Julian Edelman

They owed ’em one: Edelman collects on crazy catch for Pats

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HOUSTON (AP) You could say the Super Bowl owed `em one. Julian Edelman was the man to collect.

The Patriots receiver made a catch for the highlight reels Sunday – a once-in-a-lifetime grab that punctuated New England’s record-setting Super Bowl comeback, and one every bit as amazing as what David Tyree of the Giants did nine years earlier to break all those Patriots’ hearts.

The catch was the highlight of New England’s 91-yard drive that tied the game on the way to a come-from-behind 34-28 overtime win over Atlanta.

Edelman somehow got his hands pinned up against, and then underneath, a Tom Brady pass that bounced off Atlanta cornerback Robert Alford‘s hands, hit off his knee, his shin, then tried to hit the turf.

Only it didn’t.

Review upheld the 23-yard reception, the video clearly showing Edelman, with his red-gloved hands, first pinning the ball against Alford’s foot, then getting his hands underneath the pigskin as it bounced off the defender.

It gave New England the ball at the Atlanta 41 with 2:03 left in regulation, and the rest of this game almost felt academic.

The Patriots, who trailed by three touchdowns in the first half, scored the last five times they had the ball, including on James White‘s game-winning 2-yard run to cap an easy 75-yard drive on the first possession of overtime.

It gave Brady and the Patriots title No. 5 – a number that would’ve been bigger had it not been for what the Giants did to them nine seasons ago.

Then, it was Eli Manning somehow breaking away from a sack and heaving the ball downfield to Tyree, the near-forgotten receiver who somehow pinned the ball against his helmet and came down for the catch. That was the highlight play of the winning drive that ended New England’s quest for an undefeated season and kept the Patriots stuck on three titles.

They got No. 4 two years ago, courtesy of Malcolm Butler‘s game-saving interception at the goal line. This time, something nobody could draw up. Title No. 5 in Houston came courtesy of Edelman, who joined the Patriots two years after that disappointment against the Giants.

He finished with five catches for 87 yards, none more impactful than the 23 he gained on his catch that gave New England the momentum for good.

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Brady leads biggest comeback, Patriots win 34-28 in OT

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HOUSTON (AP) Tom Brady led one of the greatest comebacks in sports history lifting New England from a 25-point hole to the Patriots’ fifth NFL championship in the first Super Bowl overtime.

The Patriots scored 19 points in the final quarter, including a pair of 2-point conversions, then marched relentlessly to James White‘s 2-yard touchdown run in overtime to beat the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 Sunday night.

Brady, the first quarterback with five Super Bowl rings, guided the Patriots (17-2) through a tiring Atlanta defense for fourth-quarter touchdowns on a 6-yard pass to Danny Amendola and a 1-yard run by White, which came with 57 seconds remaining in regulation. White ran for the first 2-pointer and Amendola did the deed with a reception on the second.

Brady, winning Super Bowl MVP for a record fourth-time, finished 43 for 62, the most attempts in Super Bowl history, for 466 yards, also a record, and two touchdowns.

“You know, we all brought each other back,” Brady said. “We never felt out of it. It was a tough battle. They have a great team. I give them a lot of credit. We just made a few more plays than them.”

[MORE ON SUPER BOWL LI: MATT RYAN — WE HAD OPPORTUNITIES AND MADE SOME MISTAKES]

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 Falcons (13-6) appeared poised to take their first NFL championship in 51 seasons. Having never been in such a pressurized environment, their previously staunch pass rush disappeared, and Brady tore them apart.

“Deflategate” far behind them, Brady and coach Bill Belichick won their 25th postseason game, by far a record. It’s hard to imagine a tenser victory.

Belichick became the first coach with five Super Bowl crowns.

The Patriots won the coin toss for overtime and it was no contest. Brady completed six passes. A pass interference call took the ball to the 2, and White scooted to his right and barely over the goal line.

His teammates streamed off the sideline to engulf White as confetti streamed down from the NRG Stadium rafters.

It was almost an impossible dream for the Patriots a bit earlier. But helped by Matt Ryan‘s fumble on a sack, a spectacular catch by Julian Edelman , and Brady’s passing, they never stopped coming.

White had 14 receptions for 110 yards as the key weapon, but Brady hit seven different receivers.

Until the Patriots took charge with their late surge, league MVP Ryan was outplaying Brady. It didn’t last.

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