A Look Back at Super Bowl XXXIX

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Super Bowl XXXIX
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On February 6th it will have been 13 years since the New England Patriots defeated the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX. That night the Tom Brady and Deion Branch led the Patriots to a 24-21 victory over Terrell Owens and the Eagles. This victory gave the Patriots their third Super Bowl in four seasons. In honor of the Patriots match up against the Eagles on Sunday in Super Bowl LII, it’s time to take a look back at Super Bowl XXXIX.

A Look Back at Super Bowl XXXIX                                                                   

Before Super Bowl XXXIX

There were two big stories surrounding the Patriots and Eagles for Super Bowl XXXIX. The Patriots opened up as seven-point favorites but were facing the reality of losing coordinators Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel. Weis was headed to be the head coach at the University of Notre Dame, and Crennel was headed to Cleveland to coach the Cleveland Browns. Next, on the other side, Philadelphia was excited about the possible return of star Terrell Owens. Owens went on to play in the Super Bowl with two screws and a metal plate in his ankle.

First Quarter

The first quarter of Super Bowl XXXIX was a defensive affair. Neither team was able to put up points in the quarter. First, Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb threw his first interception of the season to Patriots safety Rodney Harrison. The Patriots offense was off to their typical Super Bowl slow start. Later in the first L.J. Smith fumbled and the Patriots Eugene Wilson came up with the recovery. The quarter ended with 0-0 tie.

Second Quarter

The Eagles scored the first touchdown of Super Bowl XXXIX off a McNabb pass to Smith. Later the Eagles got the ball back after a Brady fumble but could not put up any points. The Patriots would score late in the half with a Brady touchdown pass to David Givens. The two teams were tied at halftime 7-7.

Third Quarter

After Paul McCartney rocked the halftime show the Patriots offense started clicking. First, Branch’s 71 yards led to a Mike Vrabel touchdown reception to give the Patriots a 14-7 lead. However, the Eagles would tie up the score again at 14-14 after Brian Westbrook caught a 10-yard touchdown from McNabb.

Fourth Quarter

Brady marched the Patriots down the field in the fourth quarter. Brady’s strong drive led to a Corey Dillon touchdown run to put New England back up 21-14. The Patriots were not finished as Adam Vinatieri kicked a 22-yard field goal to extend the Patriots lead to 24-14. The Eagles looked finished after McNabb threw another interception, this time to Tedy Bruschi.

Yet, McNabb would not be beholden to interceptions; Philadelphia rallied to cut the lead to 24-21 after a Greg Lewis touchdown reception. The Eagles got the ball back for one last shot, but could not capitalize. McNabb threw a late interception to Rodney Harrison to seal the Patriots 24-21 victory.

Aftermath

With the win, the Patriots were solidified as the first dynasty of the 21st Century. Deion Branch’s 11 receptions and 133 yards won him the honor of Super Bowl MVP. Terrell Owens had a memorable performance in the loss finishing with nine receptions and 122 yards. The win gave New England a second straight Super Bowl along with winning three out of four. On Sunday these two teams will meet again to try and claim the right as world champions. Expect Super Bowl LII to be another classic.

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