HOUSTON, TX—The New England Patriots managed a historic comeback on Sunday night, defeating the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in one of the most dramatic games in Super Bowl history.
Tom Brady rallied the Patriots from a 28-3 third quarter deficit with the best throwing performance of his Super Bowl career. Brady threw for a record 466 yards and completed 43 of a record 62 pass attempts for two touchdowns, including the game’s final drive when he led the Patriots downfield in a sudden-death overtime situation.
“There were a lot of plays that coach talks about, you never know which one is going to be the Super Bowl winner,” said Brady, who collected his record fourth Super Bowl MVP award and fifth NFL championship. “There were probably 30 of those plays tonight and if any one of those were different, the outcome could have been different.”
The Patriots 25-point comeback is the biggest in Super Bowl history, overshadowing the 10-point deficit that they overcame against the Seahawks in 2015.
New England scored 19 points, including a pair of two-point conversions in the final quarter to force the first overtime ever in a Super Bowl. James White sealed the victory with a 2-yard touchdown run in which he fought through contact to reach the in-zone.
“We knew we had a shot the whole game,” White said. “It was an amazing comeback by our team. It’s surreal right now. You couldn’t write this script.”
Matt Ryan threw for 284 yards while completing 17 of 23 passes, but the recently announced league MVP wasn’t able to take the field for the Falcons in a sudden-death overtime after the Patriots won the decisive coin-flip.
“There’s nothing you can really say,” Ryan said. “That’s a tough loss, obviously very close to getting done what we wanted to get done.”
After leading 14-0, Falcons cornerback Robert Alford intercepted Brady’s pass and returned it 82 yards for a touchdown, the longest pick-6 in Super bowl history and Brady’s first.
Brady began this season on the bench as he was suspended four-games by the NFL following the deflate-gate scandal. The Patriots were able to maintain a 3-1 record in his absence with backup quarterbacks Jacoby Brissett and Jimmy Garoppolo.
“Two years ago we won our fourth Super Bowl down in Arizona and I told our fans that was the sweetest one of all,” Patriots owner Robert Kraft said. “But a lot has transpired over the last two years and I don’t think that needs any explanation.”
“I want to say to our fans, our brilliant coaching staff, our amazing players who are so spectacular, this is unequivocally the sweetest.”