The New England Patriots have won the first overtime Super Bowl game in U.S. National Football League history, coming back from a 25-point deficit to beat the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in Super Bowl 51, played in Houston, Texas.
This was New England’s record-setting fifth Super Bowl win since the old NFL and the American Football League merged in the late 1960s.
The Patriots – down 28-3 late in the third quarter after a first half dominated by the Falcons – launched a furious comeback, capped by a one-yard touchdown run by running back James White and a two-point conversion on a pass from quarterback Tom Brady to Danny Amendola that tied the game at 28-28 in the final minute of regulation.
The score capped a 91-yard drive that included a miraculous catch by Julian Edelman who nabbed the ball off the leg of one of three Falcons defenders as they were falling to the turf.
In the overtime period, New England received the ball and methodically marched down the field before White scored his third touchdown that capped the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history. No team had ever come back from more than 10 points down to win. White also had a Super Bowl record 14 receptions for 110 yards – the most ever by a running back in the title game.
The 39-year-old Brady, who finished with a title game record 466 passing yards and two touchdowns, was named the game’s most valuable player, the fourth such award of his Hall of Fame worthy career. His five Super Bowl wins, all of them with New England and head coach Bill Belichick, makes him the most decorated quarterback in NFL history.
Brady connected on 43 of 62 passes – the most completions in Super Bowl history.
President Donald Trump tweeted after the game “Tom Brady, (team owner) Bob Kraft and Coach B are total winners. Wow!!”
Fans in Boston poured into the streets after the stunning victory, turning parts of the city into a big post-game party. The mayor has announced a victory parade for Tuesday.