If nothing else, Super Bowl 51. was a lesson in the old Yogi Berra adage, “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.” Trailing 28-3 midway through the third quarter, the New England Patriots reeled off thirty-one unanswered points to shock the Atlanta Falcons in overtime, handing quarterback Tom Brady his fifth Super Bowl championship and fourth Super Bowl MVP award–both records among quarterbacks. It was a thrilling contest that showed just how compelling professional football can be on its grandest stage. With that in mind, here are five major things to take away from Super Bowl 51.
5. Never, Ever Count Out The Patriots
Trailing by twenty-five points with just over a quarter and a half to go in the game, things did not look good for New England. For anyone who has followed Tom Brady’s career, however, they know that pulling off the improbable has become nigh commonplace. In 2013, the Patriots trailed 24-0 against the Broncos and came back to win the game 34-31 in overtime. Earlier that same season he pulled out another wondrous last-second miracle against the Saints with mere seconds to go in the fourth quarter. These sorts of late-game heroics have been the hallmark of Brady’s career, and he added perhaps the greatest feat of them all to his resume by bringing his team back to win Super Bowl 51.
4. Brady and Belichick Stand Alone
When Bill Belichick took over as the coach of the New England Patriots in 2000, the franchise had been mired in mediocrity for most of its existence. Things weren’t looking great for the team when Drew Bledsoe went down in Week 2 of the 2001 season, but then Tom Brady took over and the rest is history. Five Super Bowl Championships and seven appearances in the big game later, the duo have set themselves apart as the most decorated coach/quarterback combination in NFL history. With both Brady and Belichick on record as having no plans to retire anytime soon, they will only continue to add to their storied legacy.
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