At the end of the third quarter, the Atlanta Falcons seemed to have Super Bowl 51 in the bag. #Tom Brady was getting sacked all over the field and could not make plays. The Patriots could not find the end zone. Then, the magical #Football Gods sprinkled golden dust on the New England Patriots and fertilizer on the Falcons. Suddenly, the Falcons’ defense that had stopped Brady all game could not curb the quarterback. He turned into a hero, as everything fell in line for the Patriots. The greatest Super Bowl comeback in history was being prepared, as New England miraculously won the overtime coin toss. James White scored the final touchdown with a 34-28 victory. While Patriots fans cheered that Brady is the GOAT, other NFL fans were regarding the victory as a rigged game of horse and oats.
The Falcons stopped running the ball
On Atlanta’s first offensive series, Davonta Freeman pulled off a 37-yard run. He racked up 121 total yards. Tevin Coleman was cutting up the Patriots' defense. The Falcons’ rushing attack was killing the Patriots’ defense. Sprinkle in passes to Julio Jones and Taylor Gabriel, and the New England defense was off balance all game. Why did Matt Ryan and his team stop running the ball in the 4th quarter? The less time Tom Brady gets, the better it is for his opponent. Pass plays kept time on the clock and the Patriots in the game. Many fans wondered how offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan could be so inept at play calling. The mutterings of “fixed” were on the lips of NFL fans.
3rd and 1 Pass Play
After Matt Ryan’s pass to Julio Jones, the Falcons sat on the Patriots’ 22- yard line. Still up 28-20, a field goal would have probably sealed the game. Instead, Ryan passed on 3rd and one and got sacked for a 12 yard loss. Yet, they were in field goal range with a 49- yard attempt. On 3rd and 23, a holding penalty and incomplete pass forced a punt. Why did the Falcons not take time off the clock and run the ball up the middle? They were still in field goal range. A ridiculous call such as this screams “rigged.”
We’ve been here before
Super Bowl fans have seen dumb plays before. Who can forget Pete Carroll’s one-yard pass play two years ago? Instead of Russell Wilson handing the ball off to Marshawn Lynch, Wilson's pass got intercepted by Malcolm Butler. The Patriots claimed that they had rehearsed that play in practice. Odd. How often does Wilson throw those types of end zone passes? In Super Bowl 50, Cam Newton fumbled the ball and just watched it roll away. The score was only 16-10. Why did Newton not try? Both plays hint at fixed games.
Tom Brady is one-dimensional Quarterback
Brady does not like to get hit. He complains to the referees. The Unnecessary Roughness rule on quarterbacks was largely created for him. Brady is not Aaron Rodgers, Steve Grogan, or Cam Newton -- all of whom take hard hits. How can a guy like that win 5 Super Bowl rings?
Matt Ryan’s clock management needed some work. Instead of taking off the most time possible, 9 or 10 seconds were left on many of the plays. The guy is 31-years-old and a veteran. He knows how to take time off the clock.
Bill Belichick gets wrist slaps for cheating
In 2007, Belichick was fined $500,000 and the team $250,000 for taping opposing teams’ signals between the years 2002 to 2007. They also lost a first round draft pick. Many people feel that the penalty did not fit the crime. In Deflategate, Tom Brady was suspended for four games for his role in deflating footballs. Yet, Coach Sean Payton from Saints was suspended for one full year for the Bounty scandal. Is there an uneven scale of justice here? Some fans think it odd that whenever a cheating scandal occurs, the Patriots manage to cap off the year with a Super Bowl win to negate the bad publicity. #super bowl 51