You just saw history folks. It was almost the first interception by a Rutgers player in the history of the big game, but as time ran down in the 4th quarter, Duron Harmon couldn’t quite keep his feet in bounds. Even tough he didn’t end up with the pick, the effort prevented the Falcons from having a chance to kick a game winning field goal late in the 4th quarter. Instead the Falcons had to punt and the game went to overtime.
In overtime, the Patriots moved the ball quickly downfield before punching it in after a pass interference call gave them the ball at the 2 yard line.
Final score: Patriots 34, Falcons 28.
As mentioned in the What 2 Watch for, the Patriots threw extra defenders at Julio Jones. So either Matt Ryan might try to force one in to him or go elsewhere. Jones was held under 100 yards, but the Falcons did hold a 28-3 lead. Logan Ryan (team leading 6 tackles) gave up one catch to Jones on an incredible timing out route, but otherwise did an amazing job. When Jones went deep middle, Harmon (3 tackles) or McCourty (5 tackles, one for loss) always seemed in the area. Pats DB coach Stephen Belichick (RU alum and former player) deserves plenty of credit.
A key play that may be forgotten in the future was a play Devin McCourty made on a run with 4:40 left in regulation. With Atlanta holding an 8 point lead they were in field goal range, when they ran outside, but McCourty dropped running back Devonta Freeman for a loss. On second and long, the Falcons elected to pass and were sacked putting them on the outside edge of field goal range. If McCourty does not make that tackle, the Falcons probably comfortably kick a field goal there and ice the game.
Jonathan Freeny despite being injured and unable to play will receive a championship ring for his efforts this season as well. Unfortunately for Mohamed Sanu (2 catches) and the Falcons, they need to wait for next season to try again.
Congrats to @McCourtyTwins @dharm32 @jfreeny56 @RealLoganRyan winning #SB51!#NFLKnights ⚔ pic.twitter.com/6AXooFVFpK— Rutgers Football (@RFootball) February 6, 2017