Shutterstock/Joseph Sohm

The current landscape of American Football shows the New England Patriots as a powerhouse, but it wasn’t always that way. On February 3rd, 2002 The New England Patriots began their journey to domination by winning their first Superbowl. Let’s take a look back at how events unfolded on that faithful night.

Today the Patriots are tied for the most Superbowl wins of any team (six, with Pittsburgh Steelers) and hold the record for the most Superbowl appearances (eleven). They are therefore the greatest football team in the history of the sport. To make this accomplishment even more impressive, the patriots only won their first Superbowl in 2002. 

After the events of September 11th, 2001, the Superbowl was one of the highest security events to ever take place. America was still in mourning and the greatest American sporting extravaganza was seen as a possible target for further terrorist activity and as a source of inspiration for the country on the road to moving on from such a tragedy.

In the American Football Conference Patriots played with their starting quarterback, Drew Bledsoe. After he was injured the relatively young and unknown Tom Brady stepped in (drafted in 2000). When Bledsoe returned from injury Bill Belicheck decided to stay with Brady at the helm, a decision met with much controversy and a decision that would prove key in making the Patriots the greatest team in history.

On that night the Rams were heavy favorites. The offense alone was nicknamed “the greatest show on turf” and the overall team was suggested to be one of the best of all time after winning the Superbowl in 2000. The Patriots were successful in putting a stop to the wicked offense and were able to implement a number of turnovers. Tom Brady was a key figure. 

While the hero of the night was Adam Vinatieri who kicked a 50 yard field goal to win the game (the first time a Superbowl was ever won with points scored after the clock expired) the MVP on the night and on many nights in the future was Brady. Brady completed 16 of 27 passes for 145 yards and scored one touchdown. The night will live long in the memory as while many were looking at the Rams as one of the greatest teams of all times, the greatest of all was emerging on the other side of the field.