BOSTON (CBS) — The comeback from a 28-3 deficit in Super Bowl LI will forever be attached to the legacy of Tom Brady, who rightfully earned Super Bowl MVP honors for his work that fateful night in Houston.
Yet if anyone deserved to share that MVP honor with Brady for that historic victory over the Falcons, it would be James White.
The running back was an absolute force that evening, and the ball was in his hands when the Patriots scored the game-winning touchdown in the first overtime period in Super Bowl history.
Somehow, though, White says he never really watched the game. That was until he and most of America went into quarantine, where replays of many of these games are being aired regularly on various networks.
“It was actually my first time actually watching the full game a couple days ago when it was on,” White said in a video conference with Patriots reporters on Thursday. “It was pretty cool to see.”
In that unforgettable game, White had 14 catches for 110 yards and a touchdown, and he had six rushes for 29 yards and two more touchdowns. He also successfully converted a two-point conversion, emulating Kevin Faulk from 13 years earlier. In all, White accounted for 20 of the Patriots’ 34 points. That was a Super Bowl record for any one player, and White’s 14 receptions also made for a Super Bowl record.
Despite the eye-popping individual numbers, White spoke only about the team’s effort.
“That was a hard-fought game. We all expended a lot of energy out there. It took everybody to win that one,” White said. “Just a great comeback, great team victory. All that conditioning in the offseason and all those practices, that’s made for those moments.”
I mean. He got you to the goal line. Might as well let him take you across it.
Really calm, composed run by White. Great blocks all around but Mason/Cannon/Bennett/Edelman built a wall for him. Shaq Mason moving the 305-pound Grady Jarrett is art. Touchdown. pic.twitter.com/LndXMFept4
— Michael Hurley (@michaelFhurley) April 2, 2020
And even though White was superhuman in that Super Bowl victory, he had trouble using the replay of the game to impress anybody in his own house.
“No, my wife actually didn’t watch,” White said with a laugh. “I watched it a couple weeks ago with some friends, and they kind of left and I just watched the end of it. So my wife didn’t really chime in on it at all.”