The New England Patriots have had a lot of success and good luck in the Super Bowl, but these plays also show they’ve had plenty of bad luck too.
Good luck usually surrounds the New England Patriots, particularly when playing in a Super Bowl. Sunday’s Super Bowl against the Los Angeles Rams will be a historic ninth Super Bowl appearance.
During that time, New England is 5-3, with all three defeats coming by an average of five points. Sometimes, teams have been rather lucky to create big plays against New England in a Super Bowl.
While the Patriots have won five Super Bowls, New England has found itself on the wrong side of memorable Super Bowl plays. Despite having a legendary coach and quarterback, these plays have often shown how luck plays a factor in football games.
David Tyree’s helmet catch
When the New York Giants and Patriots met up in Super Bowl XLII, the game was known by one remarkable play by an unheralded player. Late in the fourth quarter, the Patriots were up 14-10, while New York faced third down at its own 44-yard line. Then, Giants wide receiver David Tyree used his helmet to catch a 32-yard pass from quarterback Eli Manning. This gave New York a first down at New England’s 24-yard line. Manning capped the possession off with a 13-yard game-winning touchdown to receiver Plaxico Burress for 17-14 NY victory over NE. Tyree’s NFL career eventually ended without another catch. For New England, not only did Tyree’s catch cost its team a Super Bowl win, but a perfect, 19-0, undefeated season was lost.
Mario Manningham to the rescue
Four years after New York’s Super Bowl win, the Giants gave the Patriots another heart-breaking loss on a remarkable play In Super Bowl XLVI. From New York’s 12-yard line, receiver Mario Manningham caught a 38-yard sideline pass from Eli Manning late in the fourth quarter when NY was down 17-15. The Patriots challenged the call, but Manningham secured the ball with both feet in bounds. Soon after, Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw scored the game-winning touchdown to beat NE 21-17.
Jermaine Kearse circus catch
After two Super Bowl heart-breaking to the Giants, the Patriots found themselves in another classic. In Super Bowl XLIX, the Seattle Seahawks came up with their own magical play against the Patriots. From New England’s 38-yard line, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson found receiver Jermaine Kearse on a 33-yard bouncing pass to put Seattle within five yards of a go-ahead score. Two plays later, Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler intercepted a Wilson pass that secured a 28-24 Pats win and New England’s fourth Super Bowl title and first Lombardi Trophy in a decade.
Robert Alford’s pick-six
For NE, the defense has not always been where teams have taken advantage. Some unfortunate plays have actually occurred on offense. During Super Bowl LI against the Atlanta Falcons, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady threw a pick-six to Falcons cornerback Robert Alford, which gave Atlanta a 21-0 lead. Despite being down by so many points, NE never gave up its hope of winning, despite once trailing 28-3. The Patriots ultimately overcame a 25-point deficit, and this became the first overtime Super Bowl. There, Patriots running back James White scored the game-winning touchdown to give the Patriots a 34-28 win.
Alshon Jeffery’s miraculous touchdown
In Super Bowl LII, the Philadelphia Eagles created their own drama when quarterback Nick Foles delivered a 34-yard touchdown to receiver Alshon Jeffery, which gave the Eagles a 9-3 lead. Despite Brady’s 505-yard, three-touchdown performance, Foles kept the Eagles in front for most of the game with 373 yards and three touchdowns. In the end, the Eagles beat the Patriots 41-33 to prevent NE from winning its sixth Super Bowl.
Despite a few unlucky breaks, the Patriots have consistently found ways to overcome them and still win or compete in Super Bowls. These games are a testament to the consistency of the Patriots appearing in the Super Bowl.