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Beavs in the NFL: Super Bowl LI

Super Bowl LI featured two former Beavers in Andy Levitre and Terron Ward both with the Falcons.

Andy Levitre and Terron Ward had the opportunity to bring a Championship trophy to Oregon State on Sunday as the Falcons took on the Patriots--and two Ducks in Patrick Chung and Legarrette Blount. Basically, Super Bowl LI was the pseudo-Civil War. Sure, Levitre and Ward were more concerned with getting a ring for their professional team, but they had the potential for some serious bragging rights. College rivalries are important, ya know.

Unfortunately, nothing could stand in the way of Tom Brady as the all-time great rampaged his way to a record number of passing yards, the only overtime game in Super Bowl history, and the biggest comeback in history. This performance was ridiculous to behold, and it unfortunately took victory away from two former Oregon State players.

Terron Ward - Running Back, Atlanta Falcons - Unfortunately, Terron Ward was one of the few unlucky Falcons to be designated inactive during Super Bowl LI. Instead of playing, Ward spent the big game wandering the sidelines and cheering on his teammates.

Andy Levitre - Left Guard, Atlanta Falcons - Despite most analysts predicting that New England’s defense would shut down the Falcons early, it was actually Matt Ryan and Devonta Freeman that laughed for the first three quarters. Atlanta’s league-leading offense racked up 21 points en route to a 28-10 score at the end of the third quarter, and Levitre was one of the reasons why. Levitre didn’t make a lot of noise in the rushing game, but he opened up two holes on first down runs by Freeman. The best of these two plays went for 15 yards. As a pass protector, Levitre kept Ryan clean for the majority of the game. He was particularly helpful on the deep passes to Julio Jones and Taylor Gabriel as he pushed away Patriots defenders with short punches to the chest.

Sadly, Levitre did give up a sack late in the third quarter that killed a critical Falcons drive. Atlanta was in New England territory looking get a field goal and possibly more, but the sack took away any chance at points. Every drive counts during a Championship game, and the missed points ultimately proved too much for the plucky Falcons.

Beyond those main plays, Super Bowl LI was actually a fairly quiet game for the former Beaver. I know it’s difficult to describe any Championship appearance as a quiet performance, but Levitre was only on the field for 23:27 of game time! The Patriots, on the other hand, controlled the ball for 40:31. Joe Buck and Troy Aikman even made a point to explain that the Falcons offense didn’t see the field for more than one hour of real time. The difference in possession was astounding.

Unfortunately, the season has finished for the former Oregon State players in the NFL. Now is the time for rehab, training, and simply preparing for any opportunity that arises. Hopefully, those on injured reserve like Jordan Poyer, Scott Crichton, and Obum Gwacham will be at full health in time for the season openers. As always,  BeaverBlitz will keep you updated with any news that arises.

Thanks for joining us this season! 

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