Ranking the New England Patriots first 9 Super Bowl appearances

03 Feb 2002: Quarterback Kurt Warner
03 Feb 2002: Quarterback Kurt Warner /
5 of 6
New England Patriots
03 Feb 2002: Quarterback Kurt Warner /

2. Super Bowl XXXVI

New England Patriots 20, St. Louis Rams 17

The first Super Bowl win for a franchise is always so, so sweet. In most cases, it’s the best one, but New England has had so many great games. Still, this is the game that started the dynasty. The Patriots were underdogs against the high-flying Rams, but the physical defense was a factor. New England jammed wide receivers and running back Marshall Faulk all night long. St, Louis failed to get into a good rhythm, and that gave Brady and co. a chance.

The Rams only mustered a field goal in the first half, but the Patriots scored 14 of their own. Ty Law picked off Kurt Warner and returned it 47-yards for a score midway through the second quarter, and later Tom Brady found David Patten for a touchdown as well.

In the second half, the Rams comeback began. After an Adam Vinatieri field goal made it 17-3 New England, St. Louis scored two straight touchdowns. Both came in the fourth quarter as Kurt Warner ran one in and threw one to Ricky Proehl. It looked like the Patriots were fading away. Instead, they did what most thought was impossible.

Tom Brady got the ball back with little time left, and instead of playing for overtime he went out to win the game. He drove New England’s offense down the field and clocked the ball in time for Vinatieri to attempt a 48-yard game-winning field goal. He nailed it, right down the middle, and the Patriots were Super Bowl champions for the very first time. The rest is history.