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2004 New England Patriots season

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Title: 2004 New England Patriots season  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles, Pythagorean expectation, Joe Buck, Troy Brown, Bill Belichick, History of National Football League Championship, Super Bowl XXXIX, Super Bowl XL
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

2004 New England Patriots season

2004 New England Patriots season
Head coach Bill Belichick
Owner Robert Kraft
Home field Gillette Stadium
Record 14–2
Division place 1st AFC East
Playoff finish Won Divisional Playoffs (Colts) 20–3
Won Conference Championship (Steelers) 41–27
Won Super Bowl XXXIX (Eagles) 24–21
Pro Bowlers QB Tom Brady
LB Tedy Bruschi
RB Corey Dillon
SpT Larry Izzo
DT Richard Seymour
K Adam Vinatieri
AP All-Pros DT Richard Seymour (1st team)
K Adam Vinatieri (1st team)
LB Tedy Bruschi (2nd team)
SS Rodney Harrison (2nd team)
Previous season      Next season
< 2003      2005 >

The 2004 New England Patriots season was the 35th season for the team in the National Football League and 45th season overall. They finished with their second straight 14–2 record before advancing to and winning Super Bowl XXXIX, their third Super Bowl victory in four years. They are, as of the present, the last team to repeat as World Champions.

Following a Super Bowl win in 2003, the Patriots looked to improve their running game in the offseason. Replacing Antowain Smith was longtime but disgruntled Cincinnati Bengals running back Corey Dillon, who was acquired in a trade days before the 2004 NFL Draft; Dillon would rush for a career-high 1,635 yards in 2004. Winning their first six games of the season, the Patriots set the NFL record for consecutive regular season victories (18), which was later broken by the 20062008 Patriots (21), and consecutive regular season and playoff victories (21) before losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers on October 31. In that game, Pro Bowl cornerback Ty Law was lost for the season with a foot injury. Combined with the loss of other starting cornerback Tyrone Poole two weeks earlier, the Patriots were forced to complete the regular season and playoffs by using second-year cornerback Asante Samuel, undrafted free agent Randall Gay, and longtime Patriots wide receiver Troy Brown at cornerback, among others.

With a 14–2 record and the second seed in the AFC playoffs, the Patriots defeated the Indianapolis Colts at home in the playoffs for the second-straight year, holding the Colts' top offense to three points. The Patriots then defeated the top-seeded Pittsburgh Steelers on the road, 41–27, in the AFC Championship Game. Prior to the Patriots' matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX, Eagles wide receiver Freddie Mitchell said he did not know the names of the Patriots' defensive backs, which was taken as a sign of disrepsect by the Patriots' "replacement" secondary.[1] The Patriots would go on to defeat the Eagles 24–21 in their second straight Super Bowl victory and third championship in four seasons, leading to some labeling the Patriots of the era a sports dynasty.[2]


2004 NFL Draft

Main article: 2004 NFL Draft
2004 New England Patriots Draft Selections
Round Overall Player Position College
1[3] 21 Vince Wilfork Defensive tackle Miami (FL)
1 32 Benjamin Watson Tight end Georgia
2 63 Marquise Hill Defensive end LSU
3 95 Guss Scott Safety Florida
4[4] 128 Dexter Reid Safety North Carolina
4 128 Cedric Cobbs Running back Arkansas
5 164 P. K. Sam Wide receiver Florida State
7 233 Christian Morton Cornerback Florida State


New England Patriots 2004 staff
Front Office

Head Coaches

Offensive Coaches


Defensive Coaches

Special Teams Coaches

Strength and Conditioning

Opening training camp roster

At the time of the first public training camp practice at Gillette Stadium on July 29, they had the NFL maximum of 80 players signed to their roster. The Patriots received seven roster exemptions for the NFL Europe allocations of Rohan Davey, Jamil Soriano, Chas Gessner, Lawrence Flugence, Scott Farley, Buck Rasmussen, and David Pruce. Additionally, the Patriots allocated safety Jason Perry and cornerback Michael Hall to NFL Europe and received roster exemptions for them, but those players were waived before the start of training camp. Finally, rookie Benjamin Watson had not yet signed a contract by the start of camp and did not count against the roster limit.

