HOUSTON — Because the Atlanta Falcons couldn’t turn a fast start into the big finish, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady showed every bit of his big-game experience and every letter of his Hall of Fame résumé.
Brady led the Patriots back from deficits of 21-0 and 28-3 with a throw-early, throw-late approach as the Patriots roared back to win Super Bowl LI 34-28 in the first overtime game in Super Bowl history. Entering Sunday, no team had won the Super Bowl after trailing by more than 10 points.
Brady was named the game’s MVP.
“There were a lot of plays that Coach [Bill Belichick] talks about, you never know which play it’s going to be in the Super Bowl. There were probably 30 of them tonight that if any one of those would have been different, the outcome could have been different.”
“I’m so proud of our guys, our coaches, the team. It was unbelievable what these guys have accomplished all season. I’m just proud to be a part of this great group.”
Brady finished 43 for 62, the most attempts in Super Bowl history, for 466 yards and two touchdowns. Brady had his first interception returned for a touchdown in any postseason game he has played in in the second quarter when Falcons cornerback Robert Alford snatched one of Brady’s passes and returned it 82 yards for the score.
But Brady powered the Patriots comeback’ from a 28-3 deficit late in the third quarter for the win. It was Brady’s fourth Super Bowl MVP award. It also closed out a season that opened with Brady serving a four-game suspension for Deflategate.
“You know, we all brought each other back,” Brady said. “We never felt out of it. It was a tough battle. They have a great team. I give them a lot of credit. We just made a few more plays than them.”
It was the fifth Super Bowl win of Brady’s career.
Brady’s heroics also prevented Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan from completing a sweep of the league’s major awards. Ryan was remarkably efficient Sunday night, finishing 17-of-23 passing for 284 yards and two touchdowns.
By the time Ryan tossed his second touchdown pass of the game with 8:31 left in the third quarter, he was 12-of-14 passing for 193 yards and the two touchdowns.
Ryan finished 17-of-23 passing for 284 yards and two touchdowns.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.