|Patriots players knew Tom Brady, offense was going to score TD in overtime||02.06.17 at 1:06 am ET|
HOUSTON — Tom Brady led the Patriots from 25 points down in the second half, including 16 points down in the middle of the fourth quarter to beat the Falcons in Super Bowl LI.
Once he and the offense tied it up in the closing two minutes, the Patriots knew they were going to win.
“We knew,” Trey Flowers said. “Well, I think I had a feeling when Julian [Edelman] caught that ball. You know, that unbelievable catch, man. I just knew, if we go to overtime, we’re going to get it. We’re going to win and be the champs. So once we got the ball [in overtime] and they put the ball in Tom’s hands, it was game over.”
Added Devin McCourty: “We said all year, if we get stops, he’s going to score. I don’t care how much time is left. I went to the coin toss and said if Slate [Matthew Slater] gets this coin toss we’re going to win the game.”
The Patriots defense was so confident the offense was going to score, they told defensive coordinator Matt Patricia to stop going over a game plan.
“We stay back and Matt P’s going over defense and we’re like, ‘Matty P, we’re not going out there. There’s no way we’re going out there. Tom Brady’s in the groove. He’s doing everything we need him to do to win this game,'” Duron Harmon said. “And that’s what happened. He led that team down that whole fourth quarter. That’s Tom Brady quarter. That’s what we’re going to call it from now on.”
Added Logan Ryan: “When it got to overtime, I basically untied my cleats and watched Brady like you guys did.”
Between the fourth quarter and overtime, Brady went 21-for-27 with 246 yards.
For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.
|Tom Brady loses Super Bowl LI jersey moments after win||at 12:39 am ET|
HOUSTON — Tom Brady led the Patriots from 25 points down in the second half to beat the Falcons, 34-28 and took home the game’s MVP, but that didn’t mean everything went perfect after the game.
Apparently, Brady lost his jersey afterwards
“It was right here. I know exactly where I put it,” Brady said in the locker room afterwards, per USA Today.
Added Brady: “This is not good. It was right here and now I don’t have it. Not good.”
USA Today was able to catch up with Brady as he left the stadium and asked if he was able to locate the jersey.
“No,” he said. “It is going to be on eBay soon, I guess.”
[UPDATE: Per Tom Leyden of FOX 25, the jersey has been located. A team staffer put it away.]
His wife Gisele Bundchen lost her mind in the stands. Check this video out from NFL.com.
— NFL (@NFL) February 6, 2017
|Tom Brady: Super Bowl LI ‘a hell of a football game’||at 12:26 am ET|
HOUSTON — It was Tom Brady’s finest hour.
The 39-year-old quarterback threw for 466 yards and a pair of touchdowns to lead the Patriots back from a 25-point deficit to win Super Bowl LI in overtime, 34-28. For his work, he received his fourth Super Bowl MVP honor.
“A hell of a football game,” he said after the game. “We played our tails off all season to get to this point. It’s hard to win a game in the NFL. This team, to get down 28-3, it was just a lot of mental toughness by our team. We’re all going to remember this for the rest of our lives.”
Brady wouldn’t try to compare Sunday’s historic victory with the heart-stopping with over the Seahawks two years ago. But in terms of overall drama, it certainly compares. The quarterback led New England back from the biggest deficit in Super Bowl history to come away with the fifth Super Bowl title in the history of the franchise, putting the capper on the comeback with an eight-play. 75-yard drive in overtime when he handed the ball to James White for a 2-yard touchdown run that clinched it.
“They’re all special,” Brady said. “Two years ago, it came down to Malcolm [Butler] making a play. This year, down 25 points, it’s hard to imagine us winning. It took a lot of great plays. That’s why you play to the end. It’s a 60-minute game.
“They’re all sweet. They’re all different. It’s been an incredible team and I’m just happy to be a part of it. It’s just a great group of coaches and teammates. We overcame a lot of different things, and it was worth it.”
The undersized White was immense in victory, coming away with 14 catches for 110 yards and three touchdowns (one receiving and two rushing).
“A hell of a game he played. It was awesome,” Brady said of White’s performance. “He’s everything you want in a teammate and a football player. Consistent, durable. The best attitude, Brings it every day. We just kept going to him. I think that speaks for itself.”
But in the end, it was Brady who was transcendent. With the season on the line, the quarterback kept making big plays over the last quarter-plus, leading his team to 19 points in the final quarter and guiding the game-winning drive in the first-ever overtime in NFL history.
“He was the same as he always is, cool, calm and collected,” wide receiver Danny Amendola said of Brady’s performance. “He’s the leader, the general, the best ever. And that is the end of the story.”
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|Snap Judgments: Tom Brady directs greatest comeback in Super Bowl history, Patriots win their 5th Lombardi Trophy in OT||02.05.17 at 10:29 pm ET|
HOUSTON — The Patriots made history in the most dramatic way Sunday night in Super Bowl LI.
