Deflate this, Roger.
Tom Brady and the Patriots completed their revenge tour in unbelievable fashion Sunday night in Super Bowl LI, erasing a 25-point deficit to beat the Falcons 34-28 in overtime, the first Super Bowl to go into an extra frame and quite possibly the best ever played. It was also the largest comeback in Super Bowl history and served up a delicious ending to the season for the Patriots, who began it without their leader.
James White’s 2-yard run almost four minutes into the overtime period gave Brady and coach Bill Belichick their fifth Super Bowl championship and cemented their legacies as the best ever. Some would say the fifth ring is one for the thumb, but for the Patriots this was a ring to be worn on their middle fingers after beginning the season with Brady suspended for four games by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for the Deflategate scandal.
“There was a lot at stake tonight,” Brady said. “We played our tails off all season to get to this point. It’s hard to win a game in the NFL. To beat this team and be down 28-3, it was just a lot of mental toughness by our team. We’re all going to remember this the rest of our life.”
It looked like it would be the upstart Falcons and their league MVP Matt Ryan who would steal the spotlight from the Patriots. The Falcons led 28-3 halfway through the third quarter and Atlanta fans were celebrating. But like every great villain from Dracula to Freddy Krueger, Brady showed he would not be killed off that easily.
Brady completed 43-of-62 passes for 466 yards and two touchdowns to earn Super Bowl MVP honors, setting up an awkward ceremony Monday morning with Goodell.
“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.”