clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Super Bowl LI: Falcons stun Patriots, cruise to 21-3 halftime score

There is one half of football left in the 2016 season.

The New England Patriots lost the coin toss to the Atlanta Falcons and received the opening kick off. The Patriots offense needed to get out to a quick start and take an early lead.

That did not happen.

The Patriots moved the ball, but the Falcons defense made the necessary plays to stall QB Tom Brady and the offense. The Falcons defense picked up a pair of sacks, while Falcons LB Deion Jones picked up a tackle for loss on 3rd and 1 and a forced fumble as the Patriots were driving deep in Falcons territory- both against RB LeGarrette Blount.

The Falcons used the forced fumble to generate some momentum against the Patriots defense, driving for an apparently easy score by Freeman and a 7-0 lead.

Falcon RBs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman moved the ball at will against the Patriots defense, with a combination of stretch runs and counters in the middle of the field. QB Matt Ryan found WR Julio Jones all over the field.

The Patriots offense continued to struggle and P Ryan Allen kicked a short punt, and the Falcons pounced on the opportunity. Ryan found Jones on a big pass to tilt the field, before finding TE Austin Hooper for a 19-yard touchdown pass and a 14-0 lead.

The Patriots responded with a drive back into Falcons territory, aided by a series of defensive holds by Falcons defenders on multiple third downs. But Brady tried to squeeze a ball into a tight window and Falcons CB Robert Alford intercepted the ball and returned it 82 yards for a touchdown and a 21-0 lead.

Brady and the offense responded with a drive into the Falcons red zone, but a holding call against TE Martellus Bennett pushed the Patriots out to the 25-yards line and New England had to settle for a 41-yard field goal, cutting the score to 21-3 right before the half.

Brady will need to be more accurate in the second half because Blount and the running backs have really struggled. The defense fell apart in the second quarter and needs to rally. This has been an ugly game for New England.

The Falcons get the ball to start the second half. This game might already be over.