James White scored his third touchdown of the night on a 2-yard run with 11:02 left in the first overtime in Super Bowl history, giving the Patriots their fifth Super Bowl title with an unbelievable 34-28 win over the Falcons.
The winning touchdown came after a 14-yard pass interference call on the Falcons.
The Game-Winning Score.
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) February 6, 2017
After being handed the Lombardi Trophy by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell (who was roundly booed while delivering his congratulatory speech), Patriots owner Robert Kraft called the victory, “unequivocally the sweetest” of all the team’s championships.
— NFL (@NFL) February 6, 2017
Brady finished 43-of-62 for 466 yards and two touchdowns and earned his fourth Super Bowl MVP. White had a pair of touchdown runs and a touchdown catch.
Down 28-3 with two minutes left in the third quarter and 19 points in the fourth quarter, Tom Brady engineered the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history and the greatest fourth-quarter comeback in NFL playoff history.
Julian Edelman got his hands under a tipped pass just before the ball hit the ground before the two-minute warning. The miracle catch put the Patriots at the Atlanta 41. Several plays later, James White ran it in from two yards with 57 seconds left, followed by a two point conversion from Brady to Danny Amendola.
Matt Ryan threw two touchdown passes and the Falcons turned two turnovers into scores as the Falcons appeared on their way to their first world championship in their 51-year history. Ryan played the first three quarters with a perfect 158.3 quarterback rating.
The Patriots played their most uncharacteristic game at the worst time. LeGarrette Blount fumbled deep in Atlanta territory in a scoreless game and Tom Brady had a nightmare of a first half that included a pick-6 by Robert Alford.
Picked by nearly every national expert to lose, the touchdown underdog Falcons certainly didn’t play like it. Led by a Super Bowl-tying three sacks from Grady Jarrett, they manhandled the Patriots on both sides of the ball.
The Patriots finish the season 17-2 and are now 5-4 in their nine Super Bowl appearances.
The game started after an emotional rendition of “America The Beautiful” from the cast of “Hamilton” and the national anthem from Luke Bryan. Following that, President George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara were carted onto the field and made their way to midfield for the coin toss. Both had been recently released from the hospital after battling various medical issues.
Matthew Slater called heads and the former President flipped the coin and it turned up tails. The Falcons deferred and the Patriots received to open Super Bowl LI.
Brady targeted Julian Edelman on the first two plays of the game. The first was an incompletion over the middle followed by an inside slant for nine yards. But the Patriots were forced 3-and-out when LeGarrette Blount ran to his right and was stopped for no gain.
Ryan Allen boomed a big punt and, after a holding call, pinned the Falcons inside their 10. On the first play, Devonta Freeman broke loose for 37 yards when he went to his left and cut back up the middle. But the Patriots quickly recovered, with the key play coming on a Patrick Chung tackle on Patrick DiMarco in one-on-one coverage. On the next play, Rob Ninkovich broke through for the drive-ending sack.
The Patriots got the ball for a third time in the first quarter but not before it ended, extending the first-quarter scoreless streak in Super Bowls to seven. In all seven Belichick-Brady Super Bowl appearances, the Patriots don’t have a single point in the opening 15 minutes.
Following a 27-yard completion from Brady to Edelman, the Patriots had the ball first-and-10 at the Atlanta 33. But on the very next play, Falcons linebacker Deion Jones made a huge play, powerfully stripping the ball from LeGarrette Blount. Defensive back Robert Alford recovered at the Atlanta 29. The Falcons wasted no time capitalizing. Matt Ryan fired a 19-yard bullet over the middle to Julio Jones, who wrestled the ball from Logan Ryan.
On the next play, Ryan targeted Jones on the left sideline. He was wide open for 23 yards to the Patriots 29. Freeman followed with gashing runs of 15 and 9 off right and left tackle, respectively. The Patriots were obviously on their heels against the hurry-up Falcons. The Patriots called time out on 2nd-and-1. But it didn’t help. Jones came in motion to the inside but Freeman ran a misdirect and jogged untouched to the goal line before diving in for the first score of the game.
The Falcons made it 14-0 against a reeling, backpedaling and seemingly winded Patriots defense. Ryan found tight end Austin Hooper on an in-slant from 19 yards. It marked the biggest Super Bowl deficit in the Belichick-Brady era.
Desperate for a score, the Falcons young secondary aided the Patriots’ cause immensely on the ensuing drive. The Falcons committed three defensive holding fouls on third down and the Patriots looked ready to capitalize, with the ball at the Falcons 23. But on yet another third down, there was no bail out from the officials, only a telegraphed pass to Julian Edelman on an slant that Robert Alford stepped in front of at the Falcons 18 and raced 82 yards for the second-longest pick-6 in Super Bowl history (James Harrison, 100 yards, Super Bowl XLIII), falling behind 21-0.
