Pats with 2 or 3 timeouts and down by 11.

    The first scenario requires the Pats to only have to make one more score against a gassed Atlanta D and get a 2 point conversion. The second requires the Pats to score very quickly, then try to get the ball back on an onside kick or failing that hold the Atlanta offense to a 3 and out, and then scoring again very quickly, one of those scores must be a touchdown and must have a 2 point conversion.

  15. Carl S:

    "And to all the second guessers who say that "if only" this, that, or the other happened, I say you're ridiculous"

    No, passing in that situation was the wrong call no matter the result. If we had run Freeman and he had fumbled, I would be critical of Freeman for not protecting the ball, but not Shanahan.

  16. Sam P:

    So no sort-of-sudden-death. You do know (or sort of know) the current overtime rules right? Essentially both teams get at least one possession unless the first team scores a touchdown on its possession, then sudden death. This significantly reduces the advantage that winning the toss gets for overtime but doesn't eliminate it, compared to the old plain-old sudden death overtime.

  17. JonFrum:

    "PS- Run the ball three times after that catch, kick a field goal, and the Falcons would be your Superbowl champions."

    Or - if things had been different, things would be different. Certainly bad play calling, but you could find similar what-ifs all through the game. Part of being a better team is having a coach who doesn't suffer brain cramp in big situations.