Tom Brady held the Vince Lombardi trophy high above his head and told New England Patriots fans he was ‘taking this sucker home’ after the team defeated the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday night 34 – 28 in the first Super Bowl to ever go into overtime.
The quarterback broke down in tears after the game, in which the team managed to comeback from a 25 point deficit in the third quarter of the game to even the score and keep their hopes of yet another victory alive.
The Patriots then clinched the victory minutes into overtime when James White plunged past the goal line on the team’s opening drive in extra time.
It was a historic win for Brady and head coach Bell Belichick, who with the victory now each have five Super Bowl rings, the most of any player or coach in the history of the NFL.
Brady made history by also winning the Super Bowl MVP honor for the fourth time in history, more than any other player.
And he did it all in front of his mother Galynn Brady, who is suffering through an undisclosed illness and wore a bandanna over her head as she greeted her son after his victory.
The Super Bowl was the first game she’s attended all season, with Patriots owner Bob Kraft telling a NESN reporter after the game that Galynn had been undergoing radiation and chemotherapy throughout the entire football season.
‘I spoke to him in the locker room before the game, and I said, “We gotta win this one for your mom,” because I know how important his mom is,’ said Kraft.
‘She’s been going through chemotherapy and radiation, and this is the first game she’s been to. She came here, and I just saw her, and it was really cool.’
Brady had said earlier in the week that he wanted to win the game on Sunday night for his mother.
In an interview with CBS Boston after the game Galynn said she was overwhelmed after watching her son play.
She also said that she spent the game praying for a Patriots win.
‘It’s the best ever. It’s the best ever. And he’s … I’m speechless. I’m speechless,’ said Tom Sr. in the same interview. ‘It was so spectacular and so fun and so nerve-racking and so awesome.’
When asked how his son maintains his composure Tom Sr. said he must have got it from his mother.
Earlier in the week, Brady teared up during Media Day when he was asked to name his hero, saying it was his father.
Brady was still in high spirits after the game as he struggled to recall what went down during the team’s big win.
‘Then we got the turnover … did we get the turnover?’ said Brady while speaking with reporters. ‘There was a lot of s*** that happened tonight … and I got hit pretty hard.’
He also posted a photo of the entire Brady family on the field after the crowd had cleared out, writing: ‘It takes a team. And so much love #NeverStopBelieving.’
One of the first to congratulate Brady after the win was NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, the man behind the Deflategate suspension that kept Brady on the bench for the first four games this season.
The men will now meet again on Monday at a press conference.
Meanwhile, those in attendance at the game on Sunday seemed to be pro-Patriots as they loudly booed Goodell when he took the stage for the trophy presentation.
President Donald Trump was also quick to congratulate the team after their win, writing on Twitter: ‘What an amazing comeback and win by the Patriots. Tom Brady, Bob Kraft and Coach B are total winners. Wow!’
This after he left a viewing party for the game in the third quarter soon after the Patriots went down by 25 points.
Brady spoke about the victory after receiving his trophy on Sunday, still in a state of shock.
‘We all brought each other back. We never felt out of it. It was a tough battle,’ said Brady after the big win.
‘They have a great team, I give them a lot of credit. We just made a few more plays than them.’
When asked of his fifth victory was the best yet, Brady said: ‘They’re all great. This team resembled a lot of teams from the past that had a lot of mental toughness, great defense, that rose to the occasion in the second half.’
He then added: ‘This is all positive man. This is unbelievable.’
Football legend Terry Bradshaw was quick to refer to Brady as the greatest quarterback of all time after presenting him with his fifth trophy on Sunday.
And Brady had the stats to back it up on Sunday night, completing 43 of 62 passes for 466 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in the game.
Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount may have summed it up best after the game when he point at Brady and told him: ‘You’re the f***ing greatest.’
Also proving to be quite the force on Sunday was running back James White, who also had a historic night in Houston.
White scored a Super Bowl record-tying three touchdowns and ran in a two-point conversion in a sensational performance, setting a Super Bowl record with 14 catches.
His 110 receiving yards were the most ever by a running back as well in Super Bowl history.
‘It’s really surreal,’ said White after the game. ‘I was just living in the moment. I wasn’t paying attention to how many catches Ii had, how many yards I had. I just wanted to keep moving the chains no matter what it took.’
He later added: ‘Tom did a great job finding guys, the open guys. We just wanted the momentum for the rest of the game.’
One of those guys Brady found in a big way was Julian Edelman, who had the biggest catch of the game.
With less than three minutes on the clock and down by eight points, Edelman somehow managed to get his hands on a tipped pass that bounced off the leg of a Falcons defender.
White said of the play: ‘It was a big play in the game. It seems like there is one of those catches every Super Bowl. I’m glad it went our way this time.’
Edelman seemed to play down his big moment though, saying: ‘It was only good if we won the game. Thankfully we did.’
Meanwhile, after the game, someone with access to the New England Patriots locker room at NRG Stadium in Houston managed to pick off Brady and run off with the quarterback’s jersey.
A befuddled Brady could be seen telling Patriots owner Bob Kraft in a video posted by Around the NFL writer Dan Hanzus: ‘Somebody stole my game jersey.’
Kraft, who was passing out celebratory cigars to the team at the time then told Brady: ‘Well, you better look online.’
When asked later by ESPN about the jersey, Brady said it was still missing, adding: ‘It will be on eBay soon, I guess.’
USA Today reported that Brady was quite upset when he first realized the jersey had gone missing, and that other players were helping him attempt to locate it in the locker room.
‘It was right here. I know exactly where I put it,’ said Brady.
He later added while looking for the now-priceless garment of clothing: ‘This is not good. It was right here and now I don’t have it. Not good.’
The win on Sunday reunited Kraft meanwhile with the man who used to be one of his closest friends, Goodell.
The longtime friendship between the two came to an abrupt end after Goodell’s decision to fine Brady $1million and suspend him for four games in the wake of the Deflategate scandal.
Kraft said earlier in the week that he would keep up appearances if he had to interact with Goodell, a man who holds his current position in the league because of the Patriots owner.
‘I don’t know if it will ever be the same, but in order to do what is best for the Patriots franchise long term, I believe it is best to compartmentalize and move on,’ said Kraft.
‘Like our quarterback, I am trying to remain positive and look to the future rather than dwell on the past.’
When asked about the possible trophy presentation that could be less than a week away, Kraft said: ‘I’m not going to speak to that. I hope we do win, then we can talk about it.’
Kraft however was not very subtle after receiving the trophy.
‘Two years ago we won our fourth Super Bowl down in Arizona and I told our fans that was the sweetest one of all,’ Kraft told the crowd on Sunday.
‘But a lot has transpired over the last two years and I don’t think that needs any explanation. I want to say to our fans, brilliant coaching staff and players who are so spectacular, this is unequivocally the sweetest. I’m proud to say for the fifth time, we are all Patriots.’
It was an remarkable turnaround from the moment that Brady was left humiliated late in the second quarter by the first postseason pick-six of his illustrious career as Robert Alford intercepted the quarterback and ran the ball back 82 yards for a touchdown.
It had appeared that the Patriots might finally get on the scoreboard during the drive, but Tom Brady was under pressure when he unloaded the third-down pass.
As the two teams headed off the field, they were replaced by Lady Gaga and her halftime show, which despite her teasing, did not protest the presidency of Donald Trump and largely played it safe with a barnstorming set of hits.
The roof, which was closed for the game was opened slightly for Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl halftime show allowing her to be spectacularly lowered onto the stage where she stunned the Houston crowd.
Gaga, who’s been vocal about her opposition to Trump, opened her halftime performance with ‘This Land is Your Land’, the anthem by leftist folk legend Woody Guthrie that has come to be seen as an alternative national anthem for the United States.
Gaga then mixed up her biggest songs – from ‘Let’s Dance’ and ‘Poker Face’ to ‘Born This Way’ – an anthem of inclusion in which she speaks of acceptance of people regardless of ethnicity or sexual orientation.
Twitter lit up as she performed that second song in front of Vice President Mike Pence, which includes the line: ‘No matter gay, straight or bi / Lesbian, transgendered life / I’m on the right track baby / I was born to survive.’
Gaga’s performance was praised as ‘incredible’ by Ivanka Trump.
Earlier, the Patriots quarterback had suffered a nightmare start in his bid for a record fifth Super Bowl ring as the Falcons stormed to 14-0 lead over the New England Patriots.
In front of an estimated television audience of 100 million, including President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump watching in Mar-a-Lago in Florida, Brady toiled as the Falcons dominated the first two quarters.
The Falcons made the breakthrough through Devonta Freeman early into the second quarter and doubled their lead soon after when Ryan found Austin Hooper to end a fantastic play.
And just before half-time Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 41-yard field goal with 2 seconds left putting the New England Patriots finally on the scoreboard.
Prior to the game on Sunday no team had ever won a Super Bowl after trailing by more than ten points.
Three teams have overcome 10-point deficits to win the Super Bowl. The most recent was Brady and the Patriots two years ago against the Seattle Seahawks.
And to add to their impressive statistics the Atlanta Falcons have already defeated two Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks this postseason.
Only one team has ever defeated three starting Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks in the same postseason, according to Elias.
That was seven years ago when the New Orleans Saints won the Super Bowl over Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts, after wins over Kurt Warner and Brett Favre in the NFC playoffs.
Atlanta got to Super Bowl 51 with NFC playoff wins over Russell Wilson (Seattle Seahawks) and Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers).
Earlier a happy and healthy looking President George H.W. Bush was given a rapturous standing ovation as the guest of honor at the Super Bowl coin toss in Houston on Sunday night.
The 92-year-old seemed to have recovered from his recent bout of ill health last month, which put him in an ICU and forced him to miss the inauguration of President Donald Trump and the watching Vice President Mike Pence.
Taking to the field in a wheelchair, while his wife Barbara was driven on in a buggy, the 92-year-old former president beamed a wide smile and acknowledged the applause from his home crowd.