The Atlanta Falcons took a surprise lead early on in Super Bowl LI, leading the New England Patriots 21-3 midway at halftime. This shocked just about everybody, given that the Patriots were the heavy favorites to win as the game kicked off, and surprised Falcons memes quickly spread on Twitter like wildfire.
The Vegas odds pegged the Patriots were three-point favorites to win the Super Bowl when the game began, with an over-under of 58.5; this would imply an expected final score in the vicinity of Patriots 31, Falcons 28.
But by halftime, that seemed increasingly unlikely: Thanks in part to a pair of turnovers, both recovered by Robert Alford and one of which resulted in an 82-yard touchdown, the Falcons catapulted to an 18-point lead midway through the game, with a stunning 9.9 yards per play on average. Two minutes into the second half, ESPN gave the Falcons a 95.5 percent chance of winning the game — odds that would have seemed laughable at the beginning of the day.
Sports Twitter immediately responded in kind, and quickly produced loads of colorful commentary about the Patriots' unexpected collapse, and the Falcons' unexpected dominance, in the first half of the biggest game of the year.
Like Taking Ice Cream From A Kid
Atlanta now has an 86% chance of winning, per ESPN. That's about the same Clinton's chances heading into the election pic.twitter.com/fNpBPSO8tJ— Nate Cohn (@Nate_Cohn) February 6, 2017
Atlanta Getting Pumped
BREAKING: James Comey is about to release a letter about the Falcons.— Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) February 6, 2017
And The Award Goes To...
Brady for Falcons MVP— Joss Whedon (@joss) February 6, 2017
If This Game Was A Commercial
Mr. Brady you want my Coke?— Reverend Scott (@Reverend_Scott) February 6, 2017
Brady: *chugs Coke*
See ya around.
Brady: Hey kid, catch.
*jersey intercepted by Falcons*
A Setback for the Falcons
Donald Trump has just issued an executive order giving Patriots 41 points.— Ben Maller (@benmaller) February 6, 2017
Thanks, US Fish & Wildlife Service
You Knew It Was Coming
The Game In One Image
Not a Falcons fan but might need this framed pic.twitter.com/Q1vcA0ac9d— VAWSE (@VAWSE) February 6, 2017
There's still time for the Patriots to turn this around — but time is running out.