Patriots win Super Bowl
HOUSTON (AP) — Humdrum?
Hardly. What was supposed to be a colossal bore turned into one
of the most exciting Super Bowls ever with a thrilling back-and-forth
final quarter that Adam Vinatieri finished off with his foot.
Tom Brady set up Vinatieri’s 41-yard field goal with four
seconds left to give the New England Patriots their second NFL
championship in three seasons with a 32-29 victory over the Carolina
Not only did Vinatieri win this one Sunday night, he did the same
thing two years ago, beating the St. Louis Rams on the final play
of the game.
“Nobody makes all of them. But if you’ve got to have
one kick with everything on the line, he’s the one you want
kicking it,” Patriots’ coach Bill Belichick said. “It
was an awesome kick. It was a great kick. That’s the game.
That’s what Adam’s here for.”
Most of the first half did live up to the predictions that two
defensive teams would make for a dull game. They were scoreless
for nearly 27 minutes, the slowest start in Super Bowl history,
and Vinatieri missed one field goal and another was blocked.
But that changed in the final three minutes of the first half
and again in the fourth quarter, when the teams combined for 37
points, the most in any quarter of any Super Bowl.
The scoring never stopped.
The Patriots were ahead. The Panthers were ahead.
The Patriots were ahead, then the Panthers tied it.
And then came the most reliable foot in football.
“You know you might have a chance at the end of the game
to win it,” Vinatieri said. “I looked up and it was
going right down the middle.”
It wouldn’t have been possible without Brady. He finished
32-of-48 for 354 yards and three touchdowns. The 32 completions
were a Super Bowl record.
“To win this the way we did is incredible, unbelievable.
A great all-around game,” he said. “I don’t know
how I do it.”
Brady was voted the game’s Most Valuable Player for the second
time in three seasons, although he did throw a second-half interception
that prevented New England from winning more easily.