2017 Super Bowl: Patriots Win 5th Title in Thriller Over Falcons
A new standard has been set, as Tom Brady of the New England Patriots became the first quarterback in N.F.L. history to win five Super Bowls, leading his team to a 34-28 overtime victory over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI.
It looked like a blowout in Atlanta’s favor, with the Falcons racing to a 28-3 lead, but Brady, who had endured a great deal of pressure for much of the game, held tight and reeled off 25 consecutive points prior to the overtime period, getting a great deal of help with a circus catch by Julian Edelman that will help erase the painful memory of the Patriots once having been sunk by David Tyree’s helmet catch in Super Bowl XLII.
Then in the first overtime in Super Bowl history, the Patriots got the ball first, and as they have done so many times in Brady’s career, simply marched down the field, going 75 yards on 8 plays, winning the game on James White’s 2-yard touchdown run.
Having grown up as a fan of the San Francisco 49ers, Brady claims to have never considered the possibility of joining his idol, Joe Montana, in having won four Super Bowls, let alone passing Montana and Terry Bradshaw, the Pittsburgh Hall of Famer, who each had four wins in four attempts. And while his journey was not quite as flawless, with two losses to go with his five wins, he now stands out as the most decorated quarterback of the Super Bowl era, and is tied with Charles Haley, the relentless defensive end for the Dallas Cowboys and the 49ers, for the most Super Bowl wins as a player.
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Brady ended up completing 43 of 62 passes for 466 yards and 2 touchdowns despite enduring 5 sacks and throwing the first postseason pick-six of his career. He got plenty of help from White, the team’s pass-catching running back, who had 14 catches for 110 yards and 1 touchdown along with his game-winning run.
The Falcons, led by Matt Ryan, had looked nearly unstoppable for three quarters, scoring at will and holding New England in check with a defense that had steadily improved all season. But they seemingly ran out of steam on both ends of the ball, with the Patriots’ experience winning the day.
Even in defeat, there were plenty of positives for the Falcons, with Grady Jarrett tying a Super Bowl record with three sacks, Robert Alford returning an interception 82 yards for a touchdown, and Ryan completing 17 of 23 passes for 284 yards and 2 touchdowns. But after Ryan found Tevin Coleman for a 6-yard touchdown pass early in the third quarter, everything fell apart. From that point forward, Atlanta’s drives ended punt-fumble-punt-punt, while New England repeatedly chipped away at the lead.
For Brady, the win makes him the unquestioned leader of the Super Bowl era among quarterbacks and ties him with Bart Starr of the Green Bay Packers for the most N.F.L. championships as Starr had three titles prior to winning the first two Super Bowls.
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