- Super Bowl XXXVI
visitor_qtr1 = 3
visitor_qtr2 = 0
visitor_qtr3 = 0
visitor_qtr4 = 14
home_qtr1 = 0
home_qtr2 = 14
home_qtr3 = 3
home_qtr4 = 3
February 3, 2002
stadium = Louisiana Superdome
city = New Orleans, Louisiana
attendance = 72,922
odds = Rams by 14
Tom Brady, Quarterback(New England)
George H. W. Bushand Roger Staubach
network = FOX
Pat Summeralland John Madden
rating = 40.4
share = 61
commercial = $1.9 million
last = XXXV
next = XXXVII
Super Bowl XXXVI was an
American footballgame played on February 3, 2002at the Louisiana Superdomein New Orleans, Louisianato decide the National Football League(NFL) champion following the 2001 regular season. The American Football Conference(AFC) champion New England Patriots(14-5) win their first Super Bowlby defeating the National Football Conference(NFC) champion St. Louis Rams(16-3), 20–17, as kicker Adam Vinatierimade a game-winning 48-yard field goal as time expired. The Rams had been 14-point favorites to win the game, making the Patriots' victory one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history.
Tom Brady, who completed 16 of 27 passes for 145 yards with a touchdown and marched his team down the field for the game winning score, was named Super Bowl MVP.
Due to the
September 11, 2001 attacksand the NFL schedule being moved one week later, Super Bowl XXXVI was rescheduled from the original date of January 27to February 3. On December 16, 2002, the Department of Homeland Security(DHS) designated each subsequent Super Bowl a National Special Security Event(NSSE). By 2004, the league had restored the traditional pre-Super Bowl bye week that had been abolished prior to the 2001 NFL season, to reduce the possibility of the Super Bowl being unexpectedly delayed again.
t. Louis Rams
After their Super Bowl winning 1999 season, the Rams offense again dominated the league, leading the NFL in passing, scoring, and total yards. However, they had one of the worst defenses in the league, ranking second to last in points allowed. This, along with injury problems and a coaching change (Super Bowl winning coach
Dick Vermeilleft the team and was replaced by Mike Martz), caused them to slip to a 10–6 record in 2000 and be eliminated in the wild card round of the playoffs.
However, after signing several new defensive players in the offseason, the Rams finished the 2001 season with the NFL's best regular season record at 14–2, and advanced to their second Super Bowl appearance in the last 3 seasons. In 2001, they led the league in both total offensive yards (6,930) and scoring (503). This was their third consecutive season with over 500 points, an NFL record. On defense, they only allowed 271 points, improving their 31st ranking from last season to 7th.
Their offense, nicknamed "The Greatest Show on Turf," is widely considered one of the best in NFL history. There seemed to be an endless amount of offensive talent at every position. Quarterback
Kurt Warnerwas awarded the NFL Most Valuable Player Awardafter throwing for 4,830 yards and 36 touchdowns, with 22 interceptions, and earning a league high 101.4 passer rating. Wide receivers Torry Holtand Isaac Bruceeach amassed over 1,100 receiving yards, combining for 142 receptions, 2,469 yards, and 13 touchdowns. Wide receiver Ricky Proehlcaught 40 passes for 563 yards and 5 touchdowns. Tight end Ernie Conwellcaught 38 passes for 431 yards and 4 touchdowns. Wide receiver Az-Zahir Hakimcaught 39 passes for 374 yards, and added another 333 yards returning punts.
Marshall Faulkwon NFL Offensive Player of the Year Awardfor the third year in a row. He rushed for 1,382 yards, caught 83 passes for 765 yards, scored 21 touchdowns, and became the first NFL player ever to gain more than 2,000 combined rushing and receiving yards for 4 consecutive seasons. Running back Trung Canidatewas also a major contributor, rushing for 441 yards, catching 17 passes for 154 yards, returning kickoffs for 748 yards, and scoring 6 touchdowns. Up front, their offensive line was led by guard Adam Timmermanand offensive tackle Orlando Pace, who was selected to the Pro Bowlfor the third year in a row.