New England Patriots 2004 opening training camp roster

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen


Defensive Backs

Special Teams

Reserve Lists
  • 49
  • 68
  • 58
  • 34
  • 59
  • 33
  • 88
  • 97
  • 72
  • 55
  • 13
  • 66
  • 74 DeVonte Peterson DE (Active/NF-Inj.)
  • 26

Unsigned Draft Picks




Week Kickoff Date Opponent Result Record Game Site TV Recap
1 8:00 pm EDT August 13, 2004 Philadelphia Eagles W 24–6 1–0 Gillette Stadium WCVB Recap
2 7:30 pm EDT August 21, 2004 Cincinnati Bengals L 3–31 1–1 Paul Brown Stadium WCVB Recap
3 8:00 pm EDT August 28, 2004 Carolina Panthers L 17–20 1–2 Bank of America Stadium CBS Recap
4 6:45 pm EDT September 2, 2004 Jacksonville Jaguars L 0–31 1–3 Gillette Stadium WCVB Recap

Regular season

Week Kickoff Date Opponent Result Record Game Site TV Recap
1 9:00 pm EDT September 9, 2004 Indianapolis Colts W 27–24 1–0 Gillette Stadium ABC Recap
2 4:15 pm EDT September 19, 2004 Arizona Cardinals W 23–12 2–0 Sun Devil Stadium CBS Recap
3 Bye
4 1:00 pm EDT October 3, 2004 Buffalo Bills W 31–17 3–0 Ralph Wilson Stadium CBS Recap
5 1:00 pm EDT October 10, 2004 Miami Dolphins W 24–10 4–0 Gillette Stadium CBS Recap
6 1:00 pm EDT October 17, 2004 Seattle Seahawks W 30–20 5–0 Gillette Stadium Fox Recap
7 4:05 pm EDT October 24, 2004 New York Jets W 13–7 6–0 Gillette Stadium CBS Recap
8 4:15 pm EST October 31, 2004 Pittsburgh Steelers L 20–34 6–1 Heinz Field CBS Recap
9 4:15 pm EST November 7, 2004 St. Louis Rams W 40–22 7–1 Edward Jones Dome CBS Recap
10 8:30 pm EST November 14, 2004 Buffalo Bills W 29–6 8–1 Gillette Stadium ESPN Recap
11 9:00 pm EST November 22, 2004 Kansas City Chiefs W 27–19 9–1 Arrowhead Stadium ABC Recap
12 4:15 pm EST November 28, 2004 Baltimore Ravens W 24–3 10–1 Gillette Stadium CBS Recap
13 1:00 pm EST December 5, 2004 Cleveland Browns W 42–15 11–1 Cleveland Browns Stadium CBS Recap
14 1:00 pm EST December 12, 2004 Cincinnati Bengals W 35–28 12–1 Gillette Stadium CBS Recap
15 9:00 pm EST December 20, 2004 Miami Dolphins L 28–29 12–2 Pro Player Stadium ABC Recap
16 4:15 pm EST December 26, 2004 New York Jets W 23–7 13–2 Giants Stadium CBS Recap
17 1:00 pm EST January 2, 2005 San Francisco 49ers W 21–7 14–2 Gillette Stadium Fox Recap

Week 1 roster

New England Patriots 2004 Week 1 roster

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen


Defensive Backs

Special Teams

Reserve Lists

Practice Squad


Regular season results

Week 1: vs. Indianapolis Colts

1 2 34Total
Colts 0 17 0724
Patriots 3 10 14027

at Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts

Opening the NFL season on a Thursday night for the first time ever, the Patriots fell behind their arch-enemy 17–13 at the half. Tom Brady answered with touchdowns to David Patten and Daniel Graham in the third. A botched punt return by Deion Branch helped set up a Brandon Stokley touchdown from Peyton Manning in the fourth quarter. In the game's final minute, the score still 27–24 Patriots, Manning drove the Colts to the Patriots redzone, but was sacked well outside the 30 by Willie McGinest. Mike Vanderjagt came on for a 48-yard field goal try; he taunted the Patriots bench by rubbing his fingers in a "money" motion, having connected on 42 straight field goals, but he missed wide left on this try, securing the Patriots win.

