New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady raises the Vince Lombardi Trophy after defeating the Atlanta Falcons in overtime at the NFL Super Bowl 51.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady raises the Vince Lombardi Trophy after defeating the Atlanta Falcons in overtime at the NFL Super Bowl 51. Darron Cummings

Brady's bunch of five after Super Bowl comeback

AMERICAN FOOTBALL: The New England Patriots have completed the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history, fighting back from 25 points down early in the second half to defeat the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in overtime.

Superstar quarterback Tom Brady and coach Bill Belichick claimed record fifth titles as the Falcons, led by season MVP Mat Ryan, were denied a maiden Super Bowl crown in the most painful fashion.

"We all brought each other back," Brady said.

"We never felt out of it. It was a tough battle. They have a great team.

"It took a lot of mental toughness. We're going to remember this for the rest of our lives."

Before the stunning rally, New England already held the biggest comeback in the final period when it turned around a 10-point deficit to beat Seattle two years ago.

The Super Bowl went to overtime for the first time ever following an unbelievable offensive display in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. The Falcons had led 28-3 early in the second half.

Receiver Danny Amendola levelled the scores and sent the game into overtime with a 2-point conversion after Brady threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to running back James White in the final minute-and-a-half of the game.

Winning the toss to receive the ball first in overtime, Brady led his team downfield before finding White again two yards from the end zone for the game-winning score.

The first quarter was a stalemate between the highest ranked offense and the league's stingiest defence, with both teams unable to find any points.

The Falcons struck first in the second quarter. A big drive led by Ryan's favourite target Julio Jones sent Atlanta into Patriots territory and set them up in the red zone.

Running back Devonta Freeman took the handoff from Ryan to scamper for a touchdown.

As the Patriots failed to convert on their opportunities in Falcons territory, Texan native Austin Hooper made the most of his chance, making a 19-yard touchdown catch on his first reception of the game.

Brady was under pressure from the Falcons defence and Atlanta cornerback Robert Alford closed in on a pass intended for Amendola and ran away for a dramatic 82-yard score, the first for Brady in 34 post-season games.

The Patriots only narrowly avoided being shut-out by the half with Stephen Gostkowski kicking a 41-yard field goal in the final seconds before Lady Gaga's half-time extravaganza dazzled the 70,807-strong crowd in Houston.

The Falcons picked up where they left off at the start of the second half, extending their lead to 28-3 courtesy of Ryan's second touchdown throw of the day, this time finding running back Tevin Coleman.

Running out of time and trailing by more than three touchdowns Brady sped up New England's offence to get Atlanta on their heels.

Collecting a five-yard pass, White finally got the Patriots their first touchdown.

Gostkowski missed the extra point kick, and was flagged on the ensuing onside kick attempt for touching the ball before it had travelled 10 yards as Atlanta recovered the ball.

The momentum was all with New England, though, as they rallied to come back from a 25-point deficit to force the game into overtime and steal a miraculous victory from Atlanta, who will remain without a Super Bowl title a little while longer.