The Rams also had a solid defense, ranking third in the league in fewest yards allowed (4,733). The line was anchored by Pro Bowl defensive end
Leonard Little, who led the team with 14.5 sacks and recovered a fumble, and defensive end Grant Wistrom, who recorded 9 sacks, 2 interceptions, and 1 fumble recovery. Behind them, the Rams linebacking core was led by London Fletcher, who had 4.5 sacks and 2 interceptions. St. Louis also had an outstanding secondary, led by Dre' Bly(6 interceptions, 150 return yards, and 2 touchdowns), Pro Bowler Aeneas Williams(4 interceptions, 69 return yards, 2 touchdowns), and Dexter McCleon(4 interceptions, 66 yards).
New England Patriots
The Patriots' chances for a Super Bowl appearance seemed to be doomed barely after the season had begun. Before the season even started, quarterbacks coach
Dick Rehbeindied of a heart attack. The Patriots lost their first two games. In the second loss, at home to the New York Jets, starting quarterback Drew Bledsoesuffered a sheared blood vessel on a hit by Jet Mo Lewisthat would cause him to miss several weeks. His replacement was second-year quarterback Tom Brady, a sixth-round draft pick who had thrown only 3 passes in 2000. In addition to this, during the fourth game of the year, wide receiver Terry Glenn, their leading receiver in 2000, was benched due to off the field problems.
Upon being designated the starting quarterback, Brady enjoyed immediate success in the regular season, leading New England to an 11-5 record. He completed 63.9 percent of his passes for 2,843 yards and 18 touchdowns with 12 interceptions and was selected to the
Pro Bowl. Veteran Pro Bowl wide receiver Troy Brownwas the main receiving threat, recording 101 receptions for 1,199 yards and 5 touchdowns, while also adding another 413 yards and 2 touchdowns returning punts. Wide receiver David Pattenalso was productive, catching 51 passes for 749 yards and 4 touchdowns. Running back Antowain Smithprovided the team with a stable rushing game, rushing for 1,157 yards, catching 19 passes for 192 yards, and scoring 13 touchdowns.
New England was also excellent on defense as well. Up front, linemen Bobby Hamilton (7 sacks, 1 fumble recovery), and rookie
Richard Seymourexcelled at pressuring quarterbacks and stuffing the run. Behind them, the Patriots had 3 outstanding linebackers: Mike Vrabel(2 interceptions, 3 sacks), Willie McGinest(5 sacks), and Tedy Bruschi(2 interceptions). The secondary also featured outstanding talent such as defensive back Otis Smith, who led the team with 5 interceptions for 181 yards and 2 touchdowns. Cornerback Ty Lawintercepted 3 passes, returning them for 91 yards and 2 touchdowns. Safety Lawyer Milloyhad 2 interceptions during the season, and was selected along with Law to represent the New England defense in the Pro Bowl.
Prior to the Super Bowl the Patriots hosted the Rams in a nationally televised ESPN Sunday night regular-season game on November 18th. Although the Patriots jumped out to an early lead, a critical turnover before the end of the first half that led to a Rams score proved costly. In the second half, the Rams wore New England down and won 24-17. The Rams would lose four of their defensive players with injuries. Indeed, the Patriots' physical play led Rams coach Mike Martz to say after the game that the Patriots were "a Super Bowl-caliber team." [ [http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/nfl/previews/2002/02/03/patriots_rams/ SportsIllustrated.CNN.com] ; Accessed 17 June 2007.] After the loss, the Patriots dropped to 5-5, but would not lose again the rest of the season. Coincidentlly, this was the third time straight that the New England Patriots went to the Super Bowl at Louisiana until they went to the Super Bowl two years later at Houston, Texas.
