Defining Moments: Patriots complete greatest comeback in Super Bowl history originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The New England Patriots were headed toward one of the most embarrassing championship defeats in NFL history when they fell behind 28-3 to the Atlanta Falcons in the third quarter of Super Bowl LI on Feb. 5, 2017.
Even in the fourth quarter when the Patriots were making the score a little more respectable, the Falcons still had a 99.6 percent chance to win (per ESPN analytics) with 9:00 remaining and Atlanta leading 28-12.
The Patriots weren't going to lay down, and with the leadership of Tom Brady, they engineered the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history. Two final touchdowns, which were both accompanied by successful two-point conversions, helped force overtime for the first time in the Super Bowl era.
The Patriots won the coin toss and marched down the field for the winning score during the first possession of the OT period. The 34-28 victory secured the Patriots' fifth Lombardi Trophy and their second straight Super Bowl win after trailing by 10-plus points in the fourth quarter.
There were so many memorable plays from Super Bowl LI that Patriots fans will never forget, most notably Dont'a Hightower's strip sack, Julian Edelman's remarkable catch and James White's game-winning touchdown run.
The comeback wouldn't have been possible without so many clutch plays from players on both sides of the ball. New England's margin for error was non-existent trailing 28-3, but the players didn't panic and fought back play by play. It was a total team effort that will consume Super Bowl highlight films forever.
You can relive the Patriots' epic Super Bowl LI comeback in the video player above, courtesy of VA New England.