New England Patriots win first overtime in Super Bowl history - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

New England Patriots win first overtime in Super Bowl history

New England Patriots' Tom Brady, left, celebrates with Julian Edelman and teammates after their overtime win in the NFL Super Bowl 51 football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) New England Patriots' Tom Brady, left, celebrates with Julian Edelman and teammates after their overtime win in the NFL Super Bowl 51 football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

(RNN) - In the first overtime game in Super Bowl history, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots beat the Atlanta Falcons, 34-28, after overcoming a 25-point deficit.

The Patriots won the overtime coin toss and never let Atlanta's top-ranked scoring offense take the field. Brady, who was awarded the Super Bowl MVP award, completed six straight passes before a costly pass interference play by Atlanta placed the ball at the 2-yard line.

Shortly afterward, running back James White carried in the game-winning touchdown, and Bill Belichick and Tom Brady became the first QB-head coach duo to win five Super Bowl rings.

It was a tale of two halves for the Patriots, who trailed 21-3 at halftime. The 25-point comeback was the largest rally in Super Bowl history.

A combination of opportunistic defense and rare mistakes by New England helped the Atlanta Falcons walk into the locker room with a big lead.

The Falcons scored 14 points off two turnovers and sacked and hit Brady several times. Meanwhile, the normally sharp Patriot receiving corps dropped several passes and other times Brady overthrew open wideouts.

While the pressure never relented -- Brady was sacked five times and hit more than 14 times -- the Patriots' offense found a groove late in the third quarter. White was the first Patriot to find the end zone on a 5-yard pass from Brady with 2:06 left in the third.

Brady ended up throwing for 466 yards, a Super Bowl record, and two touchdowns.

The trappings of the legendary comeback began to show themselves when linebacker Dont'a Hightower sacked Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan and forced a fumble on the Atlanta 25-yard line with 8:31 remaining in the game. A little more than two minutes later, Brady found Danny Amendola for a 6-yard touchdown pass, and narrowed the lead to 28-20 with the following 2-point attempt.

The rally was cemented when Brady orchestrated a 10-play, 91-yard touchdown drive that was kept alive by a acrobatic catch by Julian Edelman, which bounced between two Atlanta players before he could snag it. Atlanta head coach Dan Quinn challenged the play, but it was upheld.

White carried in a 1-yard touchdown, and Amendola converted the 2-point play on a quick pass from Brady.

Amendola caught eight passes for 78 yards and a touchdown. Edelman finished with five receptions for 87 yards. White, who carried the game-tying and game-winning touchdown, had six carries for 29 yards and 14 receptions for 110 yards and one touchdown. 

The Patriots defense also found its stride halfway through the third quarter. After Atlanta scored with 8:31 left in the third to go up 28-3, NFL MVP Matt Ryan and company never found the end zone again.

New England sacked Ryan five times, including Hightower's forced fumble and another sack by Trey Flowers late in the fourth that moved Atlanta out of likely game-clinching field goal range.

Atlanta's young defense, which has steadily improved under Quinn's tutelage, was gassed by the game's end. New England ran 93 plays for 546 yards. Meanwhile, Atlanta's vaunted offense only mustered 46 plays and held the ball for only 23 minutes.

Ryan finished 17 for 23 with 284 yards and two touchdowns. Julio Jones, who made a spectacular catch in the fourth quarter to only have his offense squander the opportunity with a subsequent sack and holding penalty, finished with only four catches for 87 yards.

The first turnover Atlanta capitalized on was a fumble recovery early in the second quarter that ignited Ryan and the offense after the first was dominated by both team’s defenses.

Rookie linebacker Deion Jones stripped New England running back LeGarrette Blount on the second play of the second quarter, and Falcons cornerback Robert Alford recovered it. His team did not waste the opportunity.

After Ryan completed two passes to Jones for 19 and 23 yards, tailback Devonta Freeman carried the ball three consecutive times for 29 yards and a touchdown. The scoring play came on a 5-yard rush.

Then, while trailing 14-0 late in the second quarter after Ryan hit tight end Austin Hooper for a 19-yard score, Tom Brady’s pass to Danny Amendola was intercepted by Alford and returned 82 yards for a touchdown, giving the Falcons a 21-0 advantage.

The Patriots hit a field goal before halftime, bringing the deficit to 18 points.

Atlanta’s first play from scrimmage was a 37-yard scamper by Freeman. The rush foreshadowed the 24-year-old tailback’s explosive first half, in which he rushed for 71 yards on 6 carries and found the end zone. His second half performance, however, was unimpressive. He found himself dancing behind the line of scrimmage on multiple plays, and finished the night with 75 yards on 11 carries.

Copyright 2017 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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