On Feb. 5, 2017, the New England Patriots defeated the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI by a final score of 34-28. The Patriots accomplished this by putting together what is arguably the most spectacular comeback win in Super Bowl history, scoring 31 unanswered points throughout the second half and overtime to stun the Falcons and walk away with yet another Lombardi Trophy.
The Falcons started the game strong behind quarterback Matt Ryan and running back Devonta Freeman. In addition to putting up a hefty amount of points, the Falcons offense utilized a number of different players and plays. This had a noticeable effect on the Patriots defense, who were largely unable to stop the Falcons from scoring.
The Falcons defense held strong throughout the first half as well, holding the Patriots to a mere 3 points. The defense also did some scoring of their own with defensive back Robert Alford returning an interception for a touchdown.
This pick-six was one of two turnovers forced by the Atlanta defense, the other coming from an early fumble by Patriots running back LeGarette Blount. At the end of the first half, the Falcons led the Patriots by a score of 28-3.
The second half of Super Bowl LI fight as well have been an entirely different game. After a halftime performance by Lady Gaga, the Patriots struck back with 25 unanswered points to send the game into overtime. Just as the Falcons did in the first half, the Patriots spread the ball around the offense. The tie at the end of regulation play marked the first overtime situation in Super Bowl history.
The Patriots won the coin toss that began overtime play and elected to receive the ball first. The stunned Falcons defense held strong, but a costly penalty by linebacker De’Vondre Campbell gave the Patriots a new set of downs close to the goal line. On a second down situation, Patriots running back James White ran the ball around two yards into the end zone to seal the Patriots 34-28 Super Bowl victory.
The New England Patriots accomplished the largest comeback in Super Bowl history, racking up 31 unanswered points through two quarters and overtime. The previous record was only 10 points. The Patriots triumph also marks the fifth Super Bowl win for quarterback Tom Brady, who analysts and fans alike believe to be the greatest NFL quarterback yet.
The victory also marks the most Super Bowl wins by any one quarterback/head coach combination. The combo of Tom Brady and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick beat the previous record held by Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw and head coach Chuck Noll.
Whether you wanted to see the Patriots win or lose, or are still mourning the dreadful regular season performance of the Cleveland Browns, there is no arguing against the fact that Super Bowl LI was indeed a historic game.