Atlanta Falcons

Re-live Patriots' epic comeback vs. Falcons with best Super Bowl LI photos

Re-live Patriots' epic comeback vs. Falcons with best Super Bowl LI photos

New England Patriots fans will never forget Feb. 5.

This is the day the Patriots completed the greatest comeback in championship history by overcoming a 28-3 deficit in the second half of Super Bowl LI versus the Atlanta Falcons. 

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

All hope looked lost for the Patriots at NRG Stadium in Houston trailing by 25 points with a little more than two minutes remaining in the third quarter. Led by quarterback Tom Brady, running back James White, wide receiver Julian Edelman and a rejuvenated defense, New England scored the final 34 points of the game to win the first Super Bowl ever decided in overtime.

It's hard to believe three years have already passed since this miracle win by the Patriots. Re-live Brady's fifth Super Bowl triumph with the best images from the game in the video above.

Curran: Would Brady recruit for a 'super team' somewhere else?

49ers' Kyle Shanahan reveals play he regrets most from Super Bowl loss to Patriots

49ers' Kyle Shanahan reveals play he regrets most from Super Bowl loss to Patriots

Kyle Shanahan will return to the Super Bowl on Feb. 2 as head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, and it's an opportunity for him to atone for mistakes he made during the Atlanta Falcons' loss in Super Bowl LI three years ago.

The Falcons led the New England Patriots 28-3 late in the third quarter of that Super Bowl. Shanahan was the Falcons' offensive coordinator at the time, and he had called a brilliant game offensively to that point. Atlanta's lead was 19 entering the fourth quarter, and teams leading by 19 or more points through three quarters in playoff history were 93-0 entering that night.

Everything quickly unraveled for the Falcons, though. Eventually the Patriots scored their second touchdown with 5:56 remaining in the fourth quarter to trim Atlanta's lead to 28-20. The Falcons got the ball back and only needed a field goal to secure the franchise's first Super Bowl title.

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

The drive started out well for the Falcons as quarterback Matt Ryan hit running back Devonta Freeman on a 36-yard pass play. After a 2-yard run, Ryan went to the air again and found wide receiver Julio Jones for a 27-yard gain on one of the most impressive catches in Super Bowl history. Jones' insane catch put the Falcons on the Patriots' 22-yard line and close enough for a field goal.

Here are the next five plays for the Falcons:

1st-and-10: Freeman rush for 1-yard loss
2nd-and-11: Ryan sacked back at the 35-yard line
3rd-and-23: Ryan passes to Mohamed Sanu for 9-yard gain, holding on Falcons left tackle Jake Matthews
3rd-and-33: Ryan incomplete pass intended for Tyler Gabriel
4th-and-33: Falcons punt

The Patriots took the ball and scored the game-tying touchdown, then clinched their fifth Super Bowl championship by scoring a touchdown on the opening drive of overtime.

Shanahan got crushed for his handling of that Falcons drive, and earlier this week, he explained that his biggest regret of the entire game came on a specific play during that drive.

"The play I regretted the most was when we got down there," Shanahan told reporters at his press conference Monday. "We hadn't converted a third down, really the entire second half. I think we were averaging 1 yard per carry rushing. So, when you do that, the formula to keep giving the ball back to someone is to go run, run, pass -- because you’re going to make it third-and-7 at the best every single time. And if you’re not converting on third downs, that makes it tough. Eventually, we did mix it up a little bit. I think we actually ran it more in the second half than we did in the first half. 

“... Finally, they got it within a score, we got it back and got pretty aggressive to get it down there. It was a second-and-(11). The last time down there on second-and-10 I called a run, we got a 2-yard loss and a holding call that put us out of field-goal range. This time, I went the opposite, tried to get a play to Julio. They played a different coverage, didn’t get the call I wanted, so I didn’t like the call. I was hoping we could just get rid of it, but they had a pretty good rush, got a sack. Once that happened, I knew we had to throw because now we were out of field goal range. Threw it the next down to Sanu -- ran a choice route breaking out, moved the chains, but they called a holding call on our left tackle, so that put us way back. You had to throw again to get back into it, and we missed it. I wish I didn’t call that play on second-and-11 that led to that sack.”

Shanahan's 49ers will play the high-scoring Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV. His starting quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, was the Patriots' backup when New England pulled off its historic comeback versus Atlanta. Losing Super Bowl LI will stick with Shanahan his entire life -- such is the nature of those types of losses --  but beating the Chiefs and finally getting to lift the Lombardi Trophy would certainly make for a nice comeback story.

Curran: No need to be bitter about Jimmy G not being a Patriot

Best of the 2010s: Ranking the 10 greatest Patriots wins of the decade

Best of the 2010s: Ranking the 10 greatest Patriots wins of the decade

Even if we were to lop off the entire first half of this Patriots dynasty -- an entire decade -- what the Patriots have done since 2010 would still qualify as one of the greatest runs any franchise has put together in NFL history.

Three Super Bowl titles. Five Super Bowl appearances. Eight AFC Championship Games. Ten AFC East crowns. It's mind-boggling. Narrowing down the list of big wins to 10 is equally disorienting. The ones that resulted in Lombardi Trophies are obvious, but after that . . . it's an eye-of-the-beholder situation. 

Your view of the rankings might differ from mine, but no matter which way you go, the end result is the same: It's been a pretty good time to be a Patriots fan.