By Eric Burgher
Reporting from Houston
After leading the New England Patriots in the largest comeback in Super Bowl history, quarterback Tom Brady still had to go back and see it with his own eyes.
“There were so many plays that I got back to my room last night pretty late and I was still pretty wired so I watched the highlights,” Brady said at Monday morning’s news conference in Houston. “You just go through the sequence of all those plays and how many critical plays needed to be made.”
From Julian Edelman’s improbable catch late in the fourth quarter to James White’s game-winning touchdown in overtime, it took everything the Patriots had to come back from a 25-point deficit to defeat the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in Super Bowl LI.
Brady was named Super Bowl MVP for an NFL-record fourth time in his career. His fifth title makes him the winningest quarterback in Super Bowl history, and to quote NFL commissioner Roger Goodell before he handed Brady the MVP trophy Monday, “cementing his legacy as not just the greatest Super Bowl performer, but one of the greatest players of all time.”
Receiving the trophy from Goodell was a highly-anticipated moment after the commissioner suspended Brady for the first four games of this season for his role in the 2015 Deflategate investigation involving the Patriots. But Brady was all smiles Monday, calling it “an honor” to have Goodell present him with the trophy.
Brady finished the game 43-for-62 for 466 yards and two touchdowns, setting Super Bowl records for most passing attempts and most passing yards. The Patriots have now won five titles with Brady and coach Bill Belichik since 2002, and two in the last three seasons.
“For me to be a part of five championship teams is a great feeling just because I’ve been a part of five great teams,” Brady said. “All of those teams have been different in their own way. It’s so hard to win and we’ve just been blessed to be part of a great organization … and that’s all you can hope for as a player.”