If New England Patriots FS Duron Harmon ever wanted to try his luck on the lottery, now might be the perfect time. Harmon picked up 3 tackles and almost snagged an interception, but his most notable role came during the halftime break when he predicted the outcome of the game, according to multiple teammates.
“Duron Harmon walked in and said, ‘This is going to be the best comeback of all time,’” EDGE Chris Long said after the game. “And we completely believed it.”
“He said that the whole time,” CB Logan Ryan verified. “You know what, no one laughed and no one blinked an eye. We said, ‘OK, let’s go.’ No one planned to be down. If you asked me before the game, I had my jersey ready and I planned to win this game.”
“Duron said it was going to be the greatest comeback,” FS Devin McCourty also said after the game. “I mean, the guy knows what he’s talking about. He went to Rutgers. He definitely (said that) while he was riding the bike. It was like a movie.”
So how did Harmon know? Why was he so confident?
“I’m trying to tell you – I knew, man,” Harmon said. “You’ve got Tom Brady, the Michael Jordan of football, and you’ve got the greatest defense this year, man. The team that – we gave up fifteen points (per game). It’s a tale of two halves, man. But I’m trying to tell you, when this defense needed to lock in and get the ball back to the offense, we did it, and that’s a championship defense.”
The Patriots defense played an outstanding day, limiting the vaunted Falcons offense to just 21 points (an additional 7 came on a pick-six against the Patriots offense). While the Falcons ran the ball easily in the first half and picked up chunk yardage, the defense buckled down when the game was on the line and delivered.
“Bill (Belichick) came in there and said that 21 points isn’t going to beat us,” McCourty said about the team’s halftime speech from the head coach. “It’s up to us now. We got stops and the offense made plays. We put all that together. It was a great comeback.”
“In that locker room, you’ve got a lot of guys that just kept believing and that’s what it’s about,” EDGE Trey Flowers said. “Just continue to believe. We just had one play away, one play at a time, we kept on with it. A lot of guys made some big plays down the stretch.”
After the Falcons scored a touchdown to take a 28-3 lead with 8:31 left in the third quarter, the Patriots defense forced three punts and forced a fumble, allowing an average of 11 yards on those final four drives. Meanwhile, the Patriots offense scored three touchdowns and a field to force overtime.
And once the Patriots made it to overtime and won the coin toss, Harmon knew the game was over- and his account is far more entertaining than anything I could describe.
“It was great, man,” Harmon said. “I’m trying to tell you, that overtime – I’m sitting on the sideline like, ‘I ain’t going in.’ He’s the [greatest of all time], man. He’s going to get it done. This is the [Michael Jordan] of football, the greatest player ever. He’s going to get it done for us. He continues to do it.
“Think about it: the last Super Bowl we played in, Super Bowl XLIV, we got multiple scores in the fourth quarter. What does he do? Comes back and gets the win. What does he do today? Comes back and gets the win. It’s easy to say: the greatest football player of all-time is Tom Brady.
“We sat back and, literally, Matt [Patricia] is going over defense and we’re just like, ‘Matty P, we’re not going out there. There’s no way we’re going out there. Tom Brady is in a groove, he’s doing everything that we need him to do to win this game.’ And that’s what happens, man. He led that team down there that whole fourth quarter man. That’s Tom Brady’s quarter. Tom Brady Quarter – that’s what we’re going to call it from now on.”
Brady marched the Patriots offense 75 yards on 8 plays and the RB James White scored the game-winning 2-yard touchdown run. The New England Patriots earned their second Super Bowl title in three seasons in the most improbable of ways.
But if anyone asks, Duron Harmon saw it coming.