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2004 NFL Playoffs Scores Schedules Injuries Statistics Teams Players
Posted: Friday February 4, 2005 4:23PM; Updated: Friday February 4, 2005 4:23PM
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SI.com's Jacob Luft (PATRIOTS) and Luke Winn (EAGLES) analyze every drive.

First Quarter Drives
Started Ended Plays Yards Time Result
PHI 39 PHI 36 3 -3 1:04 Punt 0 0

Brian Bahr/Getty Images  
The magnificent Terrell Owens took the field for the first time, after Rod Hood's 32-yard kick return gave the Eagles excellent field position at their own 39. Owens was split right on the first play and in motion on the second play, catching a 7-yard, play-action pass from Donovan McNabb. The big play on this drive was made by Tedy Bruschi and Willie McGinest -- McGinest sacked McNabb on third down, causing a fumble that Bruschi recovered. The replay camera overturned the turnover after a Philly challenge -- McNabb's knee was down before the ball came out -- but it still brought a quick end to the Eagles' first possession.

Started Ended Plays Yards Time Result
NE 28 NE 45 4 17 2:25 Punt 0 0
The Patriots did a terrific job of picking up the various Eagles' blitzes, but Tom Brady couldn't capitalize with a big play. After Deion Branch opened the drive with a 16-yard catch, the Patriots stalled. The big play by Philly was holding Corey Dillon to 2 yards on a screen play despite getting caught on a blitz.

Started Ended Plays Yards Time Result
PHI 7 PHI 16 3 9 1:36 Punt 0 0
Philly can curse Pats punter Josh Miller for handing it a miserable starting point -- its own 7 -- after a pretty, 48-yard coffin-corner punt to the right sideline. Two failed runs by Brian Westbrook (for a total of 0 yards), sandwiched by a nine-yard completion to Owens on an out route, and the Iggles were punting again. The only thing Philly can take solace in thus far (other than that New England hasn't scored yet) is that Owens does not look like the hobbled decoy many expected him to be.

Started Ended Plays Yards Time Result
NE 32 NE 40 3 8 2:24 Punt 0 0
The Eagles forced a three-and-out thanks to a couple of superb tackles, first by Jeremiah Trotter to limit Branch to 8 yards on a second-down reception. On third down and short, cornerback Lito Sheppard and safety Michael Lewis stopped wideout David Givens on a short catch in the flat to force the punt.

Started Ended Plays Yards Time Result
PHI 26 NE 19 10 55 4:25 Interception 0 0

Jeff Gross/Getty Images 
The Eagles managed to wait for what seemed like ages -- actually, eight plays -- to break out their bread-and-butter, the screen game. McNabb hit Westbrook for a 14-yard gain on second down to earn Philly's first Super Bowl XXXIX first down. Six plays later, T.O. turned a short crossing route -- a questionable pick play -- into a 30-yard gain, flapping his arms for the pro-Philly crowd after heading out of bounds at the Pats' 17.

At that point, McNabb fell under the same spell that afflicted Peyton Manning and Ben Roethlisberger -- which causes a Pro Bowl-quality quarterback to fall apart in the face of the Pats' D. After not having thrown a red-zone interception all season, McNabb threw INTs on back-to-back plays; the first one, intended for T.O., was called back on Roman Phifer's illegal contact penalty away from the ball; the second, intended for Westbrook, was easily picked by Rodney Harrison -- and that turnover counted. Philly isn't fooling the Pats' secondary when Westbrook takes off as a non-screen receiver.

Started Ended Plays Yards Time Result
NE 3 NE 10 3 7 1:31 Punt 0 0
The Patriots tried to catch the Eagles on one of their blitzes with a couple of sneaky handoffs, the first a delay to Dillon that got them 7 yards. But Patrick Pass was stopped for no gain on third-and-3 as the Eagles filled the gap with yet another blitz.

Started Ended Plays Yards Time Result
NE 45 NE 38 3 7 :53 Fumble 0 0
New England put on two beautiful defensive displays on second and third down here. On second, the Pats read a Philly screen attempt from the outset, with Phifer absolutely leveling Dorsey Levens as McNabb rolled right -- and then Harrison stepped up to contain the Eagles' QB as he tried to make something happen with his feet. Harrison's diving tackle resulted in a New England sack and a one-yard loss. On third down, after yielding an eight-yard completion to Smith over the middle, Randall Gay stripped the Philly TE and Eugene Wilson stepped up to recover at the Pats' 38.

