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Super Bowl LI: Fact or Fiction

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

By Ryan Decker of Now On Deck.

Super Bowl 51 Sunday night was truly one for the ages.

Some are calling it the best Super Bowl in the game’s history.

Obviously that’s up for interpretation, but there were a few things that happened Sunday night that have been the subject of some debate, including on Monday’s episode of Moose-Talkas presented by U-92, like whether or not the New England Patriots’ comeback was the best of all-time, and whether someone in the Atlanta Falcons front office jinxed the team.

Below are four of the biggest reactions from Super Bowl 51, as I put some truth to the matter in fact or fiction.

Pats comeback greatest in SB history

Fact: At the simplest level, the fact that the Patriots 25 point deficit was 2 ½ times larger than any deficit that had ever been successfully erased in the 51-year history of the game proves what Tom Brady and company did in the second half was special.

Then you add in the fact that Matt Ryan and the Falcons had looked like one of the best offenses the NFL postseason had ever seen through their first 10 quarters of the playoffs, and it only further validates the statement.

Not to mention that analytics only gave New England a 0.5 percent chance to win midway through the third.

Atlanta blowing its lead is worse than the Warriors or Indians

Fiction: Yes, the Falcons had a 99.5 percent chance to win the game with 20 minutes to go.

Yes, Atlanta gave up the largest lead in Super Bowl history. I’ll give you that.

But to say that Atlanta losing one game is worse than Golden State or Cleveland failing to win one of three games is silly.

The Patriots, like the Cubs, went into the game (or series) as the favorite to win. They were supposed to win. New England was appearing in its seventh Super Bowl since the turn of the century, whereas the Falcons hadn’t been in the NFL championship game since the author was two-years-old.

Atlanta also has one of the youngest defenses in the league, starting seven players in either their first or second year in the NFL, meaning the veteran Brady was bound to find the weakness.

Most importantly, it was just one game. Both the Warriors and the Indians had three games (and home field/court advantage) to get it done.

In terms of “choke jobs” done in recent history, Atlanta’s, though bad, isn’t nearly as embarrassing as the other two mentioned.

Arthur Blank jinxed his own team

Fiction: If you watched the end of the game Sunday night, you likely saw the camera cut to a dejected Falcons owner, Arthur Blank, on the Atlanta sideline along with his wife.

For the average fan, it looked like a bad omen. The owner’s not supposed to head down to the field before the game is truly over, right?

Well, even though some began pointing fingers at Blank as a possible reason for the loss, Falcons fans know that Blank is a regular for heading to the sideline prior to the end of the game. So no matter how bad it looked on the telecast, he technically didn’t jinx the team since he has been doing it all season.

Atlanta was the No. 2 seed in the NFC and was on a roll in the playoffs after all. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

Julio Jones is currently the best WR in football

Neither: With as many extremely talented wideouts that are in the NFL today, this is too hard to definitively say.

In my opinion, though, it’s a two-horse race between Julio Jones and the Steelers Antonio Brown for best in the league.

They both do some things better than the other looking at them head to head, but at least for now, I think you have to give the nod to Julio, if for nothing else, just look at this grab.


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