Super Bowl 51 is being called the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history after Tom Brady led his Patriots to a historic come-from-behind victory late in the game.
The New England Patriots beat the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in overtime to capture their fifth Super Bowl title.
In the third quarter, the Patriots were behind by 25 points before Brady led them on an incredible scoring run to tie the game and send it into overtime for the win.
This was the fifth Super Bowl win for Brady, earning him the most Super Bowl wins of any quarterback in history, passing Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana.
"It's hard to win a game in the NFL. And to beat this team, and to get down 28-3 and uh, you know it was just a lot of mental toughness by our team, and we're all going to remember this for the rest of our life," Brady said.
The game got off to a slow start with no scoring until the 2nd quarter. But Atlanta struck first after Robert Alford recovered a fumble from Legarrette Blount, which led to a touchdown run by Devonta Freeman.
Then Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan connected with Austin Hooper for 19 yards and another Atlanta touchdown.
And they kept up the pressure, with Alford picking off a Tom Brady pass and taking it to the house for another touchdown. The Falcons were up, 21-0. With five seconds left in the half, the Patriots finally made the scoreboard with a field goal for three.
In the third quarter, the Falcons' quarterback Matt Ryan connected with Tevin Coleman to take their lead to 28-3. At the end of that quarter, the Patriots finally found the end zone but had to settle for six after missing the field goal for the extra point.
On the next possession, they scored three on a field goal, and the momentum shifted. With the Pats heating up, Brady connected with Amendola for a touchdown, then pulling off a two-point attempt.
Then after a 91-yard drive, James White muscled it in for another touchdown. The Patriots just needed two more points to tie the game, so once again they went for the two-point conversion and pulled it off.
For the first time in history, the Super Bowl headed to overtime. And from there it was all Patriots. After a 75-yard drive, James White ran it in for the game-winning touchdown.
"We had some opportunities to make plays, but we just missed on a couple of things…and made a few mistakes. And ultimately when you're playing a really good team those mistakes ended up costing," said Ryan.
Falcons wide receiver Taylor Gabriel kept the loss in perspective, pointing to the bond of brotherhood he shares with his teammates.
"You really just can't be pointing a finger at anybody. It was a group thing and we're brothers around here. And we'll just have to back each other after this loss," he said.
Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty praised his teammates for their persistence.
"This team is tough, man. We're resilient," he said. "You know if you could draw up a book and make it a great ending to this season, this would be it. You know, to go down in a game where we had no shot, I'm sure a lot of TV sets turned off or tuned to something else, and we just kept fighting and it was a great win."
But it was Patriots wide receiver Matthew Slater who offered an eternal perspective on the win.
"We won this game and that's great and I'm excited. But I know I would have won going home to my wife and son regardless, and understanding what the Lord did on Calvary. So I came out and played confident and just kept believing," Slater said.