New England Patriots spurred on by quarterback Tom Brady scrambled back from trailing by 25 points to snatch Super Bowl LI from the grasp of the Atlanta Falcons.
In a thrilling match, the Patriots forced extra time after levelling at 28-28 in a last-ditch effort and went on to win 34-28 to grab their fifth title.
The record-breaking comeback saw the Patriots make up the biggest points deficit in history – and this was the first Super Bowl to see play in extra time.
In a superlative final that saw records tumble, Brady threw 466 yards and was voted Super Bowl Most Valuable Player for the fourth time. He is the first quarterback to win at five Super Bowls, equalling the record set by Charles Haley.
Brady the best?
Brady broke his own record by throwing 43 completions and threw the most yards.
James White also scored 20 points from 14 receptions – a record final score by an individual player.
Patriots’ Bill Belichick also set a record for Super Bowls as a head coach (7) and wins (5)
Brady, 39, was applauded as possibly the best quarterback in the history of American football, but modestly praised his team mates after the match.
“It’s going to be a great celebration tonight. Thanks to everyone back in Boston, we love you, we’re bringing this sucker home!” he said.
“That was exactly the way we didn’t plan it. It was a hell of a football game.
Falcons worst ever?
“This is an incredible team and I’m just happy to be a part of it. We overcame a lot of different things and it’s all worth it.”
“To be 28-3 down, it was a lot of mental toughness from our team and we’re all going to remember this for the rest of our life.”
For the Falcons, commentators are branding the result the worst ever for a team leading by so many points.
“There’s nothing you can really say. That’s a tough loss. Obviously very disappointed, very close to getting done what we wanted to get done, but it’s hard to find words tonight,” said Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan.