Super Bowl LI was filled with surprises Sunday night. After the Atlanta Falcons led the first three-quarters of the game, the New England Patriots made a comeback, pushing the game into the first needed overtime.
The Patriots pushed through the second half with a 25-point deficit and ended up beating the Falcons 34-28. With the win, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady became the first quarterback to take home five Super Bowl titles. Following the game, officials named him Super Bowl MVP for the fourth time, again, making history.
In NRG Stadium in Houston, Brady lifted the long-sought Vince Lombardi Trophy and said, “It was a hell of a football game.”
For most of the game, the Falcons held a significant lead. However, midway through the third quarter, Matt Ryan fumbled, letting the Patriots defensive tackle Alan Branch recover the ball. Branch’s recovery was the starting point in the Patriots’ comeback for another shot to win.
The Patriots brought the score back up to tie the game. During overtime, Patriots running back James White scored the winning touchdown, finishing the game with 139 total yards and three touchdowns. Brady threw him the winning pass, 466 yards — another historical moment — and completed the game with two touchdowns.
White said he saw a crease on the field before he made the final touchdown.
“You have to find a way to make a play for your team at that point in the game,” he said. “At the 3-yard line, 2-yard line, you just have to find a way in.”
While this was the Patriots’ ninth time at the Super Bowl, this was only the second time for the Falcons. The last time they made it to the final game was in 1998. They played the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXXIII.
Ryan said “there’s nothing you can really say,” with the Super Bowl loss.
“That’s a tough loss,” he said. “Obviously [we are] very disappointed. [We were] very close to getting done what we wanted to get done, but it’s hard to find words tonight.”
Hamilton stars Jasmine Cephas Jones, Phillipa Soo, and Renee Elise Goldsberry kicked off Super Bowl LI with “America the Beautiful.” Following the trio, country singer Luke Bryan performed the National Anthem.
The act who really stole the show, however, was Lady Gaga at halftime. Lady Gaga started her act from the top of the stadium. While singing a rendition of “This Land is Your Land,” Lady Gaga jumped onto the field as drones lit up behind her.
With her extravagant attire and dancers, she performed top hits since her first hit, “Just Dance.” These include “Poker Face,” “Telephone,” “Bad Romance,” and, as expected, “Born This Way.”
Lady Gaga is only the eighth main Super Bowl performer to not have any surprise guests during her set.