How Historic Was the Atlanta Falcons' Super Bowl 51 Collapse?

The internet had a field day with historic overtime loss to New England Patriots

Atlanta Falcons had a 98.9 percent chance of winning Super Bowl 51 only to go on to lose to the Patriots in overtime. Credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty

When the Atlanta Falcons took a 28-3 lead against the New England Patriots in the second half of Super Bowl LI, ESPN Stats & Info gave them a 98.9 percent chance of winning the game. Of course, as we all now know, they then went on to suffer one of the biggest collapses we will ever see in sports history thanks in large part to dominant performances from Tom Brady and James White.


It was the greatest comeback, so that also means that Atlanta's performance can only be viewed as the toughest loss in the history of the Super Bowl, a combination of a team falling apart and Brady and Co. being just that good. And with a loss like that, Twitter was quick to pour gasoline on the fire, with plenty of jokes comparing Atlanta's loss to Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, tweets about how the team couldn't connect with voters in the middle of the country, to Nate Silver's perfect jab that you knew he had tucked away in the back of his head for a moment like this. 



Unfortunately for the Falcons, blowing a lead of that fashion has a way of waking up the trolls on social media. After all, the Golden State Warriors are still the butt of everyone's 3-1 jokes despite it being nearly eight months since the Cleveland Cavaliers beat them in Game 7 at Oracle Arena. Seeing as this game was a huge deal for a number of reasons – the first Super Bowl victory for the Falcons versus a record-breaking fifth for Brady – it put an even bigger target on their back. 







Social media genius Joel Embiid also weighed in on the game. As far as he was concerned, Super Bowl LI was proof that the NFL is rigged because, “Atlanta didn’t burn the clock down, didn’t run the ball at all.” And if it’s not actually rigged, it’s because the Falcons were just tanking.

You know, sort of like America is.