Patriots Outduel Panthers 32-29 in Super Bowl XXXVIII

Unforgettable Games

Super Bowl XXXVIII: New England Patriots Vs. Carolina Panthers

Before the game

In the week leading up to the Super Bowl, everyone was going on and on about the Pats win streak (which stood at 14 prior to the Super Bowl). The Panthers had just finished dominating the Eagles in their own stadium 14-3. Confidence was sky high in Carolina.

However, outside of Charlotte, most the the United States felt the Patriots had this one wrapped up.

Despite the Panthers knocking off the top two seeds in the NFC playoffs, the Patriots were favored by seven.

Adam Vinatieri kicked a 41-yard field goal with four seconds remaining as the Patriots won their second Super Bowl in three seasons. 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.

What more could you want?
Super Bowl XXXVIII had it all, making it the best ever

HOUSTON -- Greatest Super Bowl of all time.

The Jets' upset in Super Bowl III wasn't a great 60-minute game, it was simply an event that marked a sea change in pro football. The 49ers' 92-yard drive to beat Sam Wyche's Bengals in XXIII was fun, but the game wasn't a classic. Tennessee-St. Louis four years ago was my personal favorite (head-knocking defense, some great long plays, the Kevin Dyson stretch) until XXXVIII.

Now this was a wonderful championship battle, full of everything that makes the game dramatic, draining, enervating, maddening, fantastic, exciting -- and makes you so ridiculously upset that there is no more football, real football, for seven months.