By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
Final, 34-28 Patriots: For the first time all game, the Patriots have a lead. And they have a win.
That was unbelievable! White ran it in to the right side. And it’s over. The Pats are Super Bowl champs.
Overtime, 11:13, 28-28: Here’s how the drive has gone:
Brady to White, left side, White shook a tackle, turned it into a gain of six.
Second down: Brady, shotgun, empty backfield, five wide. Amendola deep out on the right side. Complete. Gain of nine yards.
First-and-10 from the New England 45: Hogan, deep comeback route up the left side, with tight coverage. Complete. Gain of 18 yards.
First down from the Atlanta 37: Quick pass to White, quickly tackled by Jones for a loss of three.
Second down: Brady over the middle, through traffic, Edelman somehow makes the catch. Gain of 15.
Next play: Dump to White, lots of room, Edelman blocking upfield, gain of 10. First down.
Firsst-and-10 from the Atlanta 15: shotgun, empty set, no safety over the top. Brady throws to Bennett. Incomplete. But he’s TACKLED and it’s pass interference. Ball at the 1.
Overtime: The Patriots called heads, and this time they won!
They will receive, of course.
End Of Regulation — 28-28: The Patriots faked a knee, and Dion Lewis picked up some yards, but we’re heading to overtime for the first time ever in Super Bowl history.
Lewis’ right leg hit the ground awkwardly on the play, and he’s being looked at on the sideline.
Fourth quarter, :03, 28-28: The Falcons got the ball deep in their own territory and with no timeouts. They made two quick completions before spiking the ball with 18 seconds left.
On third-and-6, Ryan took a shotgun snap with the full back to his right. With pressure up the middle, Ryan lobbed a prayer deep left. Harmon picked it off but fell out of bounds.
The Falcons had to punt with 11 seconds left. Edelman made a fair catch at the 35.
Fourth quarter: 57, 28-28: They got it! They got it! It’s a tie football game! The Patriots just pulled off the most remarkable comeback in Super Bowl history.
Brady to Amendola, he just barely crossed the line.
Fourth quarter, :57, 28-27 Falcons: Touchdown Patriots. White from the 1.
Two-point conversion upcoming.
Fourth quarter, 2:03, 28-20 Falcons: So … the Patriots are driving. Edelman just made a catch off a deflection and off the bounce of a knee and it was David Tyree part two. Oh my sweet goodness.
They still have a long way to go, but it’s first-and-10 from the Atlanta 41-yard line. Wow.
UPDATE: The Patriots went with a quick snap to get off a play before the two-minute warning. Brady to Amendola on a crossing pattern for 20 yards. First-and-10 on the Atlanta 21-yard line with 1:57 to play.
Fourth quarter, 3:30, 28-20 Falcons: The Patriots defense needed to step up. It did not. And then it did.
On the second play of the drive, Elandon Roberts lost track of Devonta Freeman in the left flat. Ryan flicked it over to the running back, who took off and ran for 39 yards.
Julio Jones then made perhaps the most ridiculous catch of all time with a sprawled out toe-tapper up the right sideline. The Falcons looked destined for at least a field goal, which would probably have iced the win.
But on a second down from the 25, Ryan was sacked by Flowers for a loss of 12 yards.
And then on a short third-and-long completion, the Falcons took a holding penalty to push them further back.
And so, after an incompletion and a punt, the Patriots take over at their own 9, trailing by eight. The stadium is filled with a “Bra-dy!” chant.
Fourth quarter, 5:53, 28-20 Falcons: Atlanta wasn’t sure if New England would onside. As a result of their formation, they take over at their own 10. It’s wild in here right now.
Fourth quarter, 5:56, 28-20 Falcons: OK. It’s a football game. Even though Brady took a sack on first down (Nate Solder got smoked by Dwight Freeney), Brady moved the chains on third down with a bullet to Mitchell. Then he hit Amendola to get down to the 7-yard line, and went back to Amendola for the touchdown in the left front of the end zone.
The Pats then ran the fake high snap, running back direct snap to White for the two-point conversion.
And it’s an eight-point game.
Fourth quarter, 8:24, 28-12 Falcons: OK … OK … well then. Dont’a Hightower came off the left edge and knocked the ball out of Matt Ryan’s hand. Alan Branch fell on the ball.
Pats take over on the Atlanta 25-yard line.
Also, Tevin Coleman got hurt. Looked bad. Real bad. A knee, probably.
Fourth quarter, 9:44, 28-12 Falcons: Maybe if the Patriots scored a touchdown there, we’d at least have reason to think we might get to see a game.
