Super Bowl XXXVIII

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Super Bowl XXXVIII was the 38th Super Bowl, the championship of American football. The game was played on February 1, 2004 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas, home of the host team Houston Texans (in its second season as the league's newest expansion team). The game was broadcast on CBS in the United States with Greg Gumbel and Phil Simms calling the action. The New England Patriots defeated the Carolina Panthers by the score of 32-29, as Adam Vinatieri kicked a 41-yard field goal with four seconds left.

New England quarterback Tom Brady was named Most Valuable Player for the second time in three years. In addition, for the second straight year, the teams were introduced as a team after highlights were shown on the telecast and in-stadium.


The game

Entering the game, the Patriots were listed by oddsmakers in Las Vegas as 7-point favorites to win their second Super Bowl championship in three years.

The first and most of the second quarter were a defensive struggle, with neither team able to score until late in the first half. Patriots kicker Adam Vinatieri had two chances to give his team an early 3-0 lead, but missed one field goal attempt wide right and had the second blocked. The Carolina offense, led by quarterback Jake Delhomme, was especially stymied, with Delhomme completing one out of his first nine passes, sacked three times, and fumbling once. That fumble, recovered by New England's Richard Seymour, set up the opening score, a 5-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Deion Branch.

The Panthers quickly tied it up with a 8-play, 90-yard drive late in the second quarter, capped by a 39-yard touchdown pass from Delhomme to Steve Smith. New England countered again with a 78-yard drive that took only 49 seconds, with Brady throwing a 52-yard pass to Branch and, later, a touchdown pass to David Givens. John Kasay kicked a 50-yard field goal on the last play of the half to make the score 14-10 at halftime.

After a lackluster third quarter with all drives by both teams ending in punts, running back Antowain Smith scored a 2-yard touchdown on the second play of the fourth quarter to make the score 21-10. This was the start of one of the biggest offensive explosions in Super Bowl history, with the two teams combining to score 37 points in the last 15 minutes.

Deshaun Foster closed the gap to 21-16 with a 33-yard touchdown on the Panthers' opening drive. The Panthers' 2-point conversion attempt failed. After the Patriots drove to the Carolina 9-yard line, a Brady pass intended for tight end Christian Fauria was intercepted in the end zone by Reggie Howard, who returned it to the Panthers' 10-yard line.

On 3rd down from the 15, Delhomme threw for the longest play from scrimmage in Super Bowl history, an 85-yard touchdown to Muhsin Muhammad. The 2-point conversion failed again, but Carolina had taken a 22-21 lead with 6:53 remaining.

New England took the lead again with 2:51 to go when linebacker Mike Vrabel, who had checked in as an eligible receiver on 2nd and goal from the 1, caught a touchdown pass. Kevin Faulk took the direct snap on the 2-point conversion and scored to make it 29-22.

Carolina quickly moved downfield themselves on the following drive, going 81 yards in the span of 1:43. The game was tied when Ricky Proehl, who also caught a Super Bowl-tying touchdown as a member of the St. Louis Rams two years earlier, caught another one, from 12 yards out. The game was tied 29-29 with 1:08 to play in regulation, and overtime looming. It appeared that for the first time in Super Bowl history that the game would go into overtime.

Kasay's ensuing kickoff went out of bounds, ensuring the Patriots would start from their own 40-yard line. Brady and the Patriots offense calmly moved downfield, with two passes to Troy Brown, a penalty setting New England back 10 yards, another pass to Daniel Graham, and another to Deion Branch that put the Patriots at the Panthers' 23-yard line with nine seconds remaining. This set up a 41-yard field goal attempt from Vinatieri, which was straight down the middle, and New England led 32-29 with four seconds to go. Rod Smart's kickoff for Carolina was stopped at the Panthers 21, and time had run out, and the Patriots had won their second championship in three years.

Although not part of the game itself, one of the most widely discussed moments came during halftime. The Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show controversy generated intense media coverage.

Scoring summary

  • NE - Branch 5 pass from Brady (Vinatieri kick)
  • CAR - S.Smith 39 pass from Delhomme (Kasay kick)
  • NE - Givens 5 pass from Brady (Vinatieri kick)
  • CAR - FG Kasay 50
  • NE - A.Smith 2 run (Vinatieri kick)
  • CAR - Foster 33 run (pass failed)
  • CAR - Muhammad 85 pass from Delhomme (pass failed)
  • NE - Vrabel 1 pass from Brady (Faulk run)
  • CAR - Proehl 12 pass from Delhomme (Kasay kick)
  • NE - FG Vinatieri 41


  • Most sportsbooks had the Patriots as seven-point favorites entering the game. As the Patriots only won by three points, the Patriots failed to cover this spread.
  • The over-under bet was set at 38.0 by most sportsbooks. As the total combined score of the two teams was 61 points, the over bet won.
  • The money line was set at roughly +200 for Carolina and -240 for New England.


  • Neither team is named for a city.
  • First Super Bowl to be played in a stadium with a retractable roof (but it was closed during the game).

See also

External link

NFL Super Bowls

I 1967 | II 1968 | III 1969 | IV 1970 | V 1971 | VI 1972 | VII 1973 | VIII 1974 | IX 1975 | X 1976

XI 1977 | XII 1978 | XIII 1979 | XIV 1980 | XV 1981 | XVI 1982 | XVII 1983 | XVIII 1984 | XIX 1985 | XX 1986

XXI 1987 | XXII 1988 | XXIII 1989 | XXIV 1990 | XXV 1991 | XXVI 1992 | XXVII 1993 | XXVIII 1994 | XXIX 1995 | XXX 1996

XXXI 1997 | XXXII 1998 | XXXIII 1999 | XXXIV 2000 | XXXV 2001 | XXXVI 2002 | XXXVII 2003 | XXXVIII 2004 | XXXIX 2005 | XL 2006

XLI 2007 | XLII 2008 | XLIII 2009 | XLIV 2010

fr:Super Bowl XXXVIII


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