Super Bowl rewind: Some things were just meant to happen

Published 1:13 am Monday, February 6, 2017

Twenty-eight to 3 was a very impressive score for the Atlanta Falcons against any team in the Super Bowl.

But they didn’t play just any team. They played the New England Patriots. You know, the team that drafted Elandon Roberts.

Every time Tom Brady played in the Super Bowl, his legacy was on the line, no matter how many championships he won.

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This time, he was either going to be the old man who no longer had the magic or … Tom Brady.

Whoever he was, he needed some help.

Of course, we can begin with Roberts.

Remember Matt Ryan’s 39-yard pass play to Devonta Freeman after the Patriots pulled within 28-20? Someone had to make the stop or force Freeman out of bounds, right?

Yeah, Roberts was perfectly sealed off and blocked down to the ground as Ryan hit a wide-open Freeman in the flat. Roberts, ever the determined linebacker from Port Arthur, tracked Freeman down for the tackle. Freeman had the blockers necessary to put the game out of reach, otherwise.

You didn’t really think New England — or Roberts — was going to let that happen, did you?

Little things make a difference. This, however, was Roberts’ big chance.

He was back in Houston, where he blossomed into a star at the University of Houston, where he guided Memorial to its furthest playoff run in history. He gave himself a chance.

Maybe those were little tidbits that gave him a big chance.

“It feels great to do it, man,” he told Houston ABC affiliate KTRK-TV on the field after the game. “I left here with a championship (a reference to UH’s American Athletic Conference title in 2015) and came back and won it with the greatest organization you can play for. I love this team. I love my brothers on the team. … H-Town, we did it. Go, Coogs, baby!”

Maybe a comeback victory was meant to happen, and he was meant to help the Patriots make that happen.

Whatever the case, he made it happen. Few may remember that.

We will rightfully remember all the Super Bowl records that were set, aside from Brady’s and coach Bill Belichick’s fifth championship.

We will remember that New England came from 28-3 down to win. No team had come from more than 10 points behind to win the Big Game. But Roberts, who had two tackles, had to help make that happen.

We will remember watching Brady throw for 466 yards and two touchdowns. Among all that yardage was a shot to Julian Edelman just a step or two ahead of a defender.

The tip of the pass gave the Falcons enough time to intercept Brady. But Edelman wasn’t going to let Brady tarnish his legacy. Three Falcons around him and one lucky bounce off one of their legs, Edelman topped Julio Jones’ circus catch just a drive earlier.

Of course, that led to a touchdown and tying two-point conversion. Of course, the Patriots were going to win in overtime. They were just on a roll.

Outside of Port Arthur, it’s easy for anyone to not give Roberts’ stop a second thought after all those shenanigans. But it just goes to show that some things were meant to happen.

Like the Super Bowl even going to overtime. Geez, how did I see that coming?

What made me think Roberts would make a big stop? How did I know the score would be right in the neighborhood my 32-29 prediction in favor of New England?

While the presence of two experienced local Falcons, Jonathan Babineaux and Matt Bryant, should never be forgotten, the Patriots made Brady look like Brady and me look like a sorcerer.

Sorcery or not, some things were meant to happen.

I.C. Murrell: 721-2435. Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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