But inside the 10-yard line, Brady took a sack on first down. And then after a short pass on second down, Brady took another sack on third down. Grady Jarrett got both of them. He is a man possessed tonight.
It was a good drive before that, with Malcolm Mitchell and Martellus Bennett doing most of the damage. But it didn’t end with six, so it really went for naught.
It is a two-possession game, but time is not on their side. And those are two big scores.
End of third quarter, 28-9 Falcons: The Patriots’ defense is playing decently enough this half. They forced a punt on an Atlanta drive that started at the New England 41-yard line, thanks to a third-down team sack that gets credited to Trey Flowers and Kyle Van Noy.
The Falcons will punt from their own 44-yard line to start the fourth quarter, after taking a delay of game penalty.
Third quarter, 2:06, 21-9 Falcons: In desperation mode, the Patriots attempted an onside kick. The Falcons recovered.
Adding to the woes of the Patriots, Gostkowski touched the kick before it traveled the 10 yards. So the Falcons get an extra five yards.
Third quarter, 2:06, 21-9 Falcons: A touchdown for the Patriots. Will it mean anything? That will likely require a big turnover forced on defense. But for now, they have a touchdown on a pass from Brady to White, to make this a 19-point game with 17 minutes left.
Yes, a 19-point game, because Stephen Gostkowski missed the PAT.
The Patriots tried some trickery earlier on the drive. It was unsuccessful. Brady threw left to Edelman, and he quickly turned into a QB out wide left. Lewis was running a fade to the right side, but he was covered. Edelman tried to loft it to him, but it was unsuccessful and fell incomplete.
The Patriots did, however, convert the ensuing fourth-and-3, with Brady hitting Amendola for a 17-yard gain up the right sideline.
In all, it was a 75-yard drive. Brady has 220 yards, which might be good on another night. But this is a rough one all around.
Third quarter, 8:31, 28-3 Falcons: That might be the ballgame, folks. That might be it.
The Patriots allowed Gabriel to make catches of 17 yards and 35 yards early in the drive, and Sanu made a big catch over the middle for a first down in the red zone. The Patriots made a stop on third down, but Butler was called for pass interference. On the next play, Tevin Coleman ran to the right flat, caught a pass, and won a footrace with Ninkovich to the pylon.
It’s blowout city here in Houston. Can New England mount something, just out of pride?
Third quarter, 12:45, 21-3 Falcons: You can’t mount a comeback if you can’t catch the ball.
Hogan dropped a deep fade on first down that hit him in the hands. On third-and-12 (following a failed WR screen), Edelman would have had a catch-and-run to move the sticks, but he dropped it. He had it in his hands, and in his gut, but then he dropped it.
Allen’s punt came down on the 15-yard line.
Third quarter, 21-3 Falcons: The Patriots’ defense has at least come out of the gates steaming to start the third quarter.
Hightower stuffed Freeman on first down, before Freeman broke a seven-yard run. Then on third down, Eric Rowe played tight coverage on Gabriel to force an incompletion.
Edelman then broke off a 34-yard punt return. The Patriots re in business on the Falcons’ 45-yard line.
UPDATE: Review showed Edelman stepped out on the 47-yard line on the New England side of the 50. So it’s a shorter return. Life goes on.
Third quarter, 15:00, 21-3 Falcons: The Patriots and Falcons are getting back on the field. A good point by my colleague Joe Giza: With a long Patriots drive, a pick-six, another long Patriots drive, and then halftime, the Falcons offense will have not been on the field for about an hour when the second half begins.
Story of the first half is this: Turnovers and the line battle. The Patriots are getting bullied on the line, and that’s leading to problems. And of course, a pick-six is a killer when you’re in scoring range. Bad uncharacteristic play from New England. And an inspired team effort from Atlanta.
Second half underway…
Halftime — 21-3 Falcons: We’re halfway through this one. Enjoy Lady Gaga.
Second quarter, :02, 21-3 Falcons: Well, the Patriots are on the board. It’s a field goal, which isn’t much. But it’s something.
The Patriots put together a long drive, with James White doing much of the damage. On a play where Brady had all day to roam the pocket, White got himself open for a 28-yard catch-and-run. Later on a third down, White sprung himself open again for a 6-yard pass to move the sticks.
With a first-and-10 from the 15 with 30 seconds left before halftime and one timeout, Brady threw to Edelman, but he dropped it. Brady then threw a screen pass to White, who got the ball down to the 4-yard line. But a holding penalty on Martellus Bennett pushed the Patriots back to their 20-yard line. That was a 16-yard swing on the penalty.
