The New England Patriots battled back from an historic 25-point deficit Sunday to beat the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in overtime to win Super Bowl LI (51) in Houston, Texas.
Newly named NFL MVP and Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan started the game by completing his first six passes as the defense forced a fumble and a pick 6 to finish the first half with a 21-3 lead.
Playing in its second Super Bowl in franchise history and looking for its first title, Atlanta begun the second half fast to extend its lead to 28-3.
The route was on and the end seemed inevitable as the Patriots, in their seventh Super Bowl appearance, failed to show fight with a number of dropped passes and blown defensive coverages.
New England quarterback Tom Brady began the rally in the middle of the third quarter and slowly and methodically started to wear down the defense, and with it, help shift the momentum of the game.
Throwing 16 completions for 196 yards in the fourth quarter, Brady brought the Patriots back to tie the score at 28 and send the game to the first overtime in Super bowl history.
From there, he lead a drive down the field that ended in a touchdown that sealed the win and the team’s fifth Super Bowl championship and its second in the last three years.
Brady finished with 466 yards and was named Super Bowl MVP for a fourth time. He goes into the record books with the most yards, wins and MVP awards by a quarterback in Super Bowl history.
In typical Brady fashion, he tried to defect some of the praise following the game. “It was unbelievable what these guys accomplished all this season,” he said of his teammates and coaches, and added that he is proud to be part of the team.
Head coach Bill Belichick, who became the winningest in Super Bowl history with his fifth victory, also had a lot of praise for the team. “We got great players, they are tough, and they compete for 60 minutes, or longer.”
Patriots owner Robert Kraft said the victory was “unequivocally, the sweetest” of the five.