Week 2: at Arizona Cardinals

1 2 34Total
Patriots 7 7 3623
Cardinals 0 6 6012

at Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, Arizona

  • Game time: 4:15 pm EDT/2:15 pm MDT
  • Game weather: 89 °F (32 °C), windy and partly cloudy
  • Game attendance: 51,557
  • Referee: Tony Corrente
  • TV: CBS

Corey Dillon had his first big game for the Patriots as he rushed for 158 yards in a 23–12 New England win. The win proved costly as Deion Branch was lost for seven games when he was injured in a late-second-quarter trick play that turned into a turnover.

Week 4: at Buffalo Bills

1 2 34Total
Patriots 10 7 01431
Bills 10 7 0017

at Ralph Wilson Stadium, Orchard Park, New York

  • Game time: 1:00 pm EDT
  • Game weather: 58 °F (14 °C), sunny
  • Game attendance: 72,698
  • Referee: Johnny Grier
  • TV: CBS

A year after being crushed 31–0 in Ralph Wilson Stadium the Patriots carried a winning streak that had reached 17 games (regular season and playoff). The Patriots took a 10–3 lead late in the first quarter but Terrence McGee ran back the ensuing kickoff 98 yards for the tying touchdown. A Patriots endzone fumble then set up a 41-yard Drew Bledsoe touchdown to Eric Moulds. The Patriots tied the game on a David Patten touchdown catch at the end of the half, then after a fourth quarter Daniel Graham score the Patriots iced the game when Bledsoe was strip-sacked and Richard Seymour ran the ball 68 yards for the score, a 31–17 Patriots final.

Week 5: vs. Miami Dolphins

1 2 34Total
Dolphins 0 7 3010
Patriots 7 10 7024

at Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts

  • Game time: 1:00 pm EDT
  • Game weather: 64 °F (18 °C), mostly cloudy and cool
  • Game attendance: 68,756
  • Referee: Bernie Kukar
  • TV: CBS

Week 6: vs. Seattle Seahawks

1 2 34Total
Seahawks 0 6 31120
Patriots 10 10 01030

at Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts

  • Game time: 1:00 pm EDT
  • Game weather: 50 °F (10 °C), partly cloudy and windy
  • Game attendance: 68,756
  • Referee: Terry McAulay
  • TV: Fox

Week 7: vs. New York Jets

1 2 34Total
Jets 0 7 007
Patriots 3 10 0013

at Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts

  • Game time: 4:05 pm EDT
  • Game weather: 46 °F (8 °C), cloudy, windy, occasional drizzle
  • Game attendance: 68,756
  • Referee: Walt Anderson
  • TV: CBS

Week 8: at Pittsburgh Steelers

1 2 34Total
Patriots 3 7 3720
Steelers 21 3 10034

at Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Game time: 4:15 pm EST
  • Game weather: 64 °F (18 °C), fair
  • Game attendance: 64,737
  • Referee: Walt Coleman
  • TV: CBS

Known in Patriot circles as "The Halloween Massacre," the Patriots' 21-game winning streak crashed to a halt at the hands of Pittsburgh's rookie phenom Ben Roethlisberger, who threw touchdowns to Plaxico Burress before a Deshea Townsend intercepetion return put the score at 21–3 Steelers after one quarter. Ty Law of the Patriots was lost for the season in this game (and in fact would not play for the Patriots again as he would go to the New York Jets after the season). The Steelers rushed for 221 yards (led by Duce Staley's 125 and Jerome Bettis' 65 and a score) and won 34–20, continuing a winning streak of their own that began in Week Three but which would end at the hands of the Patriots in the postseason. The Patriots rushed the ball only 6 times in the game, the fewest in a single game in modern NFL history.