Started Ended Plays Yards Time Result
NE 38 NE 33 3 -5 1:11 Punt 0 0
Brady must be waiting till halftime to spray himself with the Joe Montana magic pixie dust. The Patriots go three-and-out for the third straight possession as Brady throws an incompletion on first down and takes a sack on third down. Philly's Derrick Burgess schooled tackle Brandon Gorin on an outside-inside move to get to Brady.

Second Quarter Drives
Started Ended Plays Yards Time Result
PHI 19 -- 9 81 4:36 TOUCHDOWN 0 7

Harry How/Getty Images  
It's clear Andy Reid is committed to establishing the run game, but it wasn't successful at the start of this drive. Handoffs to Westbrook on first and second down set up third-and-8 (and his first five carries yielded just 7 yards). McNabb then turned to Todd Pinkston for the two big passing plays that set up the first points in this game. The first McNabb-Pinkston hookup was a 17-yarder on a deep crossing route off of play action, and the second was vintage McNabb: He ducked a Richard Seymour blitz attempt and hit a leaping Pinkston for a 40-yard gain down to the Pats' 17.

After it appeared the Eagles would squander their second straight red zone attempt -- a stuffed Westbrook run, an incompletion and an illegal motion penalty set up third-and-goal from the 6 -- McNabb made something out of nothing. With T.O. knocked down on the outside, Philly's QB pump-faked twice and found a diving L.J. Smith for the score. New England's DBs and LBs are, as expected, giving the Eagles' receivers a beating -- T.O. ate turf, and Smith had to bounce off Phifer on the scoring play -- but it isn't having the desired effect for Bill Belichick & Co.

Key Play: On third-and-8 from his own 21, McNabb regained his confidence with the first completion to Pinkston, picking up 17 yards and a first down. It paved the way for two highlight-reel McNabb plays later on in the drive.

Started Ended Plays Yards Time Result
NE 13 PHI 13 8 74 4:27 Fumble 0 7
The only thing that can stop Dillon tonight is oxygen, or lack thereof. After Dillon takes a couple of screen passes for big plays and makes a brilliant cutback run to set up a first-and-goal, he comes out for a breather and the drive falls apart. On second down, backup running back Kevin Faulk knocks the ball out of Brady's hand on a play-action fake and the Eagles come out of the pile with the it.

Started Ended Plays Yards Time Result
PHI 13 PHI 12 3 -1 1:03 Punt 0 7
The game's momentum was there for the taking on this drive; the Eagles had a chance to capitalize on the Pats' red-zone miscue and extend the lead. But Philly grabbed neither the momentum nor a first down. After another failed Westbrook run and two more McNabb incompletions, Dirk Johnson booted the ball away, giving New England excellent field position again. The Pats have to be pleased that they're stuffing the run (the Iggles have just 18 yards on nine carries at this point) and keeping McNabb from burning them outside of the pocket -- with his legs or his arm -- but they're still losing 7-0.

Started Ended Plays Yards Time Result
PHI 37 -- 7 37 3:15 TOUCHDOWN 7 7

Al Bello/Getty Images  
The Patriots go back their bread-and-butter -- the short-passing game. Brady completes five passes, four for fewer than 10 yards, to get the Patriots even. The touchdown couldn't have come any easier as Sheppard vapor locks and lets Givens have a whole corner of the end zone to himself.

Dillon only touched the ball once on the drive, a 4-yard run, as the Patriots kept the Eagles off-balanced by going to the air six times.

Somewhere in the background you can hear Rob Schneider yelling, "You can do it!"

Key Play: On third-and-3 from the Eagles' 30, Brady hits Branch for a 7-yard gain that brings momentum back squarely to the Patriots' side.

Started Ended Plays Yards Time Result
PHI 19 NE 37 5 44 1:10 End of Half 7 7
The Eagles regained the ball with 1:03 left and appeared to be ready to run out the clock, sending Westbrook on a left-side run head-on into the Pats' blitz. But following a New England timeout, McNabb hit Pinkston twice for a total of 25 yards, marching up to the Philly 41. An pass intended for Owens over the middle fell incomplete, with Seymour laying the wood on McNabb afterward ... and only then did Reid opt to head into the half tied at 7-7, handing off to Westbrook for a stat-padding, 22-yard gain. He was averaging just 2.7 yards per carry up to that point; now, he'll enter the locker room averaging 3.6.

