From a Giants hoodoo to the greatest comeback ever - Brady & Belichick's seven Super Bowls
Tom Brady and Bill Belichick enter their eighth Super Bowl on Sunday. Here we look at their previous seven appearances.
Tom Brady and Bill Belichick will contest their eighth Super Bowl on Sunday when the New England Patriots face the Philadelphia Eagles.
Brady and Belichick are already widely regarded as the best quarterback and head coach pairing in NFL history.
And, though victory would see Brady become the first player to win six Super Bowls, for many another Lombardi Trophy in Super Bowl LII would simply be resume padding for him and Belichick.
But how did the pair get to this point? Here we look at their previous seven Super Bowl appearances.
Super Bowl XXXVI: New England Patriots 20, St. Louis Rams 17
Super Bowl XXXVI is the last time Brady has been an underdog with the Lombardi Trophy on the line, and few would have expected him to prevail when the St. Louis Rams and their "greatest show on turf" offense recovered from a 17-3 deficit to tie the game at 17-17.
But, with 41 seconds left and no time outs Brady led the Patriots down the field and set up a 48-yard field goal that Adam Vinatieri nailed. "What Tom Brady just did gives me Goosebumps," famed broadcaster John Madden said.
Super Bowl XXXVIII, New England Patriots 32, Carolina Panthers 29
Despite coming into the game on a 14-game winning streak and boasting the league's best defense, the Patriots needed a large of stroke of fortune to beat the Carolina Panthers.
New England trailed for the first time since Week 12 after Muhsin Muhammad's 85-yard score and the game was tied at 29-29 with just 68 seconds left. But Panthers kicker John Kasay sent the ensuing kick-off after Ricky Proehl's score out of bounds, giving New England the ball at their own 40-yard line. Brady did the rest and set up Vinatieri for another title-winning kick.
Super Bowl XXXIX, New England 24, Philadelphia Eagles 21
Despite Eagles star wide receiver Terrell Owens making nine catches for 122 yards just seven weeks after breaking his leg, the Patriots held off the Eagles as Brady found Super Bowl MVP winner Deion Branch 11 times for 133 yards.
Brady engineered two textbook drives in the fourth quarter to give the Patriots a 10-point cushion. Donovan McNabb answered for the Eagles but questionable clock management by Philadelphia coach Andy Reid helped put paid to their hopes, which were ended for good when Rodney Harrison intercepted McNabb with nine seconds left. However, it would be 10 years before the Patriots lifted the Lombardi Trophy again.
Brady and Belichick's first Super Bowl loss came in remarkable circumstances as New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning led an improbable drive to end the Patriots' hopes of a perfect 17-0 season.
Manning escaped a collapsing pocket on third down to find David Tyree, who made a now infamous play known as the 'helmet catch'. Tyree made the catch over the middle pinning the ball to his helmet before Manning hit Plaxico Burress with to pull off arguably the greatest upset in NFL history.
Super Bowl XLVI, New York Giants 21, New England Patriots 17
The Giants again defied Brady in a rematch of four years earlier, despite the Patriots scoring 17 unanswered points to overturn a 9-0 deficit.
After a key drop by Patriots wideout Wes Welker, Manning produced a stunning sideline pass to Mario Manningham that led to a go-ahead touchdown run by Ahmad Bradshaw. Brady still had time to respond but a Hail Mary attempt failed as the Giants held on.
Super Bowl XLIX, New England 28, Seattle Seahawks 24
In a prelude to the comeback that followed two years later, Brady, with the Patriots trailing 24-14 to the Seattle Sehawks, produced a masterful fourth-quarter performance to give New England a 28-24 lead.
It looked as if his efforts would be in vain after a fortuitous Jermaine Kearse catch put the Seahawks in position for the winning score but, instead of handing the ball to Marshawn Lynch, Russell Wilson opted to throw to Ricardo Lockette and rookie corner Malcolm Butler produced one of the most memorable plays in Super Bowl history to intercept the pass on the goalline and secure a thrilling victory.
Super Bowl LI, New England Patriots 34, Atlanta Falcons 28
Brady's legacy as the best quarterback of all time was secured with the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history. The Atlanta Falcons seemingly had one hand on the trophy as they surged to a 28-3 lead and still held a 28-9 advantage in the fourth quarter.
But Brady produced an astonishing revival beyond the realms of what had been thought possible, culminating in overtime as James White plunged in for the score that sealed a fifth Super Bowl title.