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Falcons’ flop a new low for Atlanta’s sad sporting history PAUL NEWBERRY ASSOCIATED PRESS
New England Patriots' Tom Brady raises the Vince Lombardi Trophy after defeating the Atlanta Falcons in overtime at the NFL Super Bowl 51 football game Sunday in Houston. The Patriots defeated the Falcons 34-28.
Brady leads New England from 19-point deficit in fourth quarter for biggest comeback in Super Bowl history BARRY WILNER ASSOCIATED PRESS
HOUSTON - Tom Brady led one of the greatest comebacks in sports history highlighted by an unbelievable Julian Edelman catch that helped lift New England from a 25-point hole against the Atlanta Falcons to the Patriots’ fifth Super Bowl victory, the first ever in overtime. The Patriots scored 19 points in the final quarter, including a pair of 2-point conversions, then marched relentlessly to James White’s 2-yard touchdown run in overtime to beat the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 Sunday night. Brady, the first quarterback with five Super Bowl rings, guided the Patriots
(17-2) through a tiring Atlanta defense for fourth-quarter touchdowns on a 6-yard pass to Danny Amendola and a 1-yard run by White, which came with 57 seconds remaining in regulation. White ran for the first 2pointer and Amendola did the deed with a reception on the second. Brady, winning Super Bowl MVP for a record fourth-time, finished 43 for 62, the most attempts in Super Bowl history, for 466 yards, also a record, and two touchdowns. “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 See PATRIOTS, Page 3B
How much longer can Brady, Belichick go? LORENZO REYES USA TODAY
HOUSTON - The New England Patriots have been the model of consistency in the NFL. But how much longer will the architects be at it? Head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady have worked together for 17 years, an unprecedented run between a coach and player in the NFL or any sport for that matter. Patriots owner Robert Kraft said Thursday he wants Belichick to coach the team “as long as he would like to” and with the success the team has had, it’s hard to envision the franchise without its head coach. “I’m very happy with him,”
ATLANTA - Well, Atlanta, there’s nothing left to say. The city once known as “Loserville” was cruising toward its first Super Bowl championship, leading Tom Brady and the mighty New England Patriots by 25 points. TWENTY-FIVE! Back in Atlanta, the city was all ready to bust loose in a celebration like no other, seemingly assured of finally putting to rest its history of sports flops. Then, it happened. The greatest flop of them all. This one will take a long, long time to get over. Brady engineered a stunning comeback, guiding the Patriots to a pair of touchdowns and a pair of 2-point conversions that sent the Super Bowl to overtime for the first time. At that point, it was a mere formality. The Patriots won the coin toss. Of course. The Patriots drove right down the field for the championship-winning touchdown. Of course. The final: New England 34, Atlanta 28. This one will go down as one of the greatest title games in NFL history. That’s little consolation to Atlanta. In the A-T-L, this will join the Braves blowing a 6-0 lead in Game 4 of the 1996 World Series, the Hawks squandering a chance to eliminate Larry Bird and the Boston Celtics in the 1988 NBA playoffs, Danny White leading the Dallas Cowboys back from 10 points down in the fourth quarter to beat the Falcons in a 1981 playoff game. See FALCONS, Page 3B
New England Patriots' James White scores the winning touchdown between Atlanta Falcons' Jalen Collins, left, and Robert Alford during overtime of the NFL Super Bowl 51 football game Sunday in Houston.
ERIC SEALS/USA TODAY SPORTS
Dejected Falcons look on after Atlanta’s loss to New England in the Super Bowl.
Edelman gives Pats a crazy catch of their own EDDIE PELLS ASSOICATED PRESS
Kraft said. “We’ve been together for 17 years. I like it when I hear him say that he’s getting paid to do what he loves. We’ll try to keep him like that.” In the week leading up to New England’s matchup against the Atlanta Falcons Sunday in Super Bowl LI – the seventh such appearance Brady and Belichick are making together – reporters peppered both with questions about the R word: retirement. “For as long as the good lord helps me breathe,” Kraft said, “I hope they’re playing or coaching.” Brady will turn 40 in August. Belichick is the NFL’s second-oldest head coach at
HOUSTON - You could say the Super Bowl owed ‘em one. Julian Edelman was the man to collect. The Patriots receiver made a catch for the highlight reels Sunday — a once-in-a-lifetime grab that punctuated New England’s record-setting Super Bowl comeback, and one every bit as amazing as what David Tyree of the Giants did nine years earlier to break all those Patriots’ hearts. The catch was the highlight of New England’s 91-yard drive that tied the game on the way to a come-from-behind 34-28 overtime win over Atlanta. Edelman somehow got his hands pinned up against, and then underneath, a Tom Brady pass that bounced off Atlanta
See TIME, Page 3B
See CATCH, Page 3B
RICHARD MACKSON/USA TODAY SPORTS
Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman gets set to haul in a 23-yard reception in which the ball hits the leg of a Falcons defender but never touches the ground.