New England Patriots week 1 history after a Super Bowl win

FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 10: Rob Gronkowski
FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 10: Rob Gronkowski /

The New England Patriots will play another primetime week 1 game this season as they raise another banner in Gillette Stadium.

With five Super Bowl wins, the New England Patriots are no strangers to week 1 primetime games. This season they’ll take on the Kansas City Chiefs on September 7th as their Super Bowl LI banner is revealed.

So far, the Patriots are perfect in post-Super Bowl win games the following season. New England players, coaches, and fans will all hope that trend continues in 2017.

Following their Super Bowl 36 victory over the heavily favored St. Louis Rams and the greatest show on turf, the Patriots opened their 2002 season against the Pittsburgh Steelers. While these games now are usually played on Thursday nights ahead of the rest of the league, New England was actually one of the last teams to play that week with a Monday night game.

The game remained close at halftime as New England had just a 10-7 lead. A 17-point 3rd quarter helped the Patriots run away with this one though. They ended up winning 30-14 over Pittsburgh. Christian Fauria, Donald Hayes, and Deion Branch all had a touchdown catch from a young Tom Brady, while Super Bowl hero Adam Vinatieri knocked in 3 field goals.

In 2004, the Patriots were coming off of their second Super Bowl win in three years. They had taken down the Carolina Panthers, and they were facing their rival Indianapolis Colts on a Thursday night.

This game was a fun one to watch, and it was extremely close. The 1st quarter was a grind and the only points came off of a Vinatieri field goal. In the 2nd quarter, Both teams got going a bit. The Colts began with a field goal and then a TD run from Dominic Rhodes. New England then came back to knot the game up at 10 with a 16-yard pass from Brady to Branch. Peyton Manning came back with a score of his own though, a short 3-yard pass to Marvin Harrison. Vinatieri added a field goal as the half ended to trim the Indy lead to 17-13.

The 3rd quarter belonged to the New England Patriots. They shut down Peyton Manning and the Colts while adding two touchdowns of their own to take the lead. David Patten and Daniel Graham both caught passes from Tom Brady for the scores. In the 4th, Indianapolis made it close with another Manning touchdown pass, but they fell short as New England won 27-24. The Patriots went on to win the Super Bowl over the Philadelphia Eagles, setting up another primetime week 1 game.

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New England had become a dynasty with their third Super Bowl in 4 years. Now, the team that you could argue it had all started against in the Tuck Rule game was heading into Foxboro. Tom Brady and Corey Dillon were there to dominate the Oakland Raiders. Brady finished the night with 306 passing yards and 2 touchdowns. Dillon 63 yards on the ground with 2 touchdowns of his own. He also added 30 receiving yards. Jarvis Green and Mike Vrabel each had a sack for the Patriots defense as New England won easily, 30-20.

After a long (10 season) Super Bowl drought with two devastating losses to the New York Giants, New England finally won a Super Bowl again in 2014. To open the year, Pittsburgh once again paid a visit to Foxboro. These teams battled it out, but the final score looks closer than the game actually was.

Both teams were held scoreless in the 1st quarter, but Rob Gronkowski took over in the 2nd. He hauled in 2 Tom Brady touchdown passes of 16 and 6 yards to take a 14-0 lead. Pittsburgh added a lone field goal to make it 14-3 at the half. Another Patriots TE got in on the action in the second half as Scott Chandler added another New England touchdown. A Pittsburgh touchdown, two-point conversion, and field goal made it 21-14 New England. Then, guess what? Gronk scored again. This time it was a 1-yard catch on the goal line. The Steelers added an Antonio Brown touchdown with 0:02 left to play, but it was too late as New England won 28-21.

Next: Predicting every NFL game for 2017

History has the Patriots pointing in the right direction to begin the 2017 season, even if they’ll have to do so without Julian Edelman. New England will face the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday, September 7th at Gillette Stadium. A 1-0 start is certainly what we’re all looking for to begin the new season.