Deion Branch had 11 receptions for 133 yards and the Patriots’ defense
forced four turnovers en route to becoming the eighth team to post consecutive Super Bowl titles. The Patriots matched the
Dallas Cowboys (XXVII, XXVIII, and XXX) as the only teams with three Super Bowl victories in the span of four seasons.
The Eagles threatened first, driving to the Patriots’ 8 late in the first
quarter. On first down, Mike Vrabel sacked Donovan McNabb for a 16-yard loss and, after a penalty overturned an interception,
Rodney Harrison stepped in front of a pass for an interception at the Patriots’ 4.
Early in the second quarter the Eagles drove 81 yards, keyed by Todd Pinkston’s
40-yard catch, and capped by McNabb’s 6-yard touchdown pass to L.J. Smith on third-and-goal for a 7-0 lead.
The Patriots responded by driving to the Eagles’ 4, but Tom Brady fumbled
on a fake handoff attempt and Darwin Walker recovered. Later in the quarter, a 29-yard punt by Dirk Johnson allowed the Patriots
to drive just 37 yards, keyed by Branch’s 7-yard catch on third-and-3, and capped by Brady’s pass to David Givens
on the right side of the end zone to tie the game with 1:10 left in the half.
New England began the second half with a 9-play, 69-yard drive, including four
receptions, two on third down, by Branch, and capped by Vrabel’s 2-yard catch.
The Eagles put together a 10-play, 74-yard drive later in the third quarter, keyed
by Brian Westbrook’s 4-yard catch on third-and-3, and followed on the next play by his 10-yard touchdown catch to tie
On the ensuing drive, Kevin Faulk caught screen passes of 13 and 14 yards, and
had a 12-yard run, and Corey Dillon capped the possession with a 2-yard run with 13:44 remaining for a 21-14 lead.
The Patriots’ defense forced a three-and-out, and Branch’s 19-yard
catch set up Adam Vinatieri’s 22-yard field goal with 8:40 to play. Tedy Bruschi intercepted McNabb’s pass at
the Patriots’ 24 with 7:20 remaining.
The Eagles forced a punt, and beginning at their own 21 with 5:40 to play, needed
13 plays to drive 79 yards, capped by McNabb’s 30-yard touchdown pass on a post-pattern to Greg Lewis with 1:48 to play.
Christian Fauria recovered the onside kick, but the Eagles’ defense forced
a punt. Dexter Reid downed Josh Miller’s 32-yard punt at the Eagles’ 4 with 46 seconds left, and Harrison intercepted
McNabb’s pass three plays later to clinch the title.
Brady was 23 of 33 for 236 yards and two touchdowns. Branch earned MVP honors with
his Super Bowl-record-tying 11 catches.
McNabb was 30 of 51 for 357 yards and three touchdowns, with three interceptions.
Terrell Owens had nine receptions for 122 yards.