By Larry Fine
HOUSTON (Reuters) - Record-setting quarterback Tom Brady got the hardware as Super Bowl most valuable player but there were many heroes in the New England Patriots' amazing 34-28 come-from-behind, overtime win over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.
All purpose running back James White scored a Super Bowl record-tying three touchdowns and ran in a two-point conversion in a sensational performance, setting a Super Bowl record with 14 catches. His 110 receiving yards were the most ever by a running back.
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"It's really surreal," said White. "I was just living in the moment. I wasn't paying attention to how many catches Ii had, how many yards I had. I just wanted to keep moving the chains no matter what it took."
The Patriots trailed 21-3 at intermission and looked to be hopelessly behind when the Falcons scored about seven minutes into the third quarter for an imposing 28-3 advantage.
White said the Pats never lost hope.
"Once we came out in the second half we made adjustments and found the matchups," he said. "Tom did a great job finding guys, the open guys. We just wanted the momentum for the rest of the game."
A third quarter touchdown brought them within 28-9 though kicker Stephen Gostkowski missed the extra point.
In the fourth quarter, a Gostkowski 33-yard field goal made it 28-12, a two-score game provided New England could score a pair of touchdowns and two-point conversions.
"We knew it was still a game," White said. "We were real excited to let it all loose. It is the last game of the year and you're playing for a championship, so give it all you have and lay it on the line."
A touchdown pass to Danny Amendola and White's two-point conversion run made it 28-20.
A diving, juggling 23-yard circus catch by Julian Edelman amid two defenders as they all tumbled to the ground sparked the game-tying drive that knotted it 28-28 in the last minute of regulation before White's two-yard touchdown run ended it in overtime.
"It was a big play in the game," White said of Edelman's extraordinary catch that will go down as one of the Super Bowl's all-time great grabs. "It seems like there is one of those catches every Super Bowl. I'm glad it went our way this time."
Brady called the catch the greatest he has seen.
"It was only good if we won the game," said Edelman. "Thankfully we did."
(Editing by Steve Keating)