By all accounts, the New England Patriots were a confident bunch during halftime of Super Bowl LI, despite the fact they trailed the Atlanta Falcons by 18 points at the time. Quietly confident, according to Martellus Bennett.
Bennett, who now plays for the Green Bay Packers, recalled in an interview with Inc. what the mood was like inside the Patriots’ locker room.
“In the Super Bowl, we were down,” the tight end said. “We were getting our (butts) kicked. But the most interesting thing about that Super Bowl was that it took that collective group of guys to be together to come back. We came into the locker room at halftime, and there was no bickering, there was no bitching, there was no complaining, there was no moaning. There was no throwing chairs. There was none of this epic ‘We’re going to come back,’ ‘Rudy,’ ‘Remember the Titans’-type speech. There was none of that TV (stuff).
“But when you looked around the locker room, you didn’t see anyone that was discouraged, and you didn’t see doubt in anyone’s eyes. And that’s, like, all 53 guys. You looked around and you could see that everybody was determined to figure out what they could do to help us win.
“So we went back out there at halftime. We got up, Coach (Bill Belichick) gave all the coaching points, all the changes. I was like, ‘All right, coach. This is the plan you have, Coach. I trust you. This is what you think is going to win. That’s exactly what we’re going to do.’ And I’m going to do my part, my small equation of the 11 that is on the field at the time. (We) put our hands up, (and said), ‘Hey, this is going to be written in the history books. Patriots on three. One, two, three, Patriots, break.’ We went back out, and the rest is history.”
Patriots fans know what came next. After another Falcons touchdown midway through the third quarter stretched the Pats’ deficit to 25, New England shifted momentum and mounted the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history, scoring 31 unanswered points to win 34-28 in overtime.
In the previous 50 Super Bowls, no team had won after trailing by more than 10 points.
“That had never been done before ever in the history of the Super Bowl,” Bennett said. “There had never been an overtime. There had never been a team that came back from that large a deficit. And we were able to do that.”
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