SUPER BOWL XXXVI The Beginning
The first will always be the most special to me ,as the Patriots were 14 point underdogs, still the largest to this day. St Louis was a shoe in across the country, known as “The Greatest Show On Turf”with weapons galore. Clearly the Patriots stood no chance right?
New England decided it was appropriate to come out of the tunnel as a team instead of the traditional player introductions, a trend that’s still used to this day. This was the first Super Bowl appearance for Bill Belichick as a head coach, and Tom Brady in his first year starting.
Hall of famer Ty Law got the party started with a 47 yard pick six and the defense put a beating on Kurt Warner and the Rams offense all day. The crowd seemed to turn into Patriots fans as they led throughout most of the game.
St Louis eventually came back to tie the game at 17 a piece. Fast forward with just 1:30 left on the clock it was time for Brady’s coming out party. John Madden didn’t like what the Patriots were attempting to do, thinking playing for overtime would be smart. The former coach wasn’t necessarily wrong, he just didn’t know the kid under center like we do now.
Tom Brady as calm as ever methodically drove the offense down field to set up an Adam Vinatieri 48 yard field goal. Madden then had a different feeling, saying “What Tom Brady just did gave me goosebumps” and that he was wrong about playing for overtime. The Patriots were on the map (MVP Tom Brady).
SUPER BOWL LI THE COMEBACK
Super Bowl 51 will never be forgotten by anyone who likes sports, however the first three quarters were a nightmare. Atlanta was having their way on offense, the Patriots were turning the ball over and it was shocking.
The Patriots, however, are a very mentally tough team. With guys like Julian Edelman and Dont’a Hightower motivating everyone the tables started to turn. Brady finds James White for a five yard TD pass and things were looking up, then Gostkowski missed the PAT and fans went back to wtf mode. Gostkowski eventually redeemed himself with a FG to pull the score closer at 28-12.
Still the Patriots needed a miracle, down two scores with less than 10 minutes remaining. Atlanta was a prolific offense that year so New England needed to stop them from scoring. The Pats needed to score two TDs, along with two 2 point conversions, if they wanted that 5th ring.
Atlanta was almost impossible to stop that year, but at this point they could’ve elected to bleed some clock too. The Pats D made up for the points they allowed in the first half and Dont’a Hightower made one of the greatest plays of his life.
Hightower’s strip sack along with Julian Edelman’s acrobatic catch seemed fitting, as I alluded to earlier both guys were the vocal leaders throughout the game.
Game winning plays by big game players right there.
With the Super Bowl far from over Tom Brady and Amendola connect for a TD, and James White gets in the end zone followed by two great two point conversions and somehow this game is now tied with just 57 seconds to spare.
The second the Patriots won the coin toss everyone watching this instant classic knew the game was over. One comment that I’ll never forget was Edelman telling Brady, “let’s go win this thing for your mom bro, your mom.” She was very sick at the time, but when I heard that it was clear what was about to happen. Tom Brady with the ball and the game on the line is like Michael Jordan taking the last shot in the NBA finals, it’s over.
New England went right down field and abused the tired Atlanta defense as James White capped off the greatest win I’ve ever witnessed
(MVP Tom Brady). James White could’ve easily won MVP if it weren’t for the absurd throws Brady was making all day, he was laser focused.
SUPER BOWL XXXIX YES IT’S A DYNASTY
The 2004 Patriots might be one of the best teams of this great franchise, a dominant defense and a QB who had come a long way from 2001. New England going for its third Super Bowl in four years had a tough opponent in Philadelphia. Andy Reid leading the Eagles through the NFC with big time players posed a difficult matchup for the Pats.
The historical aspect of this win is why I have it as my Number 3 pick, as the Patriots would become the first Dynasty since the Cowboys of the 90s.
Patriot and Eagles players didn’t get along to well prior to the game, Eagle Freddie Mitchell had a lot to say about some of the Pats. One night out before the big game Freddie Mitchell tried to start a fight with Troy Brown and a few others, which would’ve ended badly unless Donovan McNabb stepped in.
This altercation probably started because the wide receiver talked about how he was going to torch the Patriots secondary, how Rodney Harrison is a dirty player and more. Unfortunately for the loud mouth Mitchell he was embarrassed in the Super Bowl. With just one catch Freddie probably should’ve known better than to mess with the Patriots. Troy Brown, the legendary wide receiver turned defensive back, locked Freddie Mitchell down and in the end got the last laugh.
This game seems to be known more for the headlines than the actual play, but there were two outstanding wide receivers, and no Freddie Mitchell isn’t one of them. Deion Branch went crazy with 11 receptions for 133 yards, which was a record at that point. Mike Vrabel also got in the mix, catching one of two TDs Tom Brady had.
Phillys best player was ironically injured and wasn’t even a lock to even play. Terrell Owens had one of the gutsiest performances I’ve ever witnessed, with nine receptions for 122 yards on a bum leg/ankle.
The Eagles were hurt by turnovers with fou,r and McNabb had three INTs alone. Another major factor was his stomach, there’s been rumors of him losing his lunch in the huddle that he denies. Andy Reid’s clock management was a head scratcher as well. He killed so much time off the clock that the Patriot players were happy to take. Philly almost made it interesting at the end, even after wasting so much time, but once again the Patriots capitalized on a game sealing INT. Rodney Harrison ended the game, which would mark the first time the Patriots won a Super Bowl without a game winning kick (Deion Branch MVP).
Part 2 will continue with my personal Super Bowl rankings. Feel free to comment on how you’d list your favorites.