So, there it is, right there in the above photo. One inch, maybe two, between football and turf? Some barely countable fraction of a second that felt like it took forever as the ball hung, seemingly unmoored from gravity, precisely long enough for Julian Edelman to double-clutch. An instantly iconic catch, equal parts luck and skill (massive amounts of each), and the universe again breaks New England’s way.
If momentum is real—and we’ve all seen too many games like last night’s, if not on the same scale or stage, to disbelieve it—then all the Patriots had to do was tie things up. The rest would take care of itself. It did, and that’s why the first Super Bowl overtime felt so anticlimactic—the real drama was the Patriots’ last full drive of regulation. “I just knew,” said Trey Flowers, whose sack of Matt Ryan set up even the possibility of a game-tying drive, “if we go to overtime, we’re going to get it. We’re going to win and be the champs.”