By NFL overtime rules, the Patriots’ touchdown meant Atlanta didn’t get a counter-possession, and the game was over.
The game will go down as one of the best Super Bowls in the event’s 51-year history. New England fell behind 21-0 and then 28-3 by the third quarter, looking more disheveled than ever. Atlanta seemed primed to waltz to a win.
New England’s 25-point comeback that forced overtime started with about 17 minutes left in the game, on a James White touchdown grab. That turned out to be the first of four consecutive New England scores in the run-up to overtime. The last was a White 1-yard run and Amendola 2-point conversion reception that knotted the score at 28 and brought about the first overtime in Super Bowl history.
The NFL has treated fans to lots of terrible games this year, and in these playoffs. This was the grandest exception the league could’ve possibly asked for.