Patriots make unthinkable comeback in revived Super Bowl
- THE Patriots rallied from a 28-3 deficit to beat the Falcons in Super Bowl LI.
- The Patriots scored the final 31 points, including James White's 1-yard run in overtime that capped the stunning 34-28 victory.
- Tom Brady threw for 466 yards (426m) and two touchdowns to lead the comeback.
The rout was gone, and suddenly so was the lead.
The Falcons' advantage was no more after Tom Brady led the Patriots on a furious rally, bringing them all the way back from down 28-3 to tie it, 28-28 with a minute left in the fourth quarter.
The stunning comeback in Super Bowl LI was completed when Brady connected with Danny Amendola for a two-point conversion, just minutes after Brady hooked up with James White for the touchdown.
For so long, the Falcons had been in control. At about 9:40 Eastern time, the Super Bowl became a game again.
Brady threw an 8-yard touchdown to Amendola with 6:34 left in the fourth, and after a two-point conversion, the Patriots closed the gap to 28-20 - a one-score game.
Atlanta once led 21-0, but the New England offense woke up and Atlanta's offense lulled. Atlanta had gifted the Patriots good field position, off a Matt Ryan fumble, to set up the TD.
For three quarters, the Falcons offense was rolling and defense was swarming and the Patriots, the favorites, were on their heels.
Cornerback Robert Halford cut off a Brady route and returned it 82 yards with 2:21 left in the second quarter to put New England in a stunning hole. It was the first pick-six of Brady's Super Bowl career.
The Falcons added a Ryan-to-Tevin Coleman 6-yard touchdown to begin the third quarter, but Brady wasn't done just yet, tossing a 5-yard touchdown to James White to close the gap. Even when something went right for the Patriots, something went wrong: Stephen Gostkowski missed the extra point - the first Super Bowl missed PAT since XXIV. Gostkowski would later tack on a fourth-quarter field goal.
Brady led a drive for a field goal just before the half ended, finishing the half 15-of-25 for 179 yards and a pick. New England was throwing repeatedly to try to claw its way back to a game that felt odd from the start: The shootout everyone forecast was a dud early.
It took until 12:20 of the second quarter for the Falcons to break through, as Devonta Freeman bounced a run to his left and wasn't touched, happily leaping into the end zone for a 5-yard touchdown.
After a New England punt, the Falcons marched down again, going 62 yards in five plays, the final one a gorgeous Ryan pass to right end Austin Hooper for a 19-yard touchdown. After two extra point tries - the first was broken up by a leaping Patriot, which was penalized - it was 14-0 - the largest Super Bowl deficit Bill Belichick has ever faced.
The Patriots had begun quietly, a LeGarrette Blount fumble stopping one drive and the Atlanta defense looking faster than New England had hoped for.