The Rams started out their postseason with a 45–17 win over the
Green Bay Packersin the divisional round. Expected to be a close shootout between Warner and Packers quarterback Brett Favre, the Rams defense dominated the Packers by intercepting a playoff record 6 passes from Favre and returning 3 of them for touchdowns. The Rams offense also racked up 24 points on 2 touchdown passes by Warner, a touchdown run by Faulk, and a field goal by Jeff Wilkins, helping St. Louis put the game away by the end of the third quarter.
One week later, the Rams advanced to the Super Bowl with a 29–24 win over the
Philadelphia Eaglesin the NFC championship game. Philadelphia managed to build a 17–13 halftime lead, but St. Louis scored 16 consecutive second half points (2 touchdown runs by Faulk and a Wilkins field goal) to earn the win. Warner finished the game with 22 of 33 pass completions for 212 yards and a touchdown, with no interceptions, while Faulk rushed for 159 yards and 2 touchdowns.
In the AFC, the Patriots defeated the
Oakland Raiders16–13 in a driving New Englandsnowstorm. The signature moment of the game was a controversial ruling by referee Walt Colemanin the fourth quarter that would caused this game to commonly be known as the "tuck game". With the Patriots trailing the Raiders 13-10 with under two minutes left in regulation and out of time outs, Brady was sacked by defensive back Charles Woodson, and appeared to fumble the ball, which was recovered by linebacker Greg Biekert. After reviewing the play using instant replay, Coleman reversed the call on the field pursuant to the " tuck rule", where a ball is ruled an incomplete pass after the quarterback starts any forward motion. Brady then led his team to the Raiders 29-yard line, where kicker Adam Vinatierimade a 45-yard field goal which barely cleared the crossbar to send the game into overtime. The Patriots won the toss in overtime and would win on another Vinatieri field goal from 23 yards, without Oakland regaining possession.
In the AFC title game, the Patriots traveled to
Heinz Fieldto face the Pittsburgh Steelers, who were coming off a 27-10 win over the previous season's Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens. New England scored first with a 55-yard punt return touchdown by Brown, but in the second quarter, Brady was knocked out of the game with a sprained ankle. He would be replaced by Drew Bledsoe in Bledsoe's first game action since being injured back in September. Upon entering the game, Bledsoe quickly moved the Patriots down the field and threw an 11-yard pass to Patten to give the Patriots a 14-3 halftime lead.
Early in the second half, the Steelers moved from their own 32 to the New England 16, where they lined up for a field goal by
Kris Brown. However, Brandon Mitchell blocked the kick, Troy Brown picked up the ball at the 40 and ran 11 yards before lateraling to Antwaan Harris, who took it 49 yards for the score that made it 21-3. Although Pittsburgh scored two third quarter touchdowns to come within 21-17, the Patriots ended the comeback attempt by scoring a field goal in the fourth quarter and intercepting 2 passes from Steelers quarterback Kordell Stewartin the final 3 minutes of the game.
Effect of the September 11, 2001 attacks
Preparations for Super Bowl XXXVI in New Orleans were planned ever since the city was awarded the game during the NFL's October 1998 meetings. However, the
September 11, 2001 attacksled the league to move both the playoffs and the Super Bowl one week back. Rescheduling the game from January 27to February 3proved extraordinarily difficult. In addition to rescheduling the game itself, all related events and activities had to be accommodated. This marked the first time in NFL history that the Super Bowl was played in the month of February; however, almost all subsequent Super Bowls (excluding Super Bowl XXXVII) would be played in February afterwards.
Historically, the NFL made allowance for an open weekend between the Conference Championship games and the
Super Bowl. However, there wasn't one scheduled for 2001, due to the NFL's decision beginning in the 1999 season to move the opening week of games to the weekend after Labor Day. Because the date of the Super Bowl had been set through 2003, the bye week before the Super Bowl would not return until 2004.
