To begin the game, the coin toss was thrown by former US President George H. W. Bush along with his wife/former First Lady Barbara Bush. The Patriots chose heads but the coin landed on tails. The Falcons chose to receive the ball in the second half, therefore giving the Patriots the slab to begin the game. Both teams went scoreless in the first quarter, until running back Devonta Freeman ran for 5-yards to the end zone to put the Atlanta Falcons up 7–0 with 12:20 left in the second quarter. Tight end Austin Hooper caught a 19-yard pass to the end zone from quarterback Matt Ryan. And then cornerback Robert Alford intercepted quarterback Tom Brady to put the Falcons up 21–0 with 2:21 left in the first half. The Patriots would not score any points until Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 41-yard field goal with 0:05 left in the half to make the score 21–3.
The Falcons received the kick to begin the second half. Wide receiver Tevin Coleman caught a 6-yard pass from Matt Ryan, making the score 28–3, with 8:31 left in the 3rd quarter. The Falcons would not score again, as the New England comeback began. Running back James White caught a 5-yard pass from Brady for a touchdown, with a missed extra-point field goal, making the score 28–9 with 2:06 left in the 3rd quarter. All seemed lost for the Patriots, until Gostkowski kicked a 33-yard field goal to make it a 16-point game deficit. Brady passed to wide receiver Danny Amendola for a 6-yard touchdown with James White scoring on the 2-point conversion to make the score 28–20 with 5:56 left in the game. With 0:57 left, James White ran it into the end zone for a touchdown. Brady then made a successful two-point conversion pass to Danny Amendola, to tie the game, 28–28.
For the first time in Super Bowl history, a game went into overtime. New England won the toss, calling "heads" and chose to receive the kick. The Patriots marched down the field, and with 11:08 left in overtime, James White ran the ball into the end zone for 2 yards, therefore winning Super Bowl LI for the New England Patriots, 34–28.
This Super Bowl included many record being broken by the Patriots. In total, there were 31 by records by both teams in total that were either surpassed or matched. While, the Patriots surpassed or tied 23 of them.