Third Quarter Drives
Started Ended Plays Yards Time Result
NE 31 -- 9 69 3:56 TOUCHDOWN 14 7

Harry How/Getty Images  
Final score of the halftime show: Songs 4, Nipples 0. If the most important possession of a game is the first one of the third quarter, the Eagles are in deep trouble. Despite wanton use of the blitz, the Eagles are getting nowhere near Brady and exposing their secondary to too much one-on-one coverage. Branch is feasting off of this, catching four passes for 71 yards on the drive. On third-and-6 from the New England 35, Philly safety Brian Dawkins blitzed into the middle of the Patriots' line and never made it past the line of scrimmage. With all day to throw, Brady hit Branch for a 27-yard gain. Five plays later, Brady hit Branch for another big gain (21 yards) to set up the touchdown, a 2-yard pass to erstwhile linebacker Mike Vrabel.
Key Play: Jevon Kearse made a laughable attempt to cover Vrabel on first-and-goal from the 2. "The Freak" held Vrabel off the line, then held him some more in the end zone and Vrabel still was able to come down with Brady's second touchdown pass of the game. Vrabel now has two more Super Bowl touchdowns than Walter Payton.

Started Ended Plays Yards Time Result
PHI 35 PHI 40 4 5 2:15 Punt 14 7
The Patriots' D is, to Belichick's pleasure, looking like the Patriots' D again, putting together a solid series to follow up their scoring drive. After allowing a short-slant completion to T.O. on first down, New England put the heat on McNabb on second down, hitting him from all sides. Seymour was credited with the sack, but McGinest and Bruschi also gained access to the Eagles' QB. On third down, McNabb tried to exploit newly inserted safety Dexter Reid, who was forced into action after Eugene Wilson was injured late in the first half, by throwing deep over the middle to Todd Pinkston, but CB Randall Gay broke up the play.

Started Ended Plays Yards Time Result
NE 8 NE 14 3 6 :57 Punt 14 7
There is no doubt the Patriots are good, but it helps to be lucky, too. On second down, Brady was belted as he released the ball and floated an end-over-end duck over the middle. Two Eagles linebackers, Trotter and Mark Simoneau, were in the area but couldn't get their heads turned around in time for the easy interception.

Started Ended Plays Yards Time Result
PHI 26 -- 10 74 4:17 TOUCHDOWN 14 14

Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images  
Just when Westbrook was near being relegated to "non-factor" status, Philly established him in a big way. It started on the drive's first play, a short pass over the middle that turned into a 15-yard gain. It continued with him taking two runs for 11 yards and catching two more passes -- the first a third-down conversion at New England's 14, and the second a 10-yard TD to tie the score at 14-14. Greg Lewis also saw his first real action of the Super Bowl, reeling in two McNabb passes for 19 yards, and more important, forcing the Pats' DBs to abandon their bump-and-run strategy and give a cushion to respect Lewis' speed. With Pinkston off to the locker room with leg cramps, Lewis figures to be a key player opposite Owens in the second half.
Key Play: McNabb's 10-yard TD pass to Westbrook. For both the obvious reason (that it tied the score) and the fact that it was an example of the Eagles outsmarting the Pats' crafty defense: McNabb exploited the matchup of reserve Reid on Westbrook and capitalized on Vrabel's fake blitz by hitting Westbrook in the spot the Pats LB momentarily vacated.

Started Ended Plays Yards Time Result
NE 34 -- 9 66 4:51 TOUCHDOWN 21 14

Al Bello/Getty Images  
Nobody runs the screen play better or with more variation than the Patriots, and they are using it to befuddle the Eagles' blitz-happy defense. On second-and-11 from their own 33, Faulk takes a screen pass 14 yards to kickstart the drive. The Eagles' defensive line is showing signs of cracking, too, as Dillon and Faulk busted through for large chunks of yardage, the most damaging being a 9-yard scamper around left end by Dillon on third-and-2 from the Eagles' 45-yard line. On the touchdown, the Patriots lined up guard Russ Hochstein at fullback and he threw a key block on Dawkins to spring Dillon into the end zone from 2 yards out.
Key Play: Everybody in the building, including the Eagles, knew a screen pass was coming on first down from the Eagles' 16-yard line. But the Patriots lined up their receivers to the left and sneaked Faulk into the right flat, where no Eagles were to be found. Faulk ran mostly untouched all the way to the Philadelphia 2-yard line.

Fourth Quarter Drives
Started Ended Plays Yards Time Result
PHI 22 PHI 16 3 -6 1:15 Punt 21 14
The Pats regained the lead on the previous drive -- and the Eagles had no answer on offense. On first down, McNabb tried to use Levens to re-enact the play Westbrook made to kick off the last drive, but the pass fell incomplete. Rosevelt Colvin then made things worse for Philly by blowing up a handoff to Westbrook on the left side, resulting in a 6-yard loss and third-and-16. Gay, a surprise star in the New England secondary, broke up yet another pass, this one intended for Lewis on the left sideline, to force a punt.