Week 9: at St. Louis Rams

1 2 34Total
Patriots 6 13 14740
Rams 0 14 0822

at Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis, Missouri

  • Game time: 4:15 pm EST/3:15 pm CST
  • Game weather: Played indoors, domed stadium
  • Game attendance: 66,107
  • Referee: Ed Hochuli
  • TV: CBS

This was the first meeting between the two clubs since Super Bowl XXXVI. Receiver Troy Brown was pressed into service as a defensive back and wound up playing all three sides of the ball; he caught three passes from Tom Brady and defended three Rams passes, then in the third quarter the Patriots set up for a short field goal, but the ball was snapped to Adam Vinatieri who threw it to Brown at the left corner of the endzone. The touchdown put the Patriots up 26–14 and they rolled to a 40–22 win; ironically Vinatieri had a better quarterback rating (122.9) than Brady (103.4) or the Rams' Marc Bulger (103.7).

Week 10: vs. Buffalo Bills

1 2 34Total
Bills 0 0 606
Patriots 3 17 3629

at Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts

Week 11: at Kansas City Chiefs

1 2 34Total
Patriots 7 10 7327
Chiefs 10 0 3619

at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri

  • Game time: 9:00 pm EST/8:00 pm CST
  • Game weather: 45 °F (7 °C), overcast
  • Game attendance: 78,431
  • Referee: Bill Leavy
  • TV announcers (ABC): Al Michaels (play-by-play), John Madden (color commentator), and Michele Tafoya (sideline reporter)

Week 12: vs. Baltimore Ravens

1 2 34Total
Ravens 0 3 003
Patriots 0 3 61524

at Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts

  • Game time: 4:15 pm EST
  • Game weather: 52 °F (11 °C), rain, heavy at times
  • Game attendance: 68,756
  • Referee: Scott Green
  • TV: CBS

A sloppy first half between two strong defensive teams turned into a Patriot rout in the 2nd half. Corey Dillon ran for a short TD, and a Tedy Bruschi sack of Kyle Boller led to Jarvis Green's recovered fumble for another score.

Week 13: at Cleveland Browns

1 2 34Total
Patriots 14 7 21042
Browns 0 7 0815

at Cleveland Browns Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio

  • Game time: 1:00 pm EST
  • Game weather: 46 °F (8 °C), cloudy, sunny
  • Game attendance: 73,028
  • Referee: Bill Carollo
  • TV: CBS

Week 14: vs. Cincinnati Bengals

1 2 34Total
Bengals 0 14 7728
Patriots 7 21 7035

at Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts

  • Game time: 1:00 pm EST
  • Game weather: 39 °F (4 °C), partly cloudy
  • Game attendance: 68,756
  • Referee: Jeff Triplette
  • TV: CBS

Week 15: at Miami Dolphins

1 2 34Total
Patriots 7 7 7728
Dolphins 7 3 71229

at Pro Player Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida

  • Game time: 9:00 pm EST
  • Game weather: 52 °F (11 °C), clear
  • Game attendance: 73,629
  • Referee: Walt Anderson
  • TV announcers (ABC): Al Michaels (play-by-play), John Madden (color commentator), and Michele Tafoya (sideline reporter)

One of the most stunning upsets of the 2004 season took place in Miami, as the Dolphins rallied from an 11-point deficit to defeat New England. After a Dolphin TD made the score 28–23, Tom Brady threw an interception and Miami scored to go ahead 29–28 on a pass from A.J. Feely to Derrius Thompson. Another Brady interception sealed the Patriots' loss; as a result of this defeat, New England would end up as the AFC's No. 2 playoff seed, behind the 15–1 Pittsburgh Steelers.

Week 16: at New York Jets

1 2 34Total
Patriots 0 13 3723
Jets 0 0 077

at Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey

  • Game time: 4:15 pm EST
  • Game weather: 30 °F (−1 °C), overcast
  • Game attendance: 77,975
  • Referee: Walt Anderson
  • TV: CBS

Week 17: vs. San Francisco 49ers

1 2 34Total
49ers 7 0 007
Patriots 0 7 7721

at Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts

  • Game time: 1:00 pm EST
  • Game weather: 32 °F (0 °C), partly cloudy
  • Game attendance: 68,756
  • Referee: Walt Coleman
  • TV: Fox


AFC East
New England Patriots 14 2 0 .875 5–1 10–2 437 260 W2
New York Jets 10 6 0 .625 3–3 7–5 333 261 L2
Buffalo Bills 9 7 0 .563 3–3 5–7 395 284 L1
Miami Dolphins 4 12 0 .250 1–5 2–10 275 354 L1

