Data analysis: Tom Brady steals Super Bowl LI

The Falcons (13-6) seemed destined to clinch their first NFL title in 51 season when they clashed with the New England Patriots on Super Bowl Sunday.  Enter Tom Brady.

Brady, New England’s inspirational 39-year-old quarterback, turned Super Bowl LI on its head, pulling the Pats’ into the first ever overtime scenario in the NFL’s final stanza.  He then finished his work, orchestrating the greatest Super Bowl comeback of all time.

Trailing by 25 points (3-28) following Matt Ryan’s second touchdown pass for the Falcon’s in the third quarter, New England stormed back into contention to force the game into extra time, and then overrun Atlanta (34-28).

But how did the Patriots steal the Super Bowl from under the Falcons’ beak?  Well, we crunched the numbers using Business Intelligence, and developed an infographic-style of data visualization using Yellowfin’s content creation canvas, to find out.

In short: Tom Brady cemented his place as the Greatest Of All Time with a record breaking performance.

Data sources: Elias Sports Bureau,,,,,,,


The man: Touchdown Tom

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, there were 24 Super Bowl records broken, and seven more tied.  It’s safe to say that Super Bowl LI was quite literally a recording breaking event.  And, one man was directly behind, or the cause of, most of them.

Brady wrote himself into NFL immortality with his fifth Super Bowl ring (the most of any quarterback) and fourth Super Bowl MVP trophy (the most of any player).  He earned his place in history, keeping the Pats in the game and then marshalling a 19-point final quarter (including a pair of two point conversions) by completing the most pass attempts (62), pass completions (43) and yards gained (466) by a quarterback in a single Super Bowl.


The legacy

For Tom, his supremacy on the NFL’s biggest stage grows, now holding career records for the most number of games (7), pass attempts (309), pass completions (207), passing yards (2,071), and passing touchdowns (15) achieved at the Super Bowl.

For the pundits, Brady moves clear of Joe Montana (4 – Super Bowl XVI, XIX, XXIII, XXIV) and Terry Bradshaw (4 – Super Bowl IX, X, XIII, XIV) with the most Super Bowl rings of any quarterback (5 – Super Bowl XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX, XLIX, LI), tying with linebacker Charles Haley.  And, Touchdown Tom now holds the most Super Bowl MVPs (4) – one ahead of Montana (3).

Bill Belichick also becomes the first coach to win five Super Bowl crowns, with he and Brady combining for their 25th post season win: a record for any quarterback – coach combination.

As New England now turn their attention to a record equally sixth Super Bowl championship next season, Mayor Marty Walsh probably said it best when he tweeted his congratulations “to the greatest team, the greatest coach and the greatest quarterback of all time.”


The game: By the numbers

Aside from Brady and the barnstorming comeback – which overtook New England’s (Super Bowl XLIX), New Orleans’ (Super Bowl XLIV) and Washington’s (Super Bowl XXII) 10-point comebacks – Super Bowl LI contained some poignant data points:

14 receptions: Patriots running back James White set a Super Bowl record with 14 receptions

20 points: White set another Super Bowl record, amassing a total of 20 points (three touchdowns and a two-point conversion)

Falcons had 99% chance of winning: According to ESPN Stats and Info, there were 20 different moments during the game when Atlanta had a 99 percent chance (or better) of winning

Only four targets for Jones: Falcons wideout Julio Jones caught all four of his targets – though that figure represents the fewest number of times Jones was picked out in any game this season

37 first downs: New England had a Super Bowl record 37 first downs

Lucky Lewis: The Patriots remain undefeated with Dion Lewis in their side (17-0)

Biggest Super Bowl win in Patriots’ history: Despite not leading all game, New England’s overtime victory (34-28) was their biggest Super Bowl win in the franchise’s history


Where to next?

Want to find out more about how Yellowfin supports customized infographic-style data visualization? Simply:

Visit and click ‘Try It Free’ to try Yellowfin today

Check out how we designed our Halloween infographic in a video blog HERE >

Read about the launch of Yellowfin’s new content creation canvas HERE >