Started Ended Plays Yards Time Result
PHI 47 PHI 4 8 43 3:49 FIELD GOAL 24 14

Brian Bahr/Getty Images  
Whoever is taking care of that Super Bowl MVP trophy might have to scratch off "Brady" in favor "Branch." The Patriots wideout has tied the Super Bowl record for catches with 11, none more impressive than the 19-yard snag over the outstretched arms of Eagles cornerback Sheldon Brown on second-and-13 from midfield. A roughing-the-passing penalty tacked on 15 more yards on the play, setting up the Patriots at the Philadelphia 16-yard line. From there, the Pats turned to Dillon, and he got them to the 4 before the drive stalled and Adam Vinatieri booted a 22-yarder for the 10-point lead.
Key Play: Brown had perfect coverage on Branch and must have thought he was about to make a momentum-changing interception. But Branch skied over him to steal the ball and make the signature play of Super Bowl XXXIX so far.

Started Ended Plays Yards Time Result
PHI 26 NE 36 3 38 1:20 Interception 24 14
This drive was starting to look promising, after T.O. turned a short slant into a 36-yard gain with a spin move to the outside, leaving Gay in the dust. But McNabb telegraphed a pass over the middle to L.J. Smith on the next play, and Bruschi, who had dropped back into coverage, easily picked it off. McNabb was duped by the Pats here -- the middle of the field initially looked open, but Bruschi filled the gap with ease.

Started Ended Plays Yards Time Result
NE 24 NE 29 3 5 1:40 Punt 24 14
Up by 10 and past the midway point of the fourth quarter, the Patriots aren't going to get cute here. Dillon runs it twice for 5 yards as the clock keeps running, and Brady throws the ball away on third down with Burgess draped all over him. Belichick is going to leave it up to his defense close out this game.

Started Ended Plays Yards Time Result
PHI 21 -- 13 79 3:52 TOUCHDOWN 24 21

Harry How/Getty Images  
Perhaps in an effort to keep this game exciting, or just out of kindness, New England went three-and-out and gave McNabb a chance to redeem himself. And he did, in the short term, completing 7-of-11 passes and pulling Philly back to within three points of the Pats. But McNabb also left much to be desired in the clock-management department, wasting crucial seconds in huddles and expending nearly four minutes on this drive.

The scoring strike came on second-and-10 from the New England 30, when Philly split Westbrook wide left and sent Lewis on a fly pattern from the left slot. It created a one-on-one mismatch pitting Lewis against Reid, and resulted in a TD that got the Eagles back in the game. T.O. made two key catches on this drive and although everyone O.D.'ed on him in the past two weeks, the man deserves his due for his gutty performance tonight, catching nine balls for 122 yards.

Key Play: On third-and-10 from the Eagles' 46, McNabb hit Freddie Mitchell over the middle for an 11-yard gain, keeping the drive alive. It was Mitchell's first catch of the evening, a disappointing performance in the wake of his verbal exploits leading up to the game.

Started Ended Plays Yards Time Result
PHI 41 PHI 36 3 5 1:02 Punt 24 21
A first down is all the separates the Patriots from their third Super Bowl title in four years, but the Eagles' defense tightens up and holds Dillon and Faulk to 5 yards on three carries. From the Eagles' 36, the Patriots decide to punt, setting up a last stand for McNabb and Owens.

Started Ended Plays Yards Time Result
PHI 4 PHI 5 3 1 :37 Interception 24 21

Brian Bahr/Getty Images  
The final image of this Super Bowl will be Harrison, running toward midfield, flapping his wings in a taunt of the Eagles after picking off McNabb and putting an end to Philly's final drive. Harrison earned his second pick of the game after McNabb's pass tipped off of L.J. Smith's outstretched hands with nine seconds left, but the Eagles were doomed from the start of this series. Miller pinned Philly at its own four with yet another well-placed punt, and McNabb spent all three downs being pursued by Pats defenders in the end zone. To have driven three quarters of the field in 47 seconds was a near-impossible task; against New England's D, it wasn't going to happen.

Started Ended Plays Yards Time Result
PHI 28 PHI 29 1 -1 :09 GAME OVER 24 21
Brady takes a knee to clinch the Patriots' third Super Bowl victory by three points. Once again, Vinatieri had the winning points, but this time it wasn't nearly as dramatic. Boston claims yet another championship, its fourth of the decade if you count that baseball team ... what are they called again? Oh yeah, the Red Sox. And Brady didn't even need a bloody sock to get it done. Congrats again, Beantown. Now excuse us while we enjoy this spanking new Simpsons episode.

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