NFL Super Bowl XXXVIII: Patriots 32 Panthers 29
The Patriots Defeat the Panthers 32-29 to win Super Bowl XXXVIII, Patriots QB Tom Brady named MVP
Tom Brady's Patriots treated the fans to another exciting finish that ended with a game-winning Adam Vinatieri field goal with four seconds remaining to edge Carolina, 32-29. as the Patriots won their second Super Bowl in three seasons.
Michigan product Tom Brady completed 32 of 48 passes for 354 yards and three touchdowns to become the first quarterback in Super Bowl history to start and win two title games before his 27th birthday.
While it took a Super-Bowl record 26 minutes and 55 seconds for the first points to be scored, the teams combined for 868 yards (481 by New England) and the game also featured the highest scoring quarter (combined 37 points in the fourth).
Vinatieri missed a 31-yard field goal on the Patriots' first possession, and had a 36-yard attempt blocked by Shane Burton with 6:00 left in the second quarter. But three plays later, Mike Vrabel sacked Jake Delhomme and forced him to fumble. Richard Seymour recovered at the Panthers' 20, and a 12-yard scramble by Tom Brady on third-and-7 set up his 5-yard touchdown pass to Deion Branch with 3:05 left in the first half.
The Panthers responded with an 8-play, 95-yard drive capped by Delhomme's 39-yard perfectly placed touchdown pass to Steve Smith with 1:07 left in the half. Delhomme beat the blitz by lofting the pass deep down the left sideline.
Brady's 52-yard pass to Branch with 37 seconds left in the half set up David Givens' 5-yard touchdown catch with 18 seconds left. New England squibbed the ensuing kickoff and Kris Mangum returned it 12 yards to the Panthers' 47. A 21-yard run by Stephen Davis set up John Kasay's 50-yard field goal as the half expired for a 14-10 New England lead.
Neither team scored in the third quarter, but Antowain Smith's 2-yard touchdown run two plays into the final quarter capped a 71-yard drive and gave the Patriots a 21-10 lead.
Undaunted, the Carolina Panthers scored on their next two possessions.
First, Delhomme completed passes of 18 and 22 yards to Smith to set up DeShaun Foster's 33-yard touchdown run to cut the deficit to 21-16 with 12:39 to play. Carolina went for the 2-point conversion, but Delhomme's pass was incomplete.
New England marched to the Panthers' 9 with the ensuing kickoff, but Reggie Howard intercepted Brady's third-and-goal pass in the end zone. Two plays later, Delhomme rolled left and fired a Super-Bowl record 85-yard touchdown pass to Muhammad for a 22-21 lead with 6:53 left. Once again, the Panthers went for 2 points and Delhomme's pass was incomplete.
New England drove 68 yards on its next possession, with Givens catching a 25-yard pass and 18-yard pass on third-and-9, to set up Brady's 1-yard touchdown pass to Vrabel, who was lined up as a tight end. A direct snap to Kevin Faulk resulted in a 2-point conversion for a 29-22 lead with 2:51 left.
Delhomme completed passes of 19 yards to Muhammad and 31 yards to Ricky Proehl before finding Proehl from 12 yards with the tying touchdown with 1:08 remaining.
Kasay's ensuing kickoff went out of bounds, giving New England the ball at their own 40. Five plays later, faced with third-and-3 from the Panthers' 40 with 14 seconds left, Brady fired a 17-yard pass to Branch to set up Vinatieri's Super Bowl-winning 41-yard field goal.
Brady, who was named the Super Bowl most valuable player for the second time in his career, was 32 of 48 for 354 yards and 3 touchdowns with 1 interception. Branch had 10 receptions for 143 yards. Delhomme was 16 of 33 for 323 yards and 3 touchdowns, and Muhammad had 4 catches for 140 yards.
Two late, winning Super Bowl drives in three seasons. Two Super Bowl MVP awards in three seasons.
Can there be any doubt now that Tom Brady is one of the great quarterbacks in NFL history?
