New England Patriots Super Bowl LI CHAMPIONS after 34-28 OT win vs. Atlanta Falcons
HOUSTON — For the first time, a Super Bowl needed overtime, and for the fifth time, the New England Patriots are Super Bowl champions.
This time, it took the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history to do it, defeating the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 at NRG Stadium in Houston in Super Bowl LI.
Tom Brady became the first quarterback to win five Super Bowl titles. He was named Super Bowl MVP for the fourth time.
“It was a hell of a football game,” Brady said.
Atlanta had a 28-3 lead midway through the third quarter. But a costly Atlanta fumble by quarterback Matt Ryan with 8:31 left in the fourth quarter helped set up the Patriots to come all the way back to tie it at 28.
In overtime, Patriots running back James White rushed in from 2 yards for the game-winning touchdown. He finished with 139 total yards and three touchdowns. Brady threw for 466 yards and two touchdowns.
All five of those Patriots’ titles have come with Brady and head coach Bill Belichick, but this one had some slightly different circumstances. Brady missed the first four games of the regular season, serving his Deflategate suspension that was imposed by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Ultimately, Brady’s absence didn’t negatively impact the Patriots, who went on to a 14-2 record and the top spot in the AFC.
“We’ve done pretty good over the last few years, you know?” Brady said. We were in the AFC Championship Game last year and won the Super Bowl two years ago, so I don’t think anyone’s feeling bad for the Patriots.”
New England had returned to the Super Bowl for the ninth time, an NFL record, with Belichick and Brady leading seven of those appearances.
In addition to winning the most championships as a quarterback, Brady matched Charles Haley for the most Super Bowl titles by a player. Belichick now has the most Super Bowl wins by a head coach, surpassing Chuck Noll. Belichick and Brady also now have the most Super Bowl appearances as a head coach and player duo.
This was just Atlanta’s second appearance in its 51-season history. The team first came in the 1998 season, when the Falcons lost Super Bowl XXXIII 34-19 to the Denver Broncos.