Patriots Comeback – Execution

In Super Bowl LI (51), the Atlanta Falcons led the New England Patriots 28-3 with a little over 2 minutes to play in the 3rd quarter.  A comeback seemed out of the question, unless you were on the Patriots sideline.

Coach Bill Belichick used the formula for success that has allowed his teams to win 4 previous Super Bowls. He has preached this message to his players for years… “Do your job.”

The first half did not reflect this message.  Brady threw an uncharacteristic pick six, the wide receiving core accounted for three dropped passes, and the defense allowed Atlanta quarterback, Matt Ryan, to have a near perfect passer rating.

With the offense continuing to sputter to begin the second half, Belichick begins to remind his players of the formula for success. “Do your job.” He is telling his offense, “…complete your assignments, execute to the best of your ability and trust that your teammates will do the same.”

Later in the fourth quarter, the Patriots were down 8. The defense has done its job and held Atlanta scoreless in the fourth, while Brady and the offense found continuity. Brady was making clutch throw after clutch throw at this point, and it only took 2 minutes and 33 seconds to drive 91 yards, ending with a one-yard touchdown run from White and a successful 2-point conversion to follow.  The defense held on Atlanta’s final possession of regulation to force overtime.

The Patriots receive the kickoff in OT and go 75 yards to cap off the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history.  They made up a 25 point deficit in under 22 minutes.  When everyone does their job, and trusts their teammates to do the same, improbable becomes possible, possible becomes probable.


  • What was Coach Belichicks saying that helped the team?
  • What is something you can tell yourself to help you execute?
  • How can your team improve execution?