The New England Patriots beat Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI in overtime. During regulation they never led the game. The only time they ever led was at the end of the game. Does this make the Patriots the first team ever to win the Lombardi trophy without ever leading except for the final results?

Equivalently, has there been any Super Bowl runner ups who never trailed except at the final whistle?

EDIT: Note that it is possible for a team to lose if they lead the entire game and the opposing team scores on a field goal that ends the game. Also for the purpose of the question, what I mean by saying not leading during the entire game is not leading in any time except the very last second of the game.

  • Okay so, looking for (A) won on the very last play as time expired/game ended, so no other plays were possible, and (B) did not hold a lead prior to that play. I'll double-check and edit my answer. Feb 8, 2017 at 18:17

2 Answers 2


It looks like the Baltimore Colts led for all of 5 seconds in Super Bowl V, but turned it around after trailing about 36 total minutes. They tied it with 7 minutes to go in the 4th, then followed that up with the winning field goal just those 5 ticks before the end of regulation.

To seek this, I found this story about Super Bowls won on late field goals. It appears this was the only one listed where the winners trailed much of the game beforehand. So this may be about the best you can get, though my methods are incomplete.


If you mean - does that make them the only winning team never to lead during regulation time?

While the play time stopped with the score, technically, the score happened at that time, so they were officially leading during game time (the last official second of the game), I believe.

The answer is yes. Since no other Super Bowl game has ever gone to overtime before, that means all other winning teams led during regulation time.

  • 1
    The only other situation I can see is if the winning team scored (e.g.) a field goal to go up 22-20 (or whatever) for their first lead as time expired in regulation.
    – Philip Kendall
    Feb 7, 2017 at 23:12
  • please read the edit section of the question
    – alamoot
    Feb 7, 2017 at 23:32

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