I don't think so.
Super Bowl XXXVIII MVP: Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots
Great quarterbacks give their best performances in the biggest games, and that was exactly what Brady did. Twice. In Super Bowl XXXVI, he marched the Patriots to the winning points against the St. Louis Rams. In Super Bowl XXXVIII, he marched the Patriots to the winning points against the Carolina Panthers.
Think about how incredible that is. It's the sort of stuff that has elevated players to Pro Football Hall of Fame status. And the kid is only 26 years old.
Yet, once again, Brady was so cool and so poised beyond his years. He was everything a top-notch, championship-level quarterback needs to be.
You could base that opinion on Brady's numbers alone: 32 completions in 48 attempts for 354 yards and three touchdowns. The 32 completions broke a Super Bowl record that Jim Kelly had set at 31 in Super Bowl XXVIII against Dallas.
But Brady's excellence went well beyond numbers. For the second time in three Super Bowls, he came through in the most pressure-filled of situations one can face in football -- or in any sport for that matter.
For one thing, he did not lose his cool after suffering an interception in the end zone that allowed the Panthers to make a stunning, 90-yard scoring march that gave them their first lead of the game -- 22-21 -- with 6:53 left in the fourth quarter.
For another, when the Patriots got a huge break when John Kasay sent a kickoff out of bounds that started them on their 40 with 1:08 remaining, he just tossed completion after completion against one of the NFL's best defenses. The 37-yard drive put them in position to score their 15th consecutive victory, which Adam Vinatieri delivered with his winning 41-yard field goal.
"Who would you rather have running a two-minute drive than Tom Brady?" Patriots offensive coordinator Charlie Weis said. "I'll take him 10 times out of 10 times."
Brady took some big hits, but never went down, giving the Patriots zero sacks for the postseason. He threw touchdowns to a pair of wide receivers, Deion Branch and David Givens, and to linebacker Mike Vrabel. He played like a champion and celebrated like a champion, giving credit, as usual, to everyone but himself.
"To win this, the way we did it, is just incredible," Brady said. "Just a great, all-around game."
But Brady deserves all of the credit he can get. He can be mentioned in the same sentence as some of the all-time greats, including his boyhood idol, Joe Montana.
And give credit to Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme, who also passed for 300 yards. In fact, it was only the second time in Super Bowl history both quarterbacks amassed 300 yards. The first time was Joe Montana and Dan Marino in Super Bowl XIX.
Conventional wisdom suggested this game would be dominated by defense, and in the beginning it was. When the Patriots scored the game's first touchdown, with 3:05 left in the second quarter, it marked the latest first score in Super Bowl history.
After the first quarter, Delhomme had completed 1 of 6 passes for 1 yard. After five series, the Panthers had zero net yards of total offense. After the game's first 20 plays, the Panthers had minus-7 yards in total offense.
But just when it seemed as if the Patriots had built an impenetrable wall in front of Carolina, Delhomme got hot. The Patriots ended up allowing three offensive touchdowns of 33 or more yards, including an 85-yard touchdown pass from Delhomme to Muhsin Muhammad that was the longest play from scrimmage in Super Bowl history.
Then Brady got a little hotter. And with the Super Bowl on the line for the second time in three years, he gave the Patriots the clutch work they needed.
"Tom's going to be mentioned with the better quarterbacks playing now and in the past," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. "You can't deny his production. He's a winner. He does what he needs to do to help the team win, and he does it as well as anybody."
