Countdown of the 20 Greatest Super Bowl’s: #11 Super Bowl XXXVIII
#11 Super Bowl XXXVIII: New England Patriots vs. Carolina Panthers
New England Patriots – 32
Carolina Panthers – 29
February 1, 2004
MVP: Tom Brady, QB, New England
Key Play: After kicking the game tying extra point with 1:08 to play, Panthers kicker John Kasay kicked the kickoff out of bounds, giving the Patriots the ball on their own 40-yard line.
Going into Super Bowl XXXVIII, the New England Patriots, were heavy favorites to win their second Super Bowl in three years. The game was played at Reliant Stadium in Houston, TX in front of, what was at the time the largest television audience of all time, 144.4 million viewers.
The game started off slow, going a Super Bowl record 26:55 before both teams exploded offensively. Going into halftime, New England was ahead 14-10 on two Tom Brady touchdown passes. The Carolina Panthers scored on a 39-yard touchdown pass from Jake Delhomme to Steve Smith, along with a 50-yard John Kasay field goal.
Both teams went scoreless in the first and third quarters, but managed to accumulate 868 yards and 61 points. The teams combined for a Super Bowl record 37 points in the fourth quarter alone. Tom Brady was named Super Bowl MVP for the second time in three years after breaking the Super Bowl record for most pass completions (32), while also passing for 354 yards and three touchdowns.
The game itself was considered by many to be one of the most exciting games in Super Bowl history. Super Bowl XXXVIII came down to a Adam Vinatieri’s 41-yard field goal with four seconds left to decide the game. Although the Carolina Panthers were playing in their franchises first Super Bowl, the game itself provided fans with plenty of drama. Even the halftime show had its fair share of drama. Super Bowl XXXVIII is well known for Janet Jackson’s exposed breast during the halftime show, which resulted in years of debate over broadcast rules and regulations.
Although Super Bowl XXXVIII didn’t have the historical significance that some of the other Super Bowl’s on this list have, the game itself was one of the best in Super Bowl history.