Eight months later, I’m still not sure I believe what I witnessed on the night of Feb. 5 at NRG Stadium in Houston.

I mean, we all know what happened – 28-3 and all that – but I’m still not sure I believe it happened.

The New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons will reacquaint themselves Sunday night at Gillette Stadium, two teams forever linked in the greatest comeback/collapse in Super Bowl history. And I still don’t believe it happened.

How does a team come back from a 25-point deficit, from being completely dominated for nearly 40 minutes? How does a team lose a 25-point lead, and become completely dominated, in the final 20 minutes?

We all saw it happen. We all shared various stages of disbelief, anger, disbelief, elation and then more disbelief.

Here’s all I know: I’ve watched the Patriots play in seven Super Bowls, each one coming down to a fateful final few seconds, and New England’s 34-28 overtime victory over the Falcons that night is the one that everyone will remember.

New England’s first Super Bowl championship, that stunning 20-17 upset in New Orleans of the St. Louis Rams and the Greatest Show on Turf in the 2001 season, will always be the Patriots’ finest hour. It changed the direction of the franchise from sometimes-lovable/often-irascible losers to perennial championship contenders. But Super Bowl LI is unforgettable for its improbability.

Julian Edelman’s finger-tip catch? Improbable.

James White scoring three touchdowns? Improbable.

Julio Jones’ finger-tip sideline- tight rope catch? Not only improbable but impossible for anyone else.

New England scoring two two-point conversions? Improbable.

As a writer, sitting in the press box and watching the game unfold, it was certainly obvious that the Falcons were going to win, especially after Tevin Coleman beat Rob Ninkovich to the right corner of the end zone with 8:31 remaining in the third quarter to give the Falcons a 28-3 lead.

So, with a tight deadline facing me, I started writing my column. Heck, every writer from New England who was there started writing the same story: The Patriots were overmatched by a younger, faster, more athletic, better-coached team. It was obvious, right?

So we thought. I wrote and wrote and wrote. I wasn’t even paying much attention to what was happening on the field as I wrote about 800 words. All I needed to do was throw in the score, maybe a quick quote (if I had time) and I’m done. Finally, I thought, a Super Bowl that doesn’t come down to the last play. Too bad the Patriots were going to be on the short end.

And then Stephen Gostkowski kicked a field goal early in the fourth quarter to bring the Patriots within 16. Three plays later, Dont’a Hightower strip-sacked Matt Ryan, the Patriots had the ball at the Falcons 25.

“I’ve seen this movie before,” I thought. “This game is going down to the final seconds, to one last possession.”

I stopped writing my column, sent my editor a text message that sort of shared those concerns (the exact words will remain secret though I remember them well). “Don’t worry,” he replied. “The Patriots still have to score two touchdowns and two two-point conversions.”

Five plays later, Tom Brady throws a touchdown pass to Danny Amendola. Then James White slams in for a two-point conversion and it’s an eight-point game.

I take another deep breath. I’m starting to get a little sweaty, knowing that my work is just beginning.

I start rewriting the column. My boss sends me a text, now sharing my thoughts (the exact words will remain between us).

The Falcons have a chance to put this game away. Jones makes one of the most spectacular catches you’ll ever see, giving Atlanta the ball at the Patriots 22. All the Falcons have to do is kick a field goal and that’s it. The Patriots won’t have enough time to come back.

Instead, on second down, Ryan drops back to throw and is sacked by Trey Flowers. Then there’s an offensive holding penalty, pushing the Falcons back 10 more yards and out of field goal range.

The Patriots get the ball back with 3:30 remaining at their 9. You know what happens. Brady is magnificent, Edelman makes his catch, White runs in for the touchdown with 57 seconds left to bring New England within two. Brady passes to Amendola for the two-point conversion and it’s tied at 28.

All this time, I’m sitting in the press box, mesmerized by what’s happening, unable to write because I’m not sure I can put into words what I’m seeing.

All I’m thinking is, “I’m watching the greatest game I’m ever going to see in my life, and I don’t know what to say.”

Overtime comes, the Patriots win the toss and you knew the Falcons weren’t going to stop Brady. They didn’t. White scored. Confetti flew.

And I went to work. Not thinking, just writing and listening to Patriots players talk over the speakers in the press box.

Here’s what I wrote.

Nothing I will ever cover again will match that night. Eight months later, I’m still not sure I believe it.

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

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Twitter: MikeLowePPH