In the first overtime in Super Bowl history, the New England Patriots scored 21 unanswered points to beat the Atlanta Falcons.
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History was made in Super Bowl 51 as this was the first overtime game in league history. It started out as if the New England Patriots were going to suffer their first blowout in a Super Bowl. They couldn’t get anything going, and two costly turnovers set the Falcons up with a 21-3 lead at halftime. Atlanta was running the ball down New England’s throats and Matt Ryan posted a perfect passer rating. The upset seemed almost a guarantee.
But the final quarter and a half were all New England. After Tevin Coleman scored to put Atlanta up 28-3, the momentum went all to the other side. The Patriots went on to score 25 unanswered points to tie the game up late. A 10-play, 91-yard drive capped by a James White touchdown followed by a two-point conversion sent the game to overtime.
However, the Falcons had a chance to put this one away midway through the fourth quarter. They had driven into Patriots territory and were within Matt Bryant‘s field goal range. A field goal would have put the Falcons up by 11 and made it a two-possession game. But a holding penalty and a sack put them out of range and set the stage for Tom Brady and the final drive.
In overtime, a pass to Julian Edelman set the Patriots up, a pass interference set them up first and goal, and James White took it to the house to win it for New England. Brady gets his record-setting fifth Super Bowl championship and the duo of Brady/Bill Belichick cements its position as the best ever.
James White, Patriots — Besides scoring the winning touchdown, White scored twice on the ground. He also led the way with 14 receptions for 110 yards and a touchdown.
Grady Jarrett, Falcons — Putting up three sacks in the Super Bowl while getting yourself into the record books with the likes of Reggie White makes you one of the game’s stars in my book.
Tom Brady, Patriots — Brady set a Super Bowl record by posting 466 yards. For the game, he went 43-of-62 for 466 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, aside from leading the tying and game-winning drives.