The NFL and New Orleans officials worked diligently to put together a deal to reschedule the game. The league considered a number of options, including shortening the regular season, shortening the playoffs, condensing the three playoff rounds in two weeks, and moving the game to the Rose Bowl in
Pasadena, California. The decision was eventually made to make every effort to maintain a full regular season and playoff, and push the Super Bowl back to February 3rd.
One of the most significant logistical challenges was accommodating the
National Automobile Dealers AssociationConvention, which was originally slated to occupy the Superdome on February 3. On October 3, 2001, the NFL announced their intentions to hold the game on February 3, even though no agreement was in hand with NADA. Several weeks later, the three parties reached an agreement, where the NADA would move their convention's date to the original Super Bowl week in exchange for financial and other considerations, including promotional spots shown during selected regular season NFL games. This agreement allowed the NFL to move the game back to February 3rd, and would also accommodate a full and uncondensed playoff tournament.
Initially, the original logo for Super Bowl XXXVI was to have a style that reflected the host city. The original logo was distributed on some memorabilia items during 2001. However, after the 9/11 attacks, a new logo reflecting American pride was designed, featuring the shape of the 48 contiguous states (see the top of this article).
This was the last Super Bowl played on
AstroTurf, as NFL stadiums were starting to phase out that specific type of turf in favor of natural grassor other surfaces that more closely simulate grass, such as FieldTurf.
Prior to Super Bowl XXXVI, Superdome officials considered bringing in natural grass for the game. The system would use large trays of grass grown and cultivated outdoors that would be brought inside to be placed on the field of play. A similar system had been used in the past at the
Silverdomeduring the 1994 World Cup, and was also briefly used at Giants Stadium. However, cost and quality concerns prompted stadium and league officials to abandon the project.
Television and entertainment
The game was broadcast in the
United Statesby FOX television, with the broadcast team of play-by-play announcer Pat Summeralland color commentatorJohn Madden. This was Summerall's 26th and (to date) final Super Bowl broadcast on television or radio, and his final telecast with Madden; the two had been paired since 1981 (dating back to their days at CBS). James Brown hosted all the events with help from his then-fellow " FOX NFL Sunday" cast members Terry Bradshaw, Howie Longand Cris Collinsworth.
The overall theme of the Super Bowl entertainment was a celebration of the freedom and spirit of America. The confetti was red, white, and blue. That color scheme would go on to be used for every Super Bowl from that point on.
Before the game, an ensemble of singers
Barry Manilow, Yolanda Adams, James Ingram, Wynonnaand Patti LaBelleperformed Manilow's song "Let Freedom Ring."
In a video segment, past and present NFL players read excerpts from the Declaration of Independence. Former U.S. presidents
Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, and Bill Clintonappeared in another videotaped segment and recited some of the speeches by Abraham Lincoln. Because Ronald Reaganhad Alzheimer's disease, his wife Nancy appeared on the segment instead.
Mary J. Bligeand Marc Anthony, along with the Boston Pops Orchestra, performed " America the Beautiful". Paul McCartneythen sang his 9/11 tribute song "Freedom." Afterwards, singer Mariah Carey, accompanied by the Boston PopsOrchestra, performed the national anthem.
George H. W. Bush became the first president, past or present, to participate in a Super Bowl coin toss in person (Ronald Reagan participated in the
Super Bowl XIXcoin toss via satellite from the White Housein 1985). Bush was joined by hall of fame and former Dallas Cowboysquarterback Roger Staubach, who played at the United States Naval Academyand was the Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl VI, played 30 years prior at New Orleans' Tulane Stadium.
Patriots entrance into the Superdome
As was customary at the time, the Rams' offensive starters were introduced first, as the Rams were considered the visitors. However, the Patriots chose "to be introduced as a team," to quote Summerall, who handled the public address announcements during some of the pregame. According to
David Halberstam's book, The Education of a Coach, Belichick was given a choice by the NFL to introduce either the offense or defense. Belichick chose neither, asking that the team be introduced all at once. Although this was initially rejected by the NFL, Belichick held his ground and the NFL honored his request. Since then, both Super Bowl combatants would each be introduced as a team.
