The first overtime game in Super Bowl history. The biggest comeback in Super Bowl history. So many storylines, not enough to cover it in two to three robust paragraphs. The Falcons carried over the momentum they had from the divisional game and conference championship game into the first half of Super Bowl 51. They quickly jumped on the four-time Super Bowl champions — all won in the Brady-Belichick era. They built a 21-0 lead in the second quarter alone which featured an 82-yard pick-six for Robert Alford; it turned out to be Tom Brady”s first interception returned for a touchdown in his playoff career. The Falcons lead 21-3 at halftime.
So another Falcons touchdown that goes unanswered will seal it, right? Not so fast. Not when Brady and Belichick are on the opposing side. The Falcons held a 28-3 lead from the 8:36 mark of the third quarter until the 2:12 mark when Brady connected with James White to trim the deficit to 19. It could’ve been 18 but usually-reliable kicker Stephen Gostkowski missed the extra point… and that’s when you feel confident enough as a fan to start celebrating early.
The fourth quarter was the longest 15 minutes. Gostkowski redeemed himself as he converted on a 33-yard field goal to make it 28-12 with 9:48 left. The best offense in football all year couldn’t move the chains at all in the fourth. An empty possession again turned into more points for New England, and more points. Brady found Danny Amendola for six and White succeeded on a two-point direct snap conversion, narrowing the lead to one possession with six minutes remaining. Pats got the ball back again and found the endzone twice with one minute left to tie the game as White scored the touchdown and Amendola caught the game-tying two-point conversion. In overtime, you knew the Falcons weren’t going to win after blowing a 28-3 lead, and sure enough Brady and Belichick gutted their team to a 34-28 overtime win for championship No. 5.