The Patriots, in desperate need of a drive and some big breaks, got one on the next drive. Brady dropped back to pass and was hit. The ball wobbled. But instead of another turnover, the ball landed in the hands of Martellus Bennett, who gained 19 yards. Then several plays later, Brady hit James White in the right flat. White made 28 yards. The Patriots made it down to the Atlanta 3 on another completion to White. But a holding call on Bennett brought it back to the 23. On the next play, with 12 seconds left, Brady threw to Bennett in the left flat on a screen. The clock nearly ran out as Bennett was tackled. But the Patriots were able to execute a 41-yard field goal from Stephen Gostkowski to make it 21-3 Atlanta at the half.
The Falcons ran just 19 plays in the first half to New England’s 40.
[For a full box score and stats, click here.]
HOUSTON — Gisele Bundchen, the wife of Tom Brady, posted a picture to social media of her and their family before Super Bowl LI.
It includes Brady’s three sisters, his mom (who reportedly has been dealing with an illness the last 18 months), his daughter and also members of Bundchen’s family.
The older members have shirts that say, “Brady’s Ladies” and the younger ones have shirts that say, “Brady’s Little Ladies.”
HOUSTON — This is the week of Marshall Faulk hating on the Patriots.
He had his rant on Thursday, and then was back at it Sunday morning on the NFL Network’s Gameday Morning when asked if Tom Brady if the greatest of all-time, as he said it’s more complicated than some think.
“I like it,” Faulk said. “It’s like the Olympics now, getting the silver helps. I would say yes, but there’s always that little asterisk when you start talking about greatest ever.”
Host Rich Eisen asked what is the asterisk?
“Come on Rich,” Faulk said, “I don’t even want to get into that. Man is about to play in his seventh Super Bowl, he has a chance at winning five, it’s been great. But some things has happened and we know what those things are — when you talk about Super Bowls and things that has happened along the lines with the Patriots and we just cannot pretend like they didn’t happen.”
Faulk is likely referring to his comments earlier in the week when he still claimed he believes the Patriots taped the Rams’ walkthrough before Super Bowl XXXVI.
For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.
|Super Bowl scene-setting from Houston: Tom Brady, Bill Belichick look to make Super Bowl history||at 3:11 pm ET|
HOUSTON — The moment is finally here for Bill Belichick and Tom Brady – and the New England Patriots.
Their shot at Super Bowl history comes this afternoon on the turf of NRG Stadium in Houston where the Patriots aim for their fifth Super Bowl title in franchise history against the upstart NFC champion Atlanta Falcons.
On a warm, humid day in Houston, conditions inside the 71,000-seat retractable-roof facility will be ideal as the Patriots look to join the 49ers and Cowboys for the second-most Vince Lombardi trophies. Pittsburgh sits atop the mountain with six in the Super Bowl era.
The 49ers won their five in 14 seasons from 1981-94. With a win, the Patriots would claim their fifth in 16 seasons from 2001-16.
Belichick would surpass Chuck Noll for the most Super Bowl wins with his fifth while Brady would break a tie with his childhood hero Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw. All three quarterbacks own four Super Bowl rings.
Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported Sunday morning that the Patriots believe Brady when he says he has a desire to play 3-5 more seasons, and at a high level. Rapoport reported that the team would pursue a contract extension after the 2017 season, making it more likely they trade backup Jimmy Garoppolo in the offseason. Garoppolo has been rumored to be atop the wish list of the Cleveland Browns this offseason.
Another story that broke Sunday morning was the news that the Patriots wanted to trade Jamie Collins to the Texans for DeAndre Hopkins in October before settling on the deal that landed the former Patriots star linebacker in Cleveland.
There are injuries on both side of the ball worth monitoring early on. The more serious appears to be with the Falcons. Starting Pro Bowl center Alex Mack is dealing with a chip fracture of the fibula in his left leg. The Falcons believe he can start and play effectively but head coach Dan Quinn admitted Thursday that there is a good level of concern about how it would hold up. Likely, it will come down to pain threshold. Julio Jones is battling a toe injury but said this week he expects to be full go for the game. Both players were limited all week but will start in the game.
For the Patriots, Alan Branch had his toe stepped on in the first practice of the week on Wednesday. A day later Branch said the toe was “a little sore” but that he was feeling good and should be fine in the game. Another defensive lineman could be more of a concern as rookie Vincent Valentine had back pain on Thursday and was limited the last two practices. Valentine also had back issues early in the season. He is expected to be available.
Then there’s Martellus Bennett. Like Alex Mack, the Patriots tight end has been dealing with a bone chips in his right ankle since suffering the injury against the Browns on Oct. 9. He will likely have a procedure once the season is over. As he has been throughout the playoffs, he will play through the pain for the Super Bowl.
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