HOUSTON — After going conservative during a scoreless first quarter, the Atlanta Falcons came out firing in the second frame of Super Bowl LI.
Following a LeGarrette Blount fumble, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan found All-Pro wide receiver Julio Jones on back-to-back plays for completions of 19 and 23 yards. Jones showed off his tremendous strength on the first of those receptions, ripping the ball out of the hands of New England Patriots cornerback Logan Ryan.
After that, Atlanta turned to running back Devonta Freeman, who was able to slice through New England’s defense thanks to a series of lightning-quick jump cuts. Freeman picked up 29 total yards on three consecutive carries, the last of which produced the game’s first touchdown.
The Patriots, who were held scoreless in the first quarter, had not trailed in a game since Nov. 27.
UPDATE (7:37 p.m. ET): Jones made another phenomenal catch during the Falcons’ next possession.
That drive ended in a Ryan touchdown pass to tight end Austin Hooper that put Atlanta ahead 14-0.
Thumbnail photo via David Mercer/USA TODAY Sports Images