The Philadelphia Eagles' flight from last to first ended up with a Lombardi Trophy after the most prolific play-off game in terms of combined yardage in NFL history was decided on a defensive play.
In a record-setting shootout between MVP Nick Foles and Tom Brady, the back-up quarterback led a pressure-packed 75-yard drive to the winning touchdown, 11 yards to Zach Etrz with 2:21min to go.
Then a defence that had been shredded throughout the second half made two final stands to win the game 41-33.
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Brandon Graham strip-sacked Brady and Derek Barnett recovered, setting up rookie Jake Elliot's 46-yard field goal for the eight-point margin.
"Just kept going, you know? We said we needed a play," Graham told NBC of his play.
"If we got one more opportunity, we were going to give everything we got - and I just so happened to get there."
Then Brady got his team to midfield before his Hail Mary pass fell to the ground in the end zone.
There were 1,151 yards of total offence, breaking the previous record of 929 when Washington beat Denver 42-10 in 1988.
It was the first Super Bowl title for Philadelphia, which improved from 7-9 last season to their first NFL crown since 1960.
Foles - who became the first quarterback to catch a touchdown pass in Super Bowl history - orchestrated it with the kind of drive NFL MVP Brady, a five-time champion, is known for.
Nick Foles slings it. Pic: Getty
It covered 75 yards on 14 plays, and had to survive a video replay because Ertz had the ball pop into the air as he crossed the goal line.
The touchdown stood - and so did thousands of green-clad Eagles fans who weren't going to mind the frigid conditions outside US Bank Stadium once they headed out to celebrate.
The Patriots seemed ready to take their sixth championship with Brady and coach Bill Belichick in eight Super Bowls.
"Just wasn't quite enough against a team like the Eagles," Belichick said.
JT wows the crowd at half-time. Pic: Getty
Brady threw for a Super Bowl-record 505 yards and three TDs, hitting Rob Gronkowski for four yards.
Stephen Gostkowski's extra point gave New England their first lead, 33-32.
Then Foles made them forget Carson Wentz - and least for now - with the gutsiest drive of his life to cap off a performance of his life, 28 of 43 for 337 yards with three touchdown passes and one interception.
Previously, on the start of what was supposed to be a sixth Super Bowl game-winning drive for quarterback Tom Brady, the Patriots did the unthinkable, fumbling and losing possession after a great defensive play by Brandon Graham.
The Patriots had taken their first lead of the match six minutes into the fourth quarter, with Brady exploiting an obvious mismatch in the end zone, finding Rob Gronkowski for the score.
With the extra point going over, the Patriots leading 33-32 to set up a scintillating final few minutes.
However the Eagles would take the ball right back down the field and score another controversial touchdown, this time to tight end Zach Ertz.
The ball went over the goal line and popped out of Ertz's hands as he hit the ground.
The ruling was upheld on review, for the 13th scoring possession in the game, which set a Super Bowl record for most yards total offence.
The touchdowns had come in swift succession from the start of the third quarter, with the Patriots slowly closing on the Eagles lead.
Gronkowski used his big frame to catch a five yard pass from Brady in the first drive of the second half, after Justin Timberlake entertained the world in the half-time break.
But the Eagles came straight back, with Corey Clement scoring off a perfect 22 yard pass from Foles into traffic.
Then, just like clockwork, Brady drove the ball back down the other end of the field, throwing a 26-yard touchdown pass to Chris Hogan to get the Eagles back within three points at the end of the third quarter.
In one of the moments of the season, Eagles quarterback Foles caught a one-yard touchdown pass from tight end Trey Burton on a fourth-down trick play to give the Philadelphia Eagles a 22-12 halftime lead.
The Foles score came after Tom Brady dropped an over-the-shoulder catch on a trick play for New England on an earlier drive that ended in a failed fourth-down play.
With 34 seconds left in the half, Foles lined up at quarterback before shifting behind the right side of the offensive line as Corey Clement took the snap
Foles paused at the line of scrimmage before running to the end zone as Burton took a reverse pitch from Clement. Burton was recruited as a quarterback at Florida.
Foles and Tennessee's Marcus Mariota are the only quarterbacks to throw and catch a touchdown in the playoffs since at least 1950.
The Eagles answered a 26-yard scoring run by James White that pulled the Patriots within three. Stephen Gostowski missed the extra-point kick.
Earlier, placekicker Jake Elliott missed his own extra-point attempt and the Eagles failed on a two-point conversion.
Patriots wide receiver Brandin Cooks is out for the rest of the game with a concussion.
At halftime, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was 12 of 23 for 276 yards, and Foles was 13 of 22 for 215 yards.