The halftime show featured a three-song set from Irish rockers
U2, who had just completed their successful " Elevation Tour". After renditions of " Beautiful Day" and "MLK", the band launched into " Where the Streets Have No Name," featuring two backdrops with the names of victims of the 9/11 attacks floating into the sky behind the band and Bonoopening his jacket to reveal an American flag printed into the lining. While singing "Where the Streets Have No Name," Bono replaced the lyrics 'the poison rain' to 'the Louisiana rain'.
The Rams scored first midway through the first quarter, driving 48 yards in 10 plays to set up a 50-yard field goal by kicker
Jeff Wilkins. At the time, the field goal was the third longest in Super Bowl history. The rest of the quarter was scoreless.
Early in the second quarter, the Rams drove to New England's 34-yard line, but quarterback
Kurt Warnerthrew an incompletion on third down, and Wilkins' subsequent 52-yard field goal attempt sailed wide left.
With 8:49 left in the second quarter, New England defensive back
Ty Lawintercepted a pass intended for receiver Isaac Bruceand scored on a 47-yard return to give the Patriots a 7-3 lead. With less than two minutes left in the first half, Warner completed a pass to receiver Ricky Proehlat the Patriots 40-yard line, but New England defensive back Antwan Harrisforced a fumble while tackling him, which was recovered by Patriots defensive back Terrell Buckley. New England quarterback Tom Bradywould lead a drive that culminated with an 8-yard touchdown pass to receiver David Pattenwith 31 seconds left in the half to give New England a 14-3 halftime lead. This was the first time in the 2001 season that St. Louis fell behind in a game by more than eight points.
The Patriots took the opening kickoff of the second half, but could only reach the St. Louis 43-yard line before being forced to punt. Aided by a 20-yard reception by wide receiver
Az-Zahir Hakim, a 22-yard reception by Bruce, and a defensive pass interference penalty on Patriots defensive back Otis Smith, the Rams advanced to the New England 41-yard line. However, on the next play, linebacker Mike Vrabeland defensive lineman Richard Seymoursacked Warner for a 9-yard loss. Warner then threw 2 consecutive incomplete passes, which resulted in the Rams punting.
Later in the third quarter,
Otis Smithintercepted a pass intended for Rams wide receiver Torry Holtafter Holt slipped while coming off the line of scrimmage, and returned the ball 30 yards to the Rams 33-yard line. Though St. Louis' defense did not give up a touchdown to the Patriots, kicker Adam Vinatierimade a 37-yard field goal to increase New England's lead to 17-3.
The Rams responded by driving to the Patriots' 3-yard line on their ensuing drive. On fourth-and-goal, the Rams attempted to score a touchdown, calling for a quarterback sneak by Warner. Warner fumbled the ball while being tackled by linebacker
Roman Phifer, which was recovered by defensive back Tebucky Joneswho returned it 97 yards for a touchdown that would have increased the Patriots lead to 23-3. However, the play was nullified by a holding penalty on linebacker Willie McGinest, which in turn gave the Rams a first down on the 1-yard line instead. On second down, Warner scored on a 2-yard touchdown run to make the score 17-10, Patriots.
After Warner's touchdown, the Rams defense forced the Patriots to a
three-and-out. St. Louis then drove from their own 7-yard line to the New England 36-yard line, aided by a 30-yard reception by Proehl. However, McGinest sacked Warner for a 16-yard loss on second down, pushing the Rams back to their 46-yard line. St. Louis ended up punting after Warner's third down pass was incomplete.