Standings breakdown

W L T Pct. PF PA
Home 8 0 0 1.000 203 105
Away 6 2 0 .750 234 155
AFC East Opponents 5 1 0 .833 148 76
AFC Opponents 10 2 0 .833 323 199
NFC Opponents 4 0 0 1.000 114 61
By Stadium Type
Indoors 1 0 0 1.000 40 22
Outdoors 13 2 0 .867 397 238

Postseason schedule

Week Kickoff Date Opponent Result Record Game Site TV Recap
Wild Card Bye
Divisional 4:30 pm EST January 16, 2005 Indianapolis Colts (3) W 20–3 1–0 Gillette Stadium CBS Recap
AFC Championship 6:30 pm EST January 23, 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers (1) W 41–27 2–0 Heinz Field CBS Recap
Super Bowl XXXIX 6:30 pm EST February 6, 2005 Philadelphia Eagles (1) W 24–21 3–0 ALLTEL Stadium Fox Recap

Postseason results

Divisional Round vs. Indianapolis Colts

1 2 34Total
Colts 0 3 003
Patriots 0 6 7720

at Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts

In a snowstorm, the Patriots dismantled the league's highest scoring team by forcing three turnovers and holding them to just 276 yards and 3 points, their lowest point total since their opening game of the 2003 season. Peyton Manning suffered his seventh loss in Foxborough, even though he had more yards passing than Brady did in the game. The Patriots limited Manning to 238 passing yards with 1 interception and no touchdowns, and Edgerrin James to just 39 rushing yards. The Patriots also held possession of the ball for 37:43, including 21:26 in the second half and recording three long scoring drives that each took over 7 minutes off the clock. New England running back Corey Dillon, playing in his first career playoff game after suffering through 7 losing seasons as a member of the Cincinnati Bengals, rushed for 144 yards and caught 5 passes for 17 yards.

Both teams defenses dominated early, as the first five possessions of the game ended in punts. But after that, the Patriots put together a 16-play, 78 yards scoring drive that took 9:07 off the clock. They lost a touchdown when Dillons' 1-yard score was overturned by a penalty, but Adam Vinatieri kicked a 24-yard field goal to give them a 3–0 lead. The next time New England got the ball, a 42-yard run by Dillon set up another Vinatieri field goal, increasing the Patriots lead to 6–0. The Colts responded with a drive to New England's 39-yard line, but linebacker Tedy Bruschi ended it by forcing and recovering a fumble from running back Dominic Rhodes. After a Patriots punt, Manning led the Colts 67 yards to a Mike Vanderjagt field goal, cutting the score to 6–3 going into halftime.

But the Patriots dominated the second half, holding the ball for nearly all the time in regulation with two long drives. After an exchange of punts, they drove 87 yards in 15 plays on a drive that consumed 8:16 and ended with Brady's 5-yard touchdown pass to David Givens. At the end of the Colts next drive, Hunter Smith's 54-yard punt pinned New England back at their own 6-yard line. But it didn't stop them. The Patriots stormed down the field on a 14-play, 94-yard drive that ate up another 7:24. Dillon rushed for 35 yards and caught a pass for 9 on the drive, including a 27-yard run on third down and 8, while Brady finished it with a 1-yard touchdown run, gving the Patriots a 20–3 lead with just over 7 minutes left in the game. Then two plays after the ensuing kickoff, safety Rodney Harrison stripped the ball from Reggie Wayne and Bruschi recovered it, allowing his team to take more time off the clock. Indianapolis responded with a drive to the Patriots 20-yard line, but Harrison intercepted Manning's pass in the end zone with 10 seconds left, as overjoyed fans taunted Manning with a sustained chant of "Cut that meat!" in reference to a commercial their now-defeated rival had filmed.