Super Bowl XXXVIII
SUPER BOWL XXXVIII SCORING
New England Patriots
- NE Branch 5 pass from Brady (Vinatieri kick), 11:55
- CAR S.Smith 39 pass from Delhomme (Kasay kick), 13:53
- NE Givens 5 pass from Brady (Vinatieri kick), 14:42
- CAR FG Kasay 50, 15:00
- NE A.Smith 2 run (Vinatieri kick), 0:11
- CAR Foster 33 run (pass failed), 2:21
- CAR Muhammad 85 pass from Delhomme (pass failed), 8:07
- NE Vrabel 1 pass from Brady (Faulk run), 12:09
- CAR Proehl 12 pass from Delhomme (Kasay kick), 13:52
- NE FG Vinatieri 41, 14:56
February 1, 2004
Reliant Stadium (Houston, Texas)
Super Bowl XXXVIII: Ticket and Championship Ring
Super Bowl Games & Super Bowl MVP History
Super Bowl I
Green Bay Packers 35 Kansas City Chiefs 10
Super Bowl II
Green Bay Packers 33 Oakland Raiders 14
Super Bowl III
New York Jets 16 Baltimore Colts 7
Super Bowl IV
Kansas City Chiefs 23 Minnesota Vikings 7
Super Bowl V
Baltimore Colts 16 Dallas Cowboys 13
Super Bowl VI
Dallas Cowboys 24 Miami Dolphins 3
Super Bowl VII
Miami Dolphins 14 Washington Redskins 7
Super Bowl VIII
Miami Dolphins 24 Minnesota Vikings 7
Super Bowl IX
Pittsburgh Steelers 16 Minnesota Vikings 6
Super Bowl X
Steelers 21 Dallas Cowboys 17
Super Bowl XI
Oakland Raiders 32 Minnesota Vikings 14
Super Bowl XII
Cowboys 27 Denver Broncos 10
Super Bowl XIII
Pittsburgh Steelers 35 Dallas Cowboys 31
Super Bowl XIV
Pittsburgh Steelers 31 Los Angeles Rams 19
Super Bowl XV
Oakland Raiders 27 Philadelphia Eagles 10
Super Bowl XVI
San Francisco 49ers 26 Cincinnati Bengals 21
Super Bowl XVII
Washington Redskins 27 Miami Dolphins 17
Super Bowl XVIII
Los Angeles Raiders 38 Washington Redskins 9
Super Bowl XIX
San Francisco 49ers 38 Miami Dolphins 16
Super Bowl XX
Chicago Bears 46 New England Patriots 10
Super Bowl XXI
New York Giants 39 Denver Broncos 20
Super Bowl XXII
Washington Redskins 42 Denver Broncos 10
Super Bowl XXIII
San Francisco 49ers 20 Cincinnati Bengals 16
Super Bowl XXIV
San Francisco 49ers 55 Denver Broncos 10
Super Bowl XXV
New York Giants 20 Buffalo Bills 19
Super Bowl XXVI
Washington Redskins 37 Buffalo Bills 24
Super Bowl XXVII
Dallas Cowboys 52 Buffalo Bills 17
Super Bowl XXVIII
Dallas Cowboys 30 Buffalo Bills 13
Super Bowl XXIX
San Francisco 49ers 49 San Diego Chargers 26
Super Bowl XXX
Dallas Cowboys 27 Pittsburgh Steelers 17
Super Bowl XXXI
Green Bay Packers 35 New England Patriots 21
Super Bowl XXXII
Denver Broncos 31 Green Bay Packers 24
Super Bowl XXXIII
Denver Broncos 34 Atlanta Falcons 19
Super Bowl XXXIV
Saint Louis Rams 23 Tennessee Titans 16
Super Bowl XXXV
Baltimore Ravens 34 New York Giants 7
Super Bowl XXXVI
New England Patriots 20 Saint Louis Rams 17
Super Bowl XXXVII
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 48 Oakland Raiders 21
Super Bowl XXXVIII
New England Patriots 32 Carolina Panthers 29
Super Bowl XXXIX
New England Patriots 24 Philadelphia Eagles 21
Super Bowl XL
Steelers 21 Seahawks 10
Super Bowl XLI
Colts 29 Bears 17
Super Bowl XLII
New York Giants 17 New England Patriots 14
Super Bowl XLIII
Pittsburgh Steelers 27 Arizona Cardinals 23
Super Bowl XLIV
New Orleans Saints 31 Indianapolis Colts 17