The 28-3 comeback involved no less than 10 "make it or else" plays

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luuked

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It's the least he could've done...Don't know if this really belongs on the list, except as a testimonial to Ghost's post-season shakiness that the success of what should be a near-automatic kick was actually in serious doubt...

Puts him into good company as he missed as many FGs in 5 SB appearances as Vinatieri missed in only 3. But don't let that stop your narrative.
 

Palm Beach Pats Fan

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Don't know if this really belongs on the list, except as a testimonial to Ghost's post-season shakiness that the success of what should be a near-automatic kick was actually in serious doubt...

The list wasn't really based on how much each play was a long shot, but rather whether the game was pretty much surely lost if the result was different. I would agree that this play was the least miraculous of the 10 and that it was in fact fairly routine. But still... a miss & it's over.
 

slam

In the Starting Line-Up
What I remember about this game is the extent that the Patriots emptied out their playbook. In addition to the two successful two-point conversion play and the final play which was another two-point conversion style play, they tried (unsuccessfully) the following exotic plays:
  • WR Pass (Edelman, I think), incomplete
  • Surprise onside kick
  • Pat Chung misdirection punt return foiled by one Falcon
  • Fumblerooskie play at the end of regulation
If they hit any they could've made up ground more easily. As it was they chipped away and chipped away with conventional plays a bit at a time. There were no 70 yard TD bombs, just relentless execution, play after play, and the miracle Edelman catch.

Did I forget any trick plays?
 

scott99

Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract
I was pretty much in shock when they pulled this one off. Once in a life time moment.
Really was the greatest game I ever saw. And like you, I was in shock. I literally was shaking after the game. I wasn't yelling and screaming, I was just in shock. "I don't believe what I just saw.", that's what I was thinking, the famous Jack Buck call.
 

Vindicate

Third String But Playing on Special Teams
I'm not sure it was the Falcon's gameplan, Ryan's mistake, or our coverage - but whatever was going on, something made Ryan target Julio Jones only 4 times - all of which he caught in insane fashion.

Not exactly what you're looking for in this thread, but that was huge. Because every time he passed to Julio, it succeeded - the fact that we made him only target Jones 4 times is wild to me, and pretty crucial to the W.
 

Steve:Section 102

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Just phenomenal execution by some special players and a bit of luck.
It's amazing if you think about it. The margin of error was microscopic until the moment they tied it up. This list doesn't even include Jules' amazing catch.

I recall saying to my wife when Gost kicked the FG, when she noticed my change in body language. I slid out of my chair and on to the floor, looking very focused. She asked what I was doing, and replied "Coaching. They ain't done yet. They have to be perfect, but the math works at this point."

They were perfect. Atlanta had two big plays ( a long run?? and Julio's catch) and they had to be even better. The margin was razor thin. Great, great memories.
 

QuantumMechanic

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There is a good chance the game would have been over right there if Hightower doesn't hit Ryan exactly at the perfect moment. Atlanta had someone (Sanu ?) open on a go with Ryan ready to hit him. Odds are this would have turned into a TD or a big play if Freeman does his job in pass-pro and HT arrives a fraction of a second later.
Yeah - whoever that was had totally roasted Butler and was wide open.

But it's even narrower than that! If HT had gotten there even the smallest fraction of a second later and still hit him and prevented the long gainer, it would have been an incomplete pass because Ryan's arm would have been going forward (look at the tape -- Ryan's arm had stopped moving back and was just about to start moving forward when HT hit him). Which means a punt and a long field instead of the short field NE got from the turnover, which would have cost NE precious, precious time.
 
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captain stone

Hall of Fame Poster
The Patriots of ‘14-‘16 were unbelievably mentally tough. Like the vintage Packers - never lost, just ran out of time.
If the 2015 team had hung-on to the lead in Denver, they would've had HFA throughout the POs;
and even when their DEFCON-2 injury status was considered, I still liked their chance vs anyone in Foxborough, and in the SB...
 

bormio

In the Starting Line-Up
If the 2015 team had hung-on to the lead in Denver, they would've had HFA throughout the POs;
and even when their DEFCON-2 injury status was considered, I still liked their chance vs anyone in Foxborough, and in the SB...
There was still a real toughness to the ‘15 team. In the regular season game with no Gronk or Edelman, Brady drove them to the tying FG after Denver took the lead. And the last drive in the playoff game would have been epic if they convert the 2 points.
 

bormio

In the Starting Line-Up
I'm not sure it was the Falcon's gameplan, Ryan's mistake, or our coverage - but whatever was going on, something made Ryan target Julio Jones only 4 times - all of which he caught in insane fashion.

Not exactly what you're looking for in this thread, but that was huge. Because every time he passed to Julio, it succeeded - the fact that we made him only target Jones 4 times is wild to me, and pretty crucial to the W.
This is one of the amazing stats of that game. In their biggest game, Jones gets 4 targets. I do not care if he is quadrupled covered - he simply has to see more than that. Especially when he can win jump balls.
 

sb1

Pro Bowl Player
The Patriots of ‘14-‘16 were unbelievably mentally tough. Like the vintage Packers - never lost, just ran out of time.

Evidence of their toughness can be found in the weeks leading up to XLIX with all the BS surrounding the team. Weak teams would have folded.
 
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