The New England Patriots will be playing in their eighth Super Bowl in the Bill Belichick and Tom Brady era when they face the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. The Patriots, who won the Super Bowl last season, went into the season with the best odds to win the Super Bowl.
Patriots Super Bowls
Super Bowl championships: 5
2001, 2003, 2004, 2014, 2016
After a slow start, the Patriots odds through the season improved and they continued to be the favorites to win the Super Bowl for the rest of the season.
Since there are only a few days before the Super Bowl, we decided to take a look at some of the greatest moments in Patriots history.
5. Tuck Rule Game
This is the game that launched the Patriots dynasty as we know it thanks to the infamous tuck rule. Late in the fourth quarter of their second round playoff game, the Patriots were down 13-10 at home against the Oakland Raiders when Charles Woodson strip sacked Tom Brady and the Raiders recovered the fumble.
However, referee Walt Coleman ruled the second year quarterback was in a throwing motion when he lost the ball, Coleman invoked the little-used tuck rule, which made the fumble an incomplete pass, keeping the Patriots drive alive.
The Patriots went on to win the game in overtime and defeated the St. Louis Rams to win their first Super Bowl.
4. Robert Kraft Buying The Team
Kraft, a Massachusetts native, bought the team for $175 million in 1994, and kept the team in the state after former owner James Orthwein tried to move the team to St. Louis.
Since Kraft has been the team owner, they have been to nine Super Bowls and won five of them. They will be going for their sixth win on Sunday.
3. Super Bowl Comeback
Some might argue that this should be higher because the team made the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history, overcoming a 28-3 deficit late in the third quarter to defeat the Atlanta Falcons.
2. First Super Bowl Win
The Patriots surprised a lot of people by making the Super Bowl in 2001, especially since quarterback Drew Bledsoe had missed most of the season with an injury.
The Patriots were the underdogs going into the game as they were going against the St. Louis Rams, who had won the Super Bowl two years before with MVP winners Kurt Warner and Marshall Faulk leading the way.
New England’s defense kept them in the game and Tom Brady was able to make a few big throws, especially on the final drive as he led the team to field goal range instead of killing the clock and going into overtime like John Madden suggested.
Kicker Adam Vinatieri sealed the win with a 48 yard field goal to give the Patriots their first Super Bowl victory.
1. Drafting Tom Brady
Every single team in the NFL passed on the greatest quarterback in NFL history during the 2000 NFL Draft, and despite all the hindsight talk from some team executives that claim they knew Brady would be great, only Bill Belichick and the Patriots were smart enough to take a chance on Brady, making him the 199th pick in the draft.
When Brady met with team owner Robert Kraft, he introduced himself to his new boss and told him drafting him was the best decision he ever made. 18 years and five Super Bowls later, you have to admit that Brady was right.
"I know you," Kraft said, "you’re the quarterback we drafted."
"Yes," Brady replied, "and I’m the best decision this team has ever made."
The kid never lacked in confidence. And he was right.
Super Bowl Betting Odds
|Eagles||+4½ -115||O 48||+155|
|Patriots||-4½ -105||O 48||-190|