The Rams forced New England to another three-and-out, and got the ball back on their own 45-yard line with 1:51 left in the game. Warner threw three consecutive completions: an 18-yard pass to Hakim, an 11-yard one to receiver
Yo Murphy, and finally a 26-yard touchdown completion to Proehl that tied the game 17-17 with 1:30 left in the fourth quarter.
The Patriots had no timeouts left for their ensuing drive, which resulted in
color commentatorJohn Madden initially suggesting that the Patriots should run out the clock and attempt to win to overtime. Instead, New England attempted to get the winning score in regulation on the final drive. Brady opened the drive with three completions to running back J.R. Redmond, which moved the ball to their 41-yard line with 33 seconds left. After an incomplete pass, Brady completed a 23-yard pass to wide receiver Troy Brown, and followed it up with a 6-yard completion to tight end Jermaine Wigginsto advance to the Rams' 30-yard line. Brady then spiked the ball with seven seconds left, which set up Vinatieri's 48-yard field goal attempt. Vinatieri's game-winning kick was successful, marking the first time in Super Bowl history that a game was won by a score on the final play.
*STL - FG: Jeff Wilkins 50 yards 3–0 STL 3:10. Drive: 10 plays,48 yards in 5:05
*NE - TD: Ty Law 47 yard interception return (Adam Vinatieri kick) 7–3 NE 8:49
*NE - TD: David Patten 8 yard pass from Tom Brady (Adam Vinatieri kick) 14–3 NE 0:31. Drive: 5 plays, 40 yards in 0:49
*NE - FG: Adam Vinatieri 37 yards 17–3 NE 1:18. Drive: 5 plays, 14 yards in 2:07
*STL - TD: Kurt Warner 2 yard run (Jeff Wilkins kick) 17–10 NE 9:31. Drive:12 plays, 77 yards in 6:47
*STL - TD: Ricky Proehl 26 yard pass from Kurt Warner (Jeff Wilkins kick) 17–17 tie 1:30 Drive: 3 plays, 55 yards in 0:21
*NE - FG: Adam Vinatieri 48 yards 20–17 NE 0:00 Drive: 9 plays, 53 yards in 1:30
Warner finished the game with 28 completions out of 44 passes for 365 yards, 1 touchdown, and 2 interceptions, and rushed 3 times for 6 yards and a touchdown. Warner's 365 passing yards were the second highest total in Super Bowl history behind his own record of 414 yards set in
Super Bowl XXXIV. Hakim was the top receiver of the game with 5 catches for 90 yards, and also rushed once for 5 yards. Rams running back Marshall Faulkled the team with 76 rushing yards, and also caught 4 passes for 54 yards.
Patriots running back
Antowain Smithwas the top rusher of the game with 92 yards, and caught a pass for 4 yards. Troy Brownwas the Patriots leading receiver with 6 catches for 89 yards, a 15-yard kickoff return, and a 4-yard punt return, giving him 108 total yards.
Although the Rams outgained the Patriots 427–267 in total yards, New England forced three turnovers and converted them into 17 points. The Patriots committed no turnovers.
* Umpire: Jeff Rice
* Head Linesman:
* Line Judge: Ron Phares
* Field Judge:
* Side Judge:
* Back Judge: Scott Green
* Alternate Referee: Mike Carey
* Alternate Umpire:
Boston Globe Report in 2008
An incident in 2007 known as the
Notes and references
* [http://www.superbowl.com/ Super Bowl official website]
* [http://www.sportingnews.com/archives/superbowl/ The Sporting News: History of the Super Bowl] (Last accessed December 4, 2005)
* http://www.pro-football-reference.com - Large online database of NFL data and statistics
* [http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/super/superbowl-plays.htm Super Bowl play-by-plays] from
* [http://www.sportsnetwork.com/default.asp?c=sportsnetwork&page=nfl/superbowl/2005/superbowl-alltime-odds.htm All-Time Super Bowl Odds] from The Sports Network (Last accessed October 16, 2005)
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