By: Ashley Conley
We’ve been here before: A Super Bowl altered by the game of inches.
Both the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots put on a show during the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LI, particularly in the receiving department.
Atlanta’s top receiver Julio Jones made a remarkable sideline catch with just shy of five minutes remaining on the clock. At this point in the game, the Patriots had cut the Falcons 28-9 end-of-third-quarter lead to only eight points after scoring 19 unanswered so far in the fourth.
Jones’ somehow got his toes down literally inches before hitting the sideline paint and those watching and tweeting couldn’t believe their eyes.
honestly Julio Jones is super human.
— Gracie Parker (@praciegarker) February 6, 2017
Gravity affects Julio Jones differently from the rest of us.
— Ken Bone (@kenbone18) February 6, 2017
— Cam Winfree (@CameronWinfree) February 6, 2017
Unfortunately for Atlanta, Jones’ unbelievable catch didn’t go to good use. A sack on 2017 MVP quarterback Matt Ryan, a penalty and an incomplete pass proceeded and forced the Falcons to punt the ball back over to the Patriots.
Having an eight point lead with three minutes remaining in a game sounds pretty comfortable against any other team in the NFL, but not when you’re facing a quarterback who already has four Super Bowl titles to his name and is hungry for another.
Tom Brady and his offense came out firing on all cylinders. It was now or never, and New England’s trusty 5-foot-10 wideout Julian Edelman knew it. With 2:33 remaining, Edelman made quite possibly the greatest catch in Super Bowl history to keep his team alive.
The ball bounced off an Atlanta defender’s hands, then off his foot once he hit the ground and then somehow miraculously into Edelman’s hands just inches away from the turf.
The catch ultimately set the Patriots up for a touchdown and a do-or-die 2-point conversion opportunity to send the game to overtime. The conversion was successful, New England tied the game, went into overtime and scored a touchdown on the opening drive.
Julio Jones: “I just had the catch of the year.”
Julian Edelman: “Hold my beer.”
— Athlete Advisory™ (@AthleteAdvisory) February 6, 2017
Wow @Edelman11!!! Right back ain’t cheating
— LeBron James (@KingJames) February 6, 2017
— Julian Edelman (@Edelman11) February 6, 2017
While the New England Patriots ended the night with their fifth Super Bowl title in franchise history, football fans all over the world ended their night in awe after one heck of a catch fest.
Cover Image: Getty Images via sportingnews.com
Ashley Conley is a senior journalism student at WVU. She aspires to become a writer or reporter in the sports industry upon graduation. You can follow her on Twitter @ashleyconleyyy.