On second-and-15 from the 20, Brady faked right and then threw left short to Bennett. He had nowhere to go and was tackled after gain of two.
After using the final timeout, the Patriots settled for the field goal.
Second quarter, 2:21, 21-0 Falcons: The Patriots were driving. Points were imminent. And then …. Brady threw a pick to Robert Alford. Nobody stood between Alford and the end zone, as the cornerback sprinted up the field for an 82-yard touchdown.
This is really something. The Patriots looked like they would at least get on the scoreboard. Instead, they’ve given up 14 points off turnovers.
Second quarter, 8:48, 14-0 Falcons: Patrick Chung made a great play on second down to break up a pass intended for Hooper in the end zone.
Ryan went right back to Chung on third down. The safety couldn’t make the play this time, as Hooper got around Chung for the touchdown. (Chung took a PI on the play, but it was obviously declined.)
On the PAT attempt, Shea McClellin hopped over the line, and he timed it well, but he was ruled to have been lined up over the center prior to the snap, because he had to stop his momentum before leaping the line. And Bryant hit the shorter PAT and now it’s 14-0.
The Pats defense is searching for answers right now. But really, if the New England offense doesn’t do something, this game could get away from them before halftime.
Julio Jones made another big catch on that drive, an 18-yard toe-tapper up the left sideline.
Second quarter, 10:37, 7-0 Falcons: The Falcons have all the momentum. All of it.
Brady threw incomplete to Mitchell, who was not open, on first down. Lewis ran for a short gain on second down. And Brady completed a short pass on third down to White, who could not escape the tackle of C.J. Goodwin.
Ryan Allen’s punt was not a good one, and the Falcons take over at their own 38-yard line.
The Patriots have been asking a lot of their defense thus far. But right now, to stem this tide, it feels like a turnover is necessary.
On the other side, Atlanta would be wise to keep feeding Freeman. He looks unstoppable.
Second quarter, 12:15, 7-0 Falcons: That didn’t take long. Ryan, in the shotgun, handed to Freeman, and with 10 Falcons moving right, Freeman ran left. He had an open field in front of him and was able to easily waltz into the end zone and fly across the goal line to pose for a mid-air photo.
That’s seven points off turnovers. No bueno for the Patriots.
Freeman has 71 rushing yards on six carries. He … is feeling it.
Second quarter, 12:20, 0-0: Well, Julio Jones has shown up to work.
The star receiver hauled in a ridiculous catch on the first play of the drive, with Logan Ryan providing tight coverage, for a gain of 19. Ryan went back to Julio for a deep out on the next play, and Jones made an easy catch for 23 yards.
A couple of Freeman runs now has the Falcons down on the 5-yard line, facing a second-and-1.
Second quarter, 14:08, 0-0: Huge swing there, as Brady completed a long pass to Edelman on third-and-1. On the next play, Blount ran for a short game before getting held up for a short gain, but while his progress was stopped, the ball was stripped loose. And Atlanta recovered.
That’s a huge, huge turnover, as it took points off the board for New England.
Atlanta takes over at their own 29-yard line.
End of first quarter, 0-0: The first quarter comes to a close with the score tied at 0-0 and the Patriots facing a third-and-1.
They moved the ball with a 13-yard pass to Edelman running an out to the left sideline on first down. Blount then picked up 7 yards on first down before picking up 2 more yards on second down. The third-down play will come from the New England 40-yard line.
First quarter, 1:36, 0-0: The Patriots defense answered right back with a coverage sack on third down of their own. On this one, Ryan almost got away from Alan Branch. But the big D tackle got enough of Ryan to at least inspire him to hit the deck, forcing Atlanta to punt.
Edelman returned it 8 yards out to the 18-yard line.
The Falcons did pick up a first down on that drive, with fullback Patrick DiMarco being left unaccounted for on the left sideline to make a 10-yard reception on a second-and-1.
First quarter, 5:08, 0-0: The Patriots were marching up the field and looking clinical while doing it. But then Shaq Mason gave up a sack on a first-and-10, and then on a third-and-18 after an incomplete fade route to White, Brady had nowhere to throw. He scrambled and ran back to the pocket but got absolutely walloped by Grady Jarrett for a third-down sack.
Allen’s punt was fair-caught at the 12-yard line.
Brady is 5-for-7 for 55 yards.
Also of note: the officials missed a blatant late hit on Edelman on the first play of the drive. He got smoked when he was on the far end of the white out of bounds line. Big miss there, not sure how that happens.
