After two previous Super Bowl losses in the Patriots' history, the third time was the charm. In Super Bowl XXXVI, New England was quarterbacked by a sixth-round draft pick in relative unknown Tom Brady and was up against the Rams, winners of the game two seasons before, and known as "The Greatest Show on Turf." No one expected the two touchdown underdogs to do much, let alone win, but a 48-yard Adam Vinatieri field goal as time expired won the Pats their first title, 20-17.
2 of 6John Iacono/SI
Feb. 6, 2005
Facing off against the formidable Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX, the Patriots made their third championship game appearance in four seasons. In true Patriot form, the game came down to the final minutes and an Adam Vinatieri field goal ended up the difference as New England hung on for its second title in a row, 24-21.
3 of 6Walter Iooss Jr./SI
Jan. 12, 1986
Losers of 18 consecutive games at the Orange Bowl dating to 1966, the Patriots were trying to end the "Miami Jinx" heading into the AFC Championship Game. They did so in a big way, turning six Dolphins turnovers into 24 points as quarterback Tony Eason threw for three touchdowns and running back Craig James eclipsed the century mark to earn the Patriots their first trip to the Super Bowl.
4 of 6John W. McDonough/SI
Feb. 1, 2004
A wild fourth quarter that featured a Super Bowl-record 37 points was capped by Adam Vinatieri's 41-yard field goal with four seconds left to give the Patriots a 32-29 win over Carolina. Tom Brady threw for 354 yards and three TDs.
5 of 6Matt Campbell/AFP/Getty Images
Jan. 19, 2002
In the infamous "Tuck Rule" game against the Raiders, a Tom Brady fumble was ruled an incompletion upon review and kicker Adam Vinatieri hit a 45-yard field goal late in the fourth quarter through blinding snow to force overtime. Vinatieri would connect on a 23-yarder in the extra period and the Patriots sent old Foxboro Stadium off with a win, and rode to the AFC Championship Game, and eventually their first Super Bowl win.
6 of 6Peter Read Miller/SI
Jan. 18, 2004
To get to their second Super Bowl in three years, the Patriots had to knock off visiting Indianapolis in the AFC title game. A top-notch defensive performance against the high-powered Peyton Manning-led Colts -- safety, four sacks and four interceptions (three by cornerback Ty Law) -- resulted in an impressive 24-14 win and an eventual second Super Bowl title against Carolina.
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