  • Scoring
    • NE – field goal Vinatieri 24 NE 3–0
    • NE – field goal Vinatieri 31 NE 6–0
    • IND – field goal Vanderjagt 23 NE 6–3
    • NE – Givens 5 pass from Brady (Vinatieri kick) NE 13–3
    • NE – Brady 1 run (Vinatieri kick) NE 20–3

AFC Championship at Pittsburgh Steelers

1 2 34Total
Patriots 10 14 71041
Steelers 3 0 141027

at Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Game time: 6:30 pm EST
  • Game weather: 11 °F (−12 °C), fair
  • Game attendance: 65,242
  • Referee: Walt Anderson
  • TV announcers (CBS): Jim Nantz (play-by-play), Phil Simms (color commentator), Bonnie Bernstein and Armen Keteyian (sideline reporters)

The game-time temperature of 11 °F (−12 °C) made it the second-coldest game ever in Pittsburgh and the coldest ever in Steel City playoff annals. However, it was the Patriots that handed Ben Roethlisberger his first loss as a starter after a 14-game winning streak, the longest by a rookie quarterback in NFL history, as the Steelers became the second NFL team ever to record a 15–1 record and fail to reach the Super Bowl. The Patriots converted four Pittsburgh turnovers into 24 points, while committing no turnovers themselves. The Patriots' win also prevented an all-Pennsylvania Super Bowl from being played.

The Steelers never recovered from their poor performance in the first quarter. Patriots defensive back Eugene Wilson intercepted Roethlisberger's first pass of the game on his own 48-yard line, setting up Adam Vinatieri's 48-yard field goal to take a 3–0 lead. Pittsburgh responded with a drive to the Patriots 39-yard line. But then running back Jerome Bettis lost a fumble while being tackled by Rosevelt Colvin and linebacker Mike Vrabel recovered it. On the next play, Tom Brady threw a 60-yard touchdown pass to receiver Deion Branch.

With 1:28 left in the first quarter, the Steelers cut their deficit to 10–3 with Jeff Reed's 23-yard field goal. But after an exchange of punts, Branch caught a 45-yard reception on Pittsburgh's 14-yard line. Two plays later, Brady threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to David Givens. Then on the Steelers ensuing drive, safety Rodney Harrison intercepted a pass from Roethlisberger and returned it 87 yards for a touchdown, giving the Patriots a 24–3 halftime lead.

In the second half, the teams scored three consecutive touchdowns. New England was forced to punt on the opening drive of the third quarter, and Antwaan Randle El returned the ball 9 yards to the Steelers 44-yard line. Then on the Steelers ensuing possession, he caught two passes for 46 yards as they drove 56 yards in five plays. Bettis finished the drive with a 5-yard touchdown run, cutting their deficit to 24–10. New England responded by moving the ball 69 yards in seven plays and scoring with Corey Dillon's 25-yard touchdown run. But Pittsburgh stormed right back, driving 60 yards in ten plays and scoring with Roethlisberger's 30-yard touchdown pass to Hines Ward. Then after forcing a punt, Randle El returned the ball 22 yards to the Steelers 49-yard line. On their ensuing drive, Ward's 26-yard reception on the last play of the third quarter set up Reed's second field goal, making the score 31–20 with 13:32 left in the game.

However, the Patriots took over the rest of the quarter. They responded with a 49-yard drive that took 5:26 off the clock and ended with Vinatieri's 31-yard field goal. Then two plays after the ensuing kickoff, Wilson intercepted another pass from Roethlisberger at New England's 45-yard line. The Patriots subsequently marched down the field on another long scoring drive, taking 5:06 off the clock. Branch capped it off with a 23-yard touchdown run on a reverse play, giving the Patriots a 41–20 lead. The Steelers responded with Roethlisberger's 7-yard touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress on their next drive, but by then there was only 1:31 left in the game.

Brady completed 14 of 21 passes for 207 yards and 2 touchdowns. Dillon rushed for 73 yards and a touchdown. Branch caught 4 passes for 116 yards, rushed for 37 yards, and scored two touchdowns. Roethlisberger threw for 226 yards and 2 touchdowns, and rushed for 45 yards, but was intercepted 3 times. Ward caught 5 passes for 109 yards and a touchdown.

