Color of Patriots Super Bowl jerseys
The Patriots will be wearing white when they play the Rams in Super Bowl LIII. Up until last year, nothing seemed like a better omen.
Prior to Super Bowl LII, the Pats had won three straight championships while wearing white, with two of them -- over Seattle in 2014 and Atlanta in 2016 -- ranking among the most exciting comebacks in history. No wonder, then, that they asked the league if they could ditch the blue uniforms they were supposed to wear and face the Eagles in white.
Be careful what you wish for. The NFL agreed, and the Patriots suffered a gut-wrenching loss.
They'll be back in white this year when they play the Rams because this is the NFC's year to wear their home uniforms. Will they be able to regain their mojo?
Here's a look at the what colors the Pats have been in during their first 10 Super Bowl appearances.
1985: BEARS 46, PATRIOTS 10
The only appearance of the old Pat Patriot uniforms in the Super Bowl. The less said, the better.
Final record in red: 0-1
1996: PACKERS 35, PATRIOTS 21
The Pats' first Super Bowl loss in white came in Bill Parcells' last game as their coach. They had ditched Pat Patriot but the uniform hadn't evolved to what it is today: The Flying Elvis was an oversized logo that spilled over the shoulder pads. This would change before they came out again in white on football's biggest stage
Record in white after this game: 0-1
2001: PATRIOTS 20, RAMS 17
The beginning of the dynasty, and the first championship of the Belichick Era. The royal blue fit perfectly on what proved to be a perfect night for the Pats.
Record in blue after this game: 1-0
2003: PATRIOTS 32, PANTHERS 29
What was expected to be an easy win over the Cinderella Panthers turned into the biggest Super Bowl rock fight the Patriots have ever had. ("Most physical game I ever played in," Rodney Harrison -- who suffered a broken arm in the fourth quarter -- insists to this day.) But Adam Vinatieri's second straight last-second field goal brought home another Lombardi Trophy,
Record in blue after this game: 2-0
2004: PATRIOTS 24, EAGLES 21
The Eagles' curious time management as the game wound down -- they didn't go into their hurry-up offense despite trailing by 10 with about five minutes to go, prompting a befuddled Belichick to ask his assistants, "The scoreboard's right, isn't it? We're up by 10, right?" -- helped the Pats win in white for the first time, and become the second team in history to win three Super Bowls in four years.
Record in white after this game: 1-1
2007: GIANTS 17, PATRIOTS 14
If you believe in karma over color -- or just karma in general -- then this game, and the catch you're looking at, should have been enough to swear the Patriots off blue jerseys forever.
Record in blue after this game: 2-1
2011: GIANTS 21, PATRIOTS 17
And to drill that point home, the next appearance was deja vu: Another last-minute loss to the Giants wearing blue.
Record in blue after this game: 2-2
2014: PATRIOTS 28, SEAHAWKS 24
But the karma changed 180 degrees in the next one . . . and they were wearing white. Question is, was it that, or Malcolm Butler, that flipped it?
Record in white after this game: 2-1
2016: PATRIOTS 34, FALCONS 28 (O.T.)
When you make the greatest comeback in football history wearing white, it's no wonder you develop an affinity for the color. It's what prompted them to ask to wear white the following year.
Record in white after this game: 3-1
2017: EAGLES 41, PATRIOTS 33
So much for karma. The Patriots were supposed to wear blue in this game -- the AFC is the home team in odd-numbered years -- but, given the success they'd had in 2014 and 2016 (and their 2007 and '11 failures), they asked for and received permission to wear white. Didn't work. They appeared on the verge of their third straight fourth-quarter comeback Super Bowl victory, but Brandon Graham's strip sack of Brady with just more than two minutes to go sealed the deal (just about) for the Eagles. It wasn't settled until the Pats' Hail Mary fell incomplete in the end zone on the game's final play; still, the turnover turned a difficult task into a nearly impossible one.
Record in white after this game: 3-2