The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Eight numbers that show just how crazy Patriots’ comeback in Super Bowl LI really was

The New England Patriots rallied back from a historic deficit against the Atlanta Falcons to win Super Bowl LI during overtime on Feb. 5 (Video: Reuters)
Placeholder while article actions load

When the New England Patriots trailed 28-9 entering the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LI on Sunday night, it was easy to write them off. No team had ever overcome more than a 10-point second-half deficit to win a Super Bowl before; those trailing by 20 or more points at the start of the fourth quarter had gone 0-11.

But the Patriots, led by quarterback Tom Brady, fought back and somehow topped the Atlanta Falcons, 34-28, making New England’s the greatest comeback in football history. Here are the eight craziest stats from their win:

99.6 percent: The Falcons’ win probability, according to ESPN, after Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski hit a 33-yard field goal with 9 minutes 44 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to cut New England’s deficit to 16 points. According to Neil Paine of ESPN, no team has ever overcome a lower win probability in the second half of a Super Bowl than New England did Sunday night.

8 minutes, 49 seconds: The time it took the Patriots to go from that win probability of less than 1 percent to a win probability of 50 percent, after a two-point conversion tied the game with less than a minute to go in regulation.

75 yards: The longest game-winning drive ever by Brady in the playoffs, one yard more than his previous best, a 74-yard drive against the Baltimore Ravens in a 2015 divisional game. The Patriots’ previous longest game-winning drive in the Super Bowl was of 64 yards, against the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX.

466 yards: Brady’s new Super Bowl record for yardage, set on 43 completed passes, which breaks St. Louis Rams QB Kurt Warner’s mark (414 yards) against the Tennessee Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV. It is only the fourth time since the merger of 1970 that a team has allowed 450 or more passing yards in a playoff game.

93: Total number of plays run by New England, breaking the NFL record (regular season and playoffs) set by the Pittsburgh Steelers (84) in Super Bowl XXX. Atlanta ran 46 plays.

14: Receptions by James White, breaking the previous Super Bowl record set by Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (13 catches) during Super Bowl XLVIII. If not for Brady’s out-of-this-world heroics, White would be the game’s most valuable player. He had 110 yards and a touchdown in the passing game and added two more scores on the ground.

37: The number of times New England moved the chains against Atlanta, a Super Bowl record, to join the 1984 San Francisco 49ers as the only Super Bowl teams to have at least 30 first downs.

5: Football is a team sport, but Brady is now the only quarterback in NFL history to have five Super Bowl rings. He has been named MVP in four of those wins.

More from Super Bowl LI:

Tom Brady, Patriots rally to beat Falcons in overtime to win fifth Super Bowl

Brewer: Patriots show they’ve got guts with record Super Bowl comeback

Tom Brady didn’t just have the best Super Bowl ever. He played the greatest football game ever.

Julian Edelman’s Super Bowl miracle catch gives Patriots answer to David Tyree

Tom Brady on his missing Super Bowl jersey: ‘It’s going to be on eBay soon, I guess’

Deflategate ended with Super Bowl LI and Roger Goodell heard the boos to prove it

Trump left his Super Bowl party just as the Patriots began their historic rally

‘And sisterhood’: Schuyler Sisters put their own spin on ‘America the Beautiful’

Fans feeling weird about Trump-Brady tie find a way to cheer for Patriots without guilt

Company forced to retool Super Bowl ad that depicted Trump’s border wall. See full ad here.

Couch Slouch: Patriots’ comeback darkens a nation’s already dark hour

Julian Edelman one-upped Julio Jones’s insane fourth-quarter Super Bowl catch

Gisele Bundchen had a classic reaction to the best Super Bowl ever

Police: Super Bowl drunk drivers will be subjected to Justin Bieber ad

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones loudly booed at Super Bowl

$11 for a soda? Super Bowl concession prices were through the roof.