  • Scoring
    • NE – field goal Vinatieri 48 NE 3–0
    • NE – Branch 60 pass from Brady (Vinatieri kick) NE 10–0
    • PIT – field goal Reed 43 NE 10–3
    • NE – Givens 9 pass from Brady (Vinatieri kick) NE 17–3
    • NE – Harrison 87 interception return (Vinatieri kick) NE 24–3
    • PIT – Bettis 5 run (Reed kick) NE 24–10
    • NE – Dillon 25 run (Vinatieri kick) NE 31–10
    • PIT – Ward 30 pass from Roethlisberger (Reed kick) NE 31–17
    • PIT – field goal Reed 20 NE 31–20
    • NE – field goal Vinatieri 31 NE 34–20
    • NE – Branch 23 run (Vinatieri kick) NE 41–20
    • PIT – Burress 7 pass from Roethlisberger (Reed kick) NE 41–27

Super Bowl XXXIX at Philadelphia Eagles

Main article: Super Bowl XXXIX
1 2 34Total
Patriots 0 7 71024
Eagles 0 7 7721

at ALLTEL Stadium, Jacksonville, Florida

On the first drive of the game, Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb fumbled while being sacked by New England linebacker Willie McGinest, and the Patriots recovered the ball at Philadelphia's 34-yard line. Fortunately for the Eagles, coach Andy Reid's instant replay challenge overruled the fumble; officials ruled that McNabb had been down by contact before the ball came out of his hands. Later in the quarter after each team had punted twice, McNabb completed a 30-yard pass to Terrell Owens, with a roughing the passer penalty adding 9 yards, moving the ball inside the Patriots 20-yard line. However, linebacker Mike Vrabel sacked McNabb for a 16-yard loss on the next play. On the following play, the Eagles once again appeared to turn the ball over: McNabb's pass was intercepted in the end zone by Patriots defensive back Asante Samuel, but it was nullified by an illegal contact penalty on linebacker Roman Phifer, moving the ball back inside the 20 and giving the Eagles a first down. However, McNabb's second chance was wasted as he threw an interception to safety Rodney Harrison on the next play.

The Eagles defense then forced New England to a three-and-out on their ensuing possession, and Philadelphia got great field position by receiving the punt at the Patriots 45-yard line. But once again, they gave up another turnover: tight end L.J. Smith lost a fumble while being tackled by defensive back Randall Gay, and Samuel recovered the ball at the 38.

The Eagles defense once again forced New England to punt, and got the ball back at their own 19-yard line. Aided by a pair of completions from McNabb to receiver Todd Pinkston for gains of 17 and 40 yards, the Eagles drove 81 yards in 9 plays and scored on McNabb's 6-yard touchdown pass to Smith, taking a 7–0 lead with 9:55 left in the second quarter. It was the first time New England trailed during the entire postseason. On their ensuing drive, the Patriots moved the ball to the Eagles 4-yard line, mainly on plays by Corey Dillon, who caught two screen passes for 29 yards and rushed for 25. But quarterback Tom Brady fumbled the ball on a fake handoff and Philadelphia defender Darwin Walker recovered it. However, the Eagles could not take advantage of the turnover and had to punt after 3 plays. Eagles punter Dirk Johnson's punt went just 29 yards, giving the Patriots the ball at Philadelphia's 37-yard line. The Patriots then drove 37 yards to score on Brady's 4-yard pass to receiver David Givens with 1:10 remaining in the period, tying the game 7–7 by halftime. It was only the second halftime tie in Super Bowl history and the first time both of the game's first 2 quarters ended tied.

On the opening drive of the second half, Patriots receiver Deion Branch caught 4 passes for 71 yards on a drive that ended with Brady's 2-yard pass to Vrabel, who lined up at the tight end spot on the play. The Eagles later tied the game with 3:39 left in the third period with a 74-yard, 10-play drive that was capped by McNabb's 10-yard touchdown pass to running back Brian Westbrook. For the first time in Super Bowl history, the game was tied going into the fourth quarter.

Early in the final period, the Patriots put together a 9-play, 66-yard scoring drive that was keyed by 3 plays from running back Kevin Faulk, who caught 2 passes for 27 combined yards and rushed once for 12. Dillon capped off the drive with a 2-yard touchdown run to give the Patriots a 21–14 lead. Then after forcing another Eagles punt, Branch's 19-yard reception and a roughing-the-passer penalty on Philadelphia defensive lineman Corey Simon set up kicker Adam Vinatieri's 22-yard field goal with 8:43 left in the game to increase the score 24–14.

