Greatest Patriots Super Bowl moments of all-time
In the 2001 regular season and 2002 playoffs, the New England Patriots were the little underdog that could. They had an unexpected Super Bowl run that saw young upstart Tom Brady take over for Drew Bledsoe and quickly establish himself as a solid starter.
The Patriots would finish off the 2002 postseason by shocking the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl 36. And after that, the question became, was that a flash in the pan? Or was it the start of something great?
Of course, it turned out to be the latter.
Over the past two decades, the Patriots have been to nine Super Bowls and won six. Those six titles have tied the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most in NFL history and the wins have left Patriots fans with many fond memories.
Here's a look at the team's greatest Super Bowl memories from the Tom Brady-Bill Belichick Era.
Super Bowl 36: Ty Law's pick-six
Not many believed the Patriots would have a chance to beat "The Greatest Show on Turf" Rams. But early on, they got a boost from their defense when Ty Law had a 47-yard pick-six that afforded the team an opportunity to build an early lead. That sparked the Patriots a bit and shocked the heavily favored Rams, who trailed 14-3 at the half and would go on to lose 20-17 on Adam Vinatieri's 48-yard field goal.
Super Bowl 36: The dynasty begins
With the Patriots and Rams tied at 17 late in the fourth quarter, color commentator John Madden famously said the Patriots should take a knee and play for overtime. Instead, Tom Brady led a game-winning drive that culminated with a clutch 48-yard kick from Adam Vinatieri. Bill Belichick's decision paid off and gave the Patriots their first Super Bowl victory.
Super Bowl 38: Vinatieri does it again
Another Super Bowl, another game-winning field goal in a pressure moment for Vinatieri. This time, it was a 41-yard field goal with just four seconds left as the Patriots captured their second title.
Super Bowl 39: Rodney Harrison's interception seals deal
The Patriots defense played very well against the Eagles and got consistent pressure against Donovan McNabb. They put the game away with nine seconds left when Rodney Harrison grabbed an interception on a desperate drive by Philly with no timeouts left.
Super Bowl 49: Malcolm Butler becomes a legend
With 26 seconds left and the ball at the 1-yard line, the Seahawks elected not to give the ball to running back Marshawn Lynch. Instead, they threw a short slant to Ricardo Lockette, but undrafted rookie Malcolm Butler famously stepped in front of the pass and intercepted it. Almost-certain defeat turned to victory as the Patriots were able to run out the clock to capture their first Super Bowl title in a decade.
Super Bowl 51: Dont'a Hightower strip sacks the MVP
The Patriots had trailed the Falcons 28-3 earlier in Super Bowl 51 before they were able to spark a comeback. However, they had just settled for a field goal to cut the deficit to 28-12. On the ensuing Atlanta possession, Dont'a Hightower was able to pressure Matt Ryan and get a strip-sack. Alan Branch jumped on the ball to give the Patriots excellent field position and the comeback began in earnest.
Super Bowl 51: The Edelman catch
The Patriots needed a tying drive with less than three minutes left, but they nearly lost their chance to get one. Robert Alford nearly picked off a pass that was tipped into the air. Julian Edelman was somehow able to dive for the ball as it hit off Alford's shoe and turned it into a 23-yard gain. The play was challenged but upheld, as Edelman was barely able to get his hands under the ball.
Super Bowl 51: James White completes the comeback
In overtime, the Patriots won the coin toss and drove down the field to score a game-winning touchdown against the Falcons. James White capped off his huge day (20 touches, 139 yards, three total touchdowns) with a 2-yard touchdown run to complete the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history.
Super Bowl 53: The Gronk catch
Despite being banged-up and clearly a step slower than previous seasons, Rob Gronkowski made one of the biggest plays of Super Bowl 53. He caught a 29-yard pass from Tom Brady in the fourth quarter to set up the only touchdown of the game for either side. Vintage Gronk showed up at just the right time for the Patriots, as that ensuing score was all they needed to win.
Super Bowl 53: Stephon Gilmore's interception
The Rams were driving with a chance to cut the Patriots lead late in the Super Bowl when Jared Goff made an ill-advised throw toward Stephon Gilmore. The star cornerback made a terrific leaping interception and came down with it to give the Pats the ball. New England would go on to kick a field goal on the next drive that gave them an insurmountable 10-point lead.