Ranking the Patriots’ Super Bowl wins by excitement level
1. Super Bowl LI vs Atlanta Falcons
Those numbers will be ingrained in both Patriots and Falcons team lore forever, albeit for very different reasons. With just over 8:30 left in the third quarter, New England found themselves down by 25 points and quickly running out of time to do something about it. Most fans watching the game had probably long since written off the Patriots, and it was fair to wonder if city officials in Atlanta were already drawing up plans for the victory parade route.
Then something magical happened: the Patriots scored a touchdown. James White took a 5-yard pass into the end zone, but Stephen Gostkowski missed the PAT, bringing the score to 28-9. Gostkowski redeemed himself about eight minutes later, converting on a 33-yard field goal that made the score 28-12.
Even at this point, the outlook looked grim for Brady, Belichick, and the Patriots. With less than 10 minutes left in the Super Bowl, the team was still down two scores. In a perfect world, the Pats needed to score two touchdowns and convert two two-point conversions, all in less than 10 minutes, and all without allowing the Falcons to put up any more points or bleed the clock.
Keep in mind: this was a record-setting Atlanta Falcons offense, led by MVP Matt Ryan, the unstoppable Julio Jones, and the brilliant Kyle Shanahan. Holding this offense at bay was borderline impossible in 2016-2017; hence the reason Belichick’s defense had allowed 28 points off of four straight touchdowns up to this point.
Thanks to an incredible combination of skill, luck, and maybe even divine intervention, New England somehow pulled it off. Julian Edelman’s crazy bobbling catch alone is worthy of vaulting this game up to the top spot in our rankings, but Super Bowl 51 had so much more than that.
Brady, White, and Danny Amendola were responsible for back-to-back touchdowns and two point conversions, and with 57 seconds left in regulation, the score of the Super Bowl somehow was tied. The game went to overtime (a first in NFL history), wherein the Patriots promptly won the coin toss, elected to receive, marched down the field, and rode all their momentum (and James White) into the end zone for the go-ahead, game-winning touchdown.
Final score: 34-28.
It remains the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history, and is the kind of unreal story we may never see again in our lifetime. Countless sportswriters, fans, and analysts agree: Super Bowl 51 is arguably the greatest Super Bowl in history; so it’s no surprise it takes the catbird seat in our list of exciting Patriots championship wins.