The New England Patriots were down, out and all but buried in Super Bowl LI. However, an epic comeback that may turn out to be the greatest in sports history allowed them to register a 34-28 overtime victory over the heartbroken Atlanta Falcons and capture the fifth Super Bowl title in team history.
While the last thing the Patriots are thinking about at the moment is the 2017 season, they are once again the favorites to win Super Bowl LII. New England sits at 6-1 odds to take home the Lombardi Trophy next season, according to OddsShark.
Much of that is dependent on the belief that head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady will once again be back to lead the Patriots next season. While Belichick is 64 years old and Brady is 39, they haven't given any indication they plan on retiring before the start of next season.
|Odds to win Super Bowl LII (Top 10 teams)|
|New England Patriots||6-1|
|Green Bay Packers||11-1|
|Kansas City Chiefs||19-1|
|New York Giants||19-1|
The oddsmakers don't believe the Falcons are likely to return to the Super Bowl next season. The Dallas Cowboys are the second choice to win the Super Bowl at 10-1, while the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks are right behind at 11-1.
The Falcons are next at 45-4 to win next year's Super Bowl. However, it may be too much for this team to get past this painful defeat.
It might seem that the Patriots might be too old and too emotionally worn out to make another run at the title, but Belichick never rests on his laurels and is always getting ready for the next game.
He is all about meticulous preparation, and he will almost certainly be making plans for the upcoming season by the time Patriots finish their upcoming championship parade and celebration.
Brady has been talking about playing four or five more years, but talking about it and actually doing it are two different things. Still, it seems likely Brady will be back under center for the Patriots in 2017.
The Pats start off as favorites because they reside in a division they continue to dominate. While the Miami Dolphins became a playoff team in 2016, second-year head coach Adam Gase will have a lot of work to do if his team is going to push the Patriots for the division title.
New England showed off its explosiveness on offense with a remarkable fourth-quarter comeback. It trailed by a 28-3 margin before scoring the final 31 points of the game.
It was not shocking to see James White and Malcolm Mitchell making the key plays that helped the Patriots win the game. Belichick never depends on the big names or the expected players to come through. He goes with the hot hands, and that appeared to put the Falcons on their heels.
Head coach Dan Quinn, quarterback Matt Ryan and the defense had the Patriots reeling and the Lombardi Trophy within their grasp, but they could not close the deal. They will have an entire offseason to think about it, and if they don't find a way to overcome, the key performers may be thinking about this loss for a lifetime.
The Patriots' epic comeback in Super Bowl LI will live forever because it is the fifth title in the Belichick-Brady era, and it came in the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history.
Brady threw for 466 yards and two touchdowns, and he brought home his fourth Super Bowl MVP award.
Super Bowl LII will be played at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, the state-of-the-art home of the Minnesota Vikings.