The New England Patriots made the greatest comeback in history to steal the Super Bowl from the Atlanta Falcons in overtime, handing Tom Brady a record fifth championship.
New England Patriots 34-28 Atlanta Falcons (OT)
The Falcons lead by 18 to close out the first half, but after Lady Gaga's elaborate half-time show, the Patriots rallied to tie the game and then win with the first touchdown in overtime.
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The wind was behind the sails of the Falcons, and they made good use of it when Devonta Freeman got the first points on the board for Super Bowl LI. He curled round with a diagonal run to skip into the end-zone scot free - and that would only be the start of the problems for the Pats.
Defensive flags most likely prevented any further embarrassment but the third-and-out seemed a disaster waiting to happen. For the Falcons, they simply refused to stop, showing aggression on a defence which conceded the third most points in the season, forced through by an offensive setup which showed no mercy.
|Image: Sports Illustrated|
LADY GAGA FROM THE TOP ROPE pic.twitter.com/NE0XyBmsU7— Nisar (@iNisarKhan) February 6, 2017
Diving gracefully from the top of the NRG Stadium after a message of unity, Gaga stormed the show without any supporting acts. She even followed the theme by diving to catch a football to end her performance, and with that spectacle out of the way, the Falcons were zeroing in on a first ever Super Bowl history, while the Patriots were trying to drown their sorrows.
It was essentially all over. But as we've learned time and time again, expect the unexpected. Even with that nugget of guidance, could we have imagined what would happen next? History and fate - sometimes there is just no way to stop them.
|Image: SB Nation|
|Image: Sports Illustrated|
On the 3rd and 11, Tom Brady found Amendola who crept into the end-zone, and they went for the 2-point conversion, a make or break, made. It was snapped to McDaniels and now just one possession separated the teams. The small drop of hope was now flowing like an ocean, but the Falcons still had things running in their favour. They held the ball, after all.
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A penalty and solid defence sent the Falcons out to a 3rd-and-33, and that lead to a punt on the 4th down. It was a pivotal moment in the history of the game. An 8-point deficit, Patriots with the ball in hand and just enough time to do something special.
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James White got on the end of the pass but was stopped a yard before the line by Jones. On the second time of asking, he crept through and got the touchdown. 28-26 with a conversion attempt to follow, a feat already admired, and one that wasn't done. Brady found Amendola for a 2-point conversion and with that, it was tied at 28 apiece. Absolutely incredible. The New England Patriots had pulled off the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history, and for the first time ever, we were going to Super Bowl overtime.
|Image: The Phinsider|
White surged his way to the 1st and goal after Bennett dropped on a flag. Brady looked for the latter again, but the Falcons again saved it. On the second attempt. Brady picked out White who barged his way over and into the end zone for the touchdown. New England Patriots, Super Bowl champions once again.
|Image: FOX 5 DC|
|Image: The Boston Globe|