The Eagles responded by advancing to the New England 36-yard line on their next drive, but it ended with no points after linebacker Tedy Bruschi intercepted a pass from McNabb at the Patriots 24-yard line. After forcing New England to punt, Philadelphia got the ball back at their own 21-yard line with 5:40 left in the game.

The Eagles then drove 79 yards in 13 plays to cut their deficit to 24–21 with McNabb's 30-yard touchdown pass to receiver Greg Lewis. However, the drive consumed 3:52 of the clock, and only 1:55 remained in the game by the time Lewis scored. Because of this, many sportswriters later criticized the Eagles for not immediately going to a no-huddle offense at the start of the possession. (Two days after the game, some Eagles players revealed that McNabb was so sick that he had trouble calling the plays.)

The Eagles failed to recover their ensuing onside kick attempt. The Patriots then played it safe by running the ball 3 times and forcing Philadelphia to use all of its timeouts. New England punter Josh Miller then pinned the Eagles back at their own 4-yard line with just 46 seconds left in the game. Philadelphia then tried one last desperate drive to win or tie the game. But on first down, McNabb was pressured into making a rushed pass to Westbrook at the line of scrimmage. Instead of dropping the pass to stop the clock, Westbrook made the mistake of catching the ball and was immediately tackled for no gain, keeping the clock running and forcing the Eagles to run back to the line of scrimmage for their next play with no huddle. On second down, McNabb threw an incomplete pass intended for Owens. Finally on third down, McNabb threw a pass that went just over the outstretched fingertips of Smith and into the arms of Harrison for an interception with 9 seconds left, sealing the victory for the Patriots.

  • Scoring
    • PHI – TD: L.J. Smith 6-yard pass from Donovan McNabb (David Akers kick) 7–0 PHI
    • NE – TD: David Givens 4-yard pass from Tom Brady (Adam Vinatieri kick) 7–7 tie
    • NE – TD: Mike Vrabel 2-yard pass from Tom Brady (Adam Vinatieri kick) 14–7 NE
    • PHI – TD: Brian Westbrook 10-yard pass from Donovan McNabb (David Akers kick) 14–14 tie
    • NE – TD: Corey Dillon 2-yard run (Adam Vinatieri kick) 21–14 NE
    • NE – FG: Adam Vinatieri 22 yards 24–14 NE
    • PHI – TD: Greg Lewis 30-yard pass from Donovan McNabb (David Akers kick) 24–21 NE

Final roster

New England Patriots 2004 final roster

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen


Defensive Backs

Special Teams

Reserve Lists
  • 49
  • 68
  • 96
  • 46
  • 90
  • 70
  • 24
  • 38
  • 14
  • 39
  • 84

Practice Squad


Awards and honors

Recipient Award(s)
Tom Brady 2004 Sporting News Sportsman of the Year[5]
Deion Branch Super Bowl XXXIX MVP
Troy Brown 2004 New England Patriots 12th Player Award[6]
Rosevelt Colvin 2004 New England Patriots Ed Block Courage Award[7]
Corey Dillon December: AFC Offensive Player of the Month[8]
Ty Warren 2004 New England Patriots Ron Burton Community Service Award[9]
Adam Vinatieri November: AFC Special Teams Player of the Month[10]
Week 9: AFC Special Teams Player of the Week[10]
AFC Championship: NFL Special Teams Player of the Week[10]

Pro Bowl selections

Patriots kicker Adam Vinatieri and special teamer Larry Izzo were both named as starters to the 2005 Pro Bowl. Quarterback Tom Brady and defensive end Richard Seymour were elected as reserves; Seymour did not play in the game due to injury. Additionally, running back Corey Dillon and linebacker Tedy Bruschi were named as injury replacements, however, Dillon did not participate in the game due to injury.

Notes and references

External links

  • Season page on Pro Football Reference

Template:Super Bowl champions

Template:Navbox season by team

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