First quarter, 10:28, 0-0: Trey Flowers is an absolute animal. The young man just bullied left tackle Jake Matthews en route to hauling down Matt Ryan for a loss of 12 on third down. The Falcons looked like they were in business when Devonta Freeman broke a 37-yard run on the first play of the drive, but that was all they’d get.
The third-down sack was close to a strip sack, with Rob Ninkovich scooping it up and running to the end zone. But Ryan was down before losing the ball.
Edelman got nothing at all on the return, and the Patriots now start at their own 10-yard line.
Defense is the early world at Super Bowl LI, as it tends to be.
First quarter, 13:37, 0-0: Well, that wasn’t a promising start for the Patriots offense. Incomplete to Edelman on first down, a 9-yard gainer to Edelman on second down, and a stuffed run by Blount on third down. Deion Jones made the tackle on third down.
The Falcons will start at their own 8-yard line to start this game on offense after a holding penalty on the punt return.
5:32 p.m. CT: The captains headed out to midfield for the opening coin toss with referee Carl Cheffers. Former President of the United States George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara, were there too.
As the road team, the Patriots made the call: heads.
They lost the toss. Atlanta elected to defer. That means it’ll be Tom Brady and Co. starting the game with the football.
5:28 p.m. CT: The anthem has been sung. “America The Beautiful” has been sung. It’s time for the coin toss. And then it’s time for football.
5:15 p.m. CT: The clock is a-ticking now. Nineteen minutes until kickoff.
5:11 p.m. CT: They’re sending a bunch of Hall of Famers out onto the field now. It’s quite the process.
4:55 p.m. CT: The Patriots know the deal. They walked off the field after warmups with the musical accompaniment of Nas’ “Hate Me Now.”
The roof will remain closed, by the way.
4:31 p.m. CT: Tom Brady has shown up for work. He’s fired up.
When he was shown on the video board shortly after, there was a loud roar from Patriots fans, followed by a decent reactionary boo from Falcons fans/Patriots dislikers.
And then Brady got his “Public Service Announcement” treatment.
3:40 p.m. CT: The Patriots’ inactive list is out. Vincent Valentine’s name is not on it. That’s big news (he was questionable with a back injury), as Alex Mack’s bum leg/ankle is going to make blocking the big boys a chore.
As for noteworthy names on the list, Michael Floyd is inactive again. Here’s the list.
LaAdrian Waddle, T
D.J. Foster, RB
Jacoby Brissett, QB
Michael Floyd, WR
Cyrus Jones, CB
Justin Coleman, CB
Jordan Richards, S
And here are Atlanta’s.
3:33 p.m. CT: Zac Brown Band is playing out in a tailgate tent, and it’s pumping through the stadium now as a dozen or so Falcons and a slightly smaller contingent of Patriots go through some stretches. Down on the field.
1:52 p.m. CT: Folks, the field. The field is beautiful. I mean, look at this thing:
Super Bowl kicks off in roughly four-and-a-half hours.
12:24 p.m. CT: It’s getting hot in Texas. Like, Texas hot. There were some dark and dreary clouds hovering in the sky earlier this morning, but somewhere in the 11 o’clock hour, the sun came out with some force. The temperature might have gone up 20 degrees, or at least it felt that way.
As far as I know, a decision has not been made on whether or not the roof will be open for the game. There’s a very slight chance of precipitation throughout the game, so that shouldn’t be a problem. But we’ll see. That update might come roughly 90 minutes before the game, perhaps.
9:30 a.m. CT: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. And happy Super Bowl Sunday to you all.
At long last, the day for the game has finally come. The two weeks of hype and buildup are over, and it’s now time for the actual reason for all of this fanfare.
Well, sort of.
The one thing about Super Sunday is that it always takes forever. If you’re at home, you generally tend to knock those errands off the list more efficiently than normal. And if you’re here at the game, you just end up doing a lot of waiting. A lot of waiting.
But, at least we know it’s coming.
And when it does, Falcons All-Pro center Alex Mack will be playing on a broken leg. It’s been known all week that Mack has been working through a bad injury, as it was changed from “ankle” to “fibula” on the injury report. And this morning, Adam Schefter reported that it’s a fracture in the fibula.
This figures to be a rather significant issue. Standing one’s ground against the likes of Alan Branch, Malcom Brown and Vincent Valentine is a tall enough task when one has his full health. On a broken leg? That doesn’t seem possible.
But heroic performances in the Super Bowl have made made before, so we’ll see how Mack responds.
As for the atmosphere, here’s an early look from around NRG Stadium.
Stick with the live blog all day, for all updates, and analysis throughout the whole game, as the Patriots look to win their fifth Super Bowl and the Falcons look to author a major upset.