The New England Patriots were able to defeat the Atlanta Falcons in historic fashion. One player was key to Patriots’ comeback.
Super Bowl 51 lived up to the hype with one of the best Super Bowls in recent history. Despite controlling most of the game, the Atlanta Falcons let the New England Patriots hang around.
With a 28-3 lead, the Falcons ended up having one of the worst collapses in the history of the NFL. While a lot of things had to go right for the Patriots to pull off the comeback, one adjustment certainly helped spark them on offense.
After only scoring three points in the first half, the Patriots’ offense was really letting the team down. There were blown assignments on the offensive line, drops by the wide receivers, poor throws by Tom Brady, and a non-existent running game.
With a need for changes, the Patriots made adjustments in the second half. One of them was featuring James White. In the regular season, White was a pretty good receiver out of the backfield for the Patriots. He was able to total 60 receptions, 551 receiving yards, and five receiving touchdowns.
Despite the good regular season, White was a non-factor in the two previous playoff games for the Patriots. However, that would change in the Super Bowl.
In the comeback win, White totaled six rushes, 29 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns, 14 receptions, 110 receiving yards, and one receiving touchdown. It was a bit surprising to see White not win the Super Bowl MVP, as he was a key part of the comeback win. The 14 receptions White was able to total was a new Super Bowl record, and a majority of them came in the second half.
White may not have won the Super Bowl MVP, however, he was certainly deserving. The Patriots making the adjustment to use White more was one of the reasons why they were